Your Guide to Electric Vehicle Costs & Rental Services in Singapore
 
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Your Guide to Electric Vehicle Costs & Rental Services in Singapore

Rebecca Liew
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Dyson’s plans for an electric car plant in Singapore may have been scrapped, but that doesn’t spell the end of the gradual demand for electric vehicles (EVs).

Early teething issues – including poor infrastructure, limited range and a lack of charging stations – meant a slower pick-up rate back in 2016, with just 12 registered EV drivers. As of 2018, though, that number had grown to 560 EVs, backed by demand from EV owners, car rental services and ‘greener’ taxi services.

zach galifianakis
Source: tenor

In this guide, we take you through the following:

  • Types of Electric Vehicles (EVs)
  • The True Cost of Owning An EV
  • Charging Points and Prices
  • Petrol Prices vs EV Charging Costs
  • Electric Car Rental and Taxi Services

Electric Vehicles in Singapore

Types of Electric Vehicles (EV)

Are electric vehicles one and the same? was my question while researching the (admittedly foreign) world of electric cars.

In fact, electric vehicles are split into three categories:

  • Fully Electric Vehicles
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicles
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

Electric Car Tesla

A fully electric vehicle runs solely on electricity and are 100% carbon neutral, while a hybrid runs on electricity for a short period of time – after which it switches to fuel from an internal combustion engine (read: a petrol engine).

Then there’s the plug-in hybrid, which is also the most widely-used EV in Singapore. Unlike a hybrid, its charged battery pack lasts for a longer time – meaning less fuel is consumed to recharge the battery when no power source is available.

Electric vehicles can also only be charged with a home charging pack or at charging stations.

Should You Get One?

If you’ve been contemplating investing in an EV, these are some things to first know:

  • They cost more in the short-term
    …but ultimately work out to be cheaper in the long run. That’s thanks to considerably lower EV charging costs, especially when pitted against petrol prices in Singapore – but more on that in a bit!
  • You’ll be rewarded if you own an electric car
    The Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) offers rebates of up to $20,000 for ‘cleaner’ vehicles that have a lower carbon footprint. That’s dependent on the band of your registered car, of course.

    Vehicular Emissions Scheme Rebates
    Above: Rebates for the Vehicular Emissions Scheme. Source: OneMotoring
  • Charging your electric vehicle could be tricky (for now)
    Electric vehicles are still relatively new in Singapore – thus the limited number of charging points at present. It’s a number that’s set to increase, though: SP Group, Shell and BlueSG are among a handful of providers offering EV charging points in Singapore. You’ll find an overview of EV charging station providers below.
  • Be prepared for higher road taxes
    Sadly, EVs are taxed more than regular gasoline cars for now. A Tesla Model X P75D, for instance, incurs annual taxes of $8,374. 

The True Cost of Owning An Electric Vehicle

Singapore’s cars are priced according to the Open Market Value (OMV), which in itself is determined by the Singapore Customs.

Here’s a selection of electric vehicle prices in Singapore:

Electric Vehicle TypeModelRange (Per Charge)Estimated Cost (with COE)Estimated Annual Taxes
VanRenault Kangoo Z.E. ElectricNA$76,800TBC
CarRenault Zoe 367km$100,000 to $126,000$726
Hyundai Kona Electric 480km$155,000 (standard) to $175,000 (long range)$1,082 to $1,306
Nissan LEAF270km$165,000TBC
BMW i3 S200km$226,000TBC
Tesla Model 3 Electric Standard PlusNA$263,988TBC
Jaguar I-Pace470km$386,000$5,802

At almost $386,000, the Jaguar I-Price rounds off our list for its (painful!) price point and prowess – it’s able to go up to 100km/h within a matter of seconds. So much for EVs not offering long range, huh?

On that, though, it’s also imperative to note excess costs – including fees for excise duty, additional registration and GST. 


Charging Points and Price

For now, a few hundred EV charging stations can be found ’round Singapore – but plans are underway to boost this number, in line with Singapore’s hopes of becoming a car-lite society.

These are the key EV charging point providers for your convenience:

Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging PointsNumber of LocationsCost/Compatibility
Shell Recharge (powered by Greenlots)19$0.55/kWh1

Combined Charging System (CCS)

Type 2 (43kW AC) connectors
blueSG25$1/hour (first 3 hours); subsequently $2/hour
SP Group> 200Dependent on electricity consumed per charging session
Greenlots Singapore (powered by Shell Group)> 80, including condominiums$1.50/hour to $2/hour

Type 2 (43kW AC) connectors
BMW1 (showroom)-
Hyundai1 (showroom)
Komoco Motors (Hyundai dealer)1 Free for first 20,000km (new buyers only)

Alternatively, and if you’ve the luxury of owning a private property, you might want to consider a home charging port or wall box – though that really goes back to how regularly you intend to use your EV. If you’re lucky enough to have blueSG charging points in your neighbourhood, it could work out to immediate cost-savings, but only in the short-term.


Petrol Prices vs EV Charging Costs

With the advent of better and newer technology, EVs look set to become more affordable. The cost of manufacturing lithium-ion polymer battery packs, for instance, is lower than that of its non-lithium counterparts. The former also means increased range for EVs.

The following table shows off how much you’d save in a year if you were to rent a Hyundai Kona 2019 under GrabRentals.

GrabRentals
Source: GrabRentals

To put things into perspective, $9,000 a year annually translates to $90,000 savings over ten years, an exponential amount that you might not achieve even by investing through the Rule of 72.


Electric Car Rental and Taxi Services

I’m all for car-sharing EV services – and if you’re like me, then these are some ‘green’ car rental services and rates to know.

blueSG

The local car-sharing service was incepted in 2017, and has plans to grow its EV fleet to 1,000-strong by the year 2020.

  • Cost: $15/month (year-long subscription) + $0.33/minute, or $0.50/minute (min. 15-min rental)

To make things clearer, you’d be paying $9.90 per 30-min ride with a 12-month plan.

Comparably, driving on an ad-hoc basis would cost you $$15 per 30-min ride. 

GrabRentals

Having added 200 Hyundai Kona EVs to its fleet earlier this year, it’s clear ride-hailing giant Grab is fuelling up (ha, ha) for changes in the way we get around.

  • Cost: $84.95/day (min. four months) to $79.95/day (min. 24 months); excludes deposit of $800

EV Taxi Services

As Singapore’s sole electric vehicles-only taxi service, HDT Electric Taxi has 75 charging points ’round Singapore. Its flag-down fare of $3.90 is on par with Comfort DelGro‘s, whose fleet includes fully electric Hyundai Ioniq taxis.


Would you rather own or rent an electric car in Singapore? Share your thoughts on our Seedly Personal Finance Community page!

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About Rebecca Liew
Lactose-intolerant, but also BS-intolerant. Having written for the likes of Marina Bay Sands and Time Out, I now spend my days saving up for my stationery shop retirement dream.
You can contribute your thoughts like Rebecca Liew here.

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