Is An Electric Car Cheaper Than A Petrol Car In The Long Run?

As part of the Singapore 2030 inter-ministerial green plan announced on February 10, the government has said it will “make it easier to buy and own” electric vehicles (EVs).

He also stressed his intention to expand the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles to 60,000 by the end of 2030. This is double the original target of 28,000.

In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat also announced during his 2021 budget speech that S $ 30 million will be set aside over the next five years for initiatives related to electric vehicles.

It is evident that the Singapore government is strongly encouraging the adoption of electric vehicles to meet its goal of completely phasing out traditional gasoline cars by 2040.

There is already a general narrative that electric vehicles are cheaper than gasoline vehicles, but how true is this?

In this article, we break down the potential costs associated with owning an electric vehicle in Singapore and analyze whether it is really cheaper than a gasoline vehicle in the long run.

The initial cost of an electric vehicle

Electric car
Image Credit: CNET

There are different brands of cars that come with electric car models available in Singapore.

More recently, electric car giant Tesla was given the green light to start selling its electric cars in Singapore. Tesla Singapore’s website went live on February 9, with the estimated retail prices of its cars.

A Tesla Model 3 Performance will retail for an estimated price of just under S $ 155,000 before the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Meanwhile, the less powerful Model 3 standard lineup will cost around S $ 113,000 ahead of the COE.

tesla car
Screenshot of Tesla Singapore

In general, however, an electric car in Singapore costs between $ 100,000 and $ 350,000, depending on its brand.

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By comparison, a dealership package for Singapore’s most popular car in 2019 – the Honda Jazz – shows the car sells for nearly S $ 80,000 including COE.

While there can be a stark contrast in prices, buyers should consider government subsidies and discounts to entice Singaporeans to switch to EV.

government support for electric vehicles singapore
Image Credit: Vulcan Post

For example, the Enhanced Vehicle Emissions System (VES) and the Early Electric Vehicle Adoption Incentive (EEAI) will allow buyers to enjoy savings of up to S $ 45,000 when they purchase a vehicle. new electric car.

How much can you save in the long run?

Electric vehicle
Image Credit: Budget Direct

The lower maintenance costs and lower energy consumption of an electric vehicle are two of the main factors in reducing costs.

Electric vehicles can be less expensive to maintain than gasoline or diesel cars because they have fewer systems, such as an intake filter that requires maintenance.

In terms of energy savings, EV owners can expect savings in the thousands over the course of a year.

Energy costs for different makes and types of cars in Singapore
Energy costs for various makes and types of cars in Singapore / Image credit: Vulcan Post

The table above highlights the marked difference in energy costs between electric, diesel and gasoline cars in Singapore.

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 have to 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.

Are electric cars economical?

Singapore has so far gone from an electric car on the road in 2015 to over 1,200 in 2020.

This exponential growth shows that electrification in the automotive industry is the undeniable future, coupled with the strong impetus of the government.

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

EV owners can also expect to save energy, due to the significantly lower cost of charging an EV.

In addition, as more and more electric vehicle models emerge in the market, we can also expect lower initial costs as car brands will have to start competing in the electric vehicle space.

Over time, with improvements in battery technology and economies of scale, it is likely that the purchase price of electric vehicles will also decrease in the near future.

For a long time, electric cars have been a niche buy for Singaporeans. However, after taking into account the lower costs of electric cars and batteries, energy savings and maintenance, it might actually be cheaper than gasoline cars in the long run.

Featured Image Credit: AA Highway / Singtech

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Jothi Venkat

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