Here’s All You Need To Know About Buying An Electric Car In S’pore

Singapore has a grand vision of phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040, according to Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in his February 2020 budget speech.

To achieve this goal, the Singapore government has put in place a variety of measures to boost the use of electric vehicles (EVs) in the country, ranging from buyer discounts to expanding EV infrastructure.

Singapore’s electric car fleet has grown from just one at the end of 2015 to around 1,125 in January 2020.

With the huge increase in the number of electric vehicles on our roads, Singaporeans might start to wonder if their next car should be electric.

Here is everything you need to know if you are considering buying an electric car.

What models of electric cars are on the market?

Buying an electric car in Singapore
Image Credit: Nestia

Currently, electric cars cost between S $ 100,000 and S $ 160,000 for mainstream models, while high-end models can cost as much as S $ 500,000.

These are just a few examples of the electric car models available in Singapore, their prices and where to buy them.

MakerModel Sale priceOr buy
RenaultZOES $ 112,999Renault Singapore
HyundaiKONA electric140,999 S $Hyundai Singapore, Komoco Motors
HyundaiIoniqElectricS $ 148,999Hyundai Singapore, Komoco Motors
NissanElectric foilS $ 139,888Nissan Singapore, Tan Chong Motors
Audielectric e-tronS $ 367,500Audi Singapore, Premium Automobils
You’re hereX 75DS $ 509,000Hong Seh Motors, parallel importers
Source: sgCarMart

Most of the big brands have showrooms in Singapore, where buyers can learn about electric cars.

Even though electric car giant Tesla does not yet have a showroom in Singapore, a quick search of Tesla’s website shows that there are plans to enter the Singapore market.

Moreover, getting your hands on a Tesla is not impossible in Singapore, as many car dealers in Singapore have imported them for sale in the country.

Discounts available when buying an electric car in Singapore

Buying an electric car in Singapore
The Nissan Leaf / Image credit: The Driven

Since Singapore is making a big bet on electric cars as part of its sustainability efforts, the government has implemented discount programs for electric car buyers.

First, an early adoption incentive program will be put in place for EV buyers from 2021 to 2023.

It will offer a 45 percent discount on additional car registration fees (ARF, main car tax), capped at S $ 20,000 per vehicle. In addition, the road tax for electric vehicles will be lowered.

However, despite the road tax reduction, there will be a semi-annual flat tax for electric vehicles starting in 2021, starting at $ 100, then $ 200 in 2022 and $ 350 starting in 2023.

Charge your EV

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When it comes to having an electric car, charging is definitely a problem.

To pave the way for greater adoption of electric vehicles in Singapore, the government also highlighted its plan to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure to 28,000 by the end of 2030.

Currently, there are around 1,600 electric vehicle charging stations across the island.

Of the public charging stations available in Singapore, more than 200 are owned by Bluesg, while other players include Shell Recharge, SP Group and Greenlots.

EV charging group SP
EV charging stations by SP Group in Singapore from November 2020 / Image credit: SP Group

Despite the large number of charging points available across the island, they are not widespread enough and drivers still have to end up walking between the charging points and their final destination.

In addition to the current companies offering charging stations in Singapore, new players are expected to enter the industry to offer more charging stations.

For example, it was speculated that Tesla’s first charging station in Singapore would be at the Singapore Island Country Club (SICC) at Sime Road.

However, according to The Straits Times, SICC has not been approached by Tesla for said charging points on its land, leaving plans ambiguous for now.

On the other hand, Charge + said that of the 10,000 EV charging points it plans to install, 4,000 of those points will be located in at least 1,200 condominiums due to “significant unmet need.”

Charging an electric vehicle is relatively fast. Last year, ComfortDelGro announced that it would introduce charging stations that would only take 30 minutes to fully charge an electric vehicle.

Does buying an electric vehicle make financial sense?

Image Credit: Bunyarit via Shutterstock

Even though the cost of buying an electric vehicle is high, one of the main benefits of switching to an electric car is lower energy costs in the long run.

According to government data, a private car has an average annual mileage of about 17,500 kilometers, while gasoline costs an average of $ 2 per liter.

On the other hand, the energy tariff is S $ 0.22 per kWh.

Electric car Oil car
Energy consumption11.7 kWh / 100 km6.7 liters / 100 km
Energy costs Per yearS $ 454.75S $ 2,345
Savings$ 1,890.25
Estimated Energy Savings for Electric Car Owners / Singsaver Energy Consumption Data

So when you look at the estimated energy costs for an electric car versus a regular petroleum car, it seems drivers are looking for thousands of dollars in savings every year.

Additionally, consumers can expect new payment models for electric vehicle charging to be rolled out in a new future.

For example, Charge +, a green mobility company of clean energy company Sunseap Group, announced that it plans to install 10,000 electric vehicle charging points by 2030.

EV drivers who use its charging stations will pay a fixed monthly subscription on a subscription basis, which is the first of its kind for EV charging in Singapore.

According to the company, the fees will only be about half of what a driver would typically spend on fuel each month.

Plus, electric vehicles have fewer parts than normal cars, which can lead to fewer maintenance visits and even more cost savings.

Are electric cars the future of driving?

In the automotive industry, electrification is the undeniable future, especially under the leadership of the government.

More and more automakers have developed electric alternatives to their vehicles, while even tech companies like Apple are planning to launch electric vehicles.

Previously, the upfront cost was one of the biggest barriers to owning electric vehicles. However, the availability of discounts has made electric vehicles more attractive to purchase.

Despite the higher accessibility, the current worry when getting an electric vehicle is charging it.

Even though public charging stations for electric vehicles are steadily increasing, owning an electric vehicle is probably only possible if you have access to a dedicated charging point at home or at your workplace.

EV owners tend to set up their own charging points if they live on landholdings. However, most Singaporeans do not live in houses with garages where they can plug in their cars overnight.

Despite these concerns, Singapore appears well positioned to accommodate a greater volume of electric cars, especially with its plans to increase the availability of charging points.

So EV ownership could be a viable option for many, especially in the years to come.

Featured Image Credit: Torque / Singapore car buyer

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Jothi Venkat

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