A Guide To Electric Cars in Singapore: How Much Does It Cost To Own One?
I have a confession to make.
Haven’t been in an electric vehicle before.
But I remember watching an Instagram story of someone hitching a ride on a friend’s Tesla and I was like:
If you’re a Tesla fan, you would’ve rejoiced when Tesla Singapore’s sales portal went live recently.
This has been a timely move given the recent focus on environmental sustainability.
In fact, more measures are now in place to encourage more drivers to make the switch to Electric Vehicles (EV).
In the recent Budget speech, new measures have been introduced to narrow the cost of owning an electric vehicle as compared to an Individual Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle.
According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), fully-electric cars and plug-in hybrids only make up 0.2% of the total car population as of Jan 2021.
With these new initiatives, there would now be a lower barrier of entry when it comes to owning an electric car in Singapore!
TL;DR: A Guide To Electric Vehicles (EV) in Singapore: Car Types and How Much It Costs To Own One
We will be covering the following in this article:
- Types of electric vehicles
- Electric vehicles available in Singapore
- How much money would you save if you were to switch to an electric vehicle?
- Types of incentives and rebates available
- Electric charging stations in Singapore
- Should you buy an electric vehicle now?
Types of Electric Vehicles (EV) in Singapore
Before we dive right into this topic, here’s a quick overview of the types of EVs available.
There are mainly three types of EVs:
- Fully Electric Vehicles
- Hybrid Electric Vehicles
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The most widely seen type of EV in Singapore is the plug-in hybrid type, where the vehicle is recharged from any external source of electricity, such as a home charging pack or at charging stations.
What Are Some Electric Vehicle (EV) Models Available in Singapore?
Besides Tesla, there are various other car brands that come with electric models.
|Car Model||Price (including COE)||Vehicle Type||Battery Capacity (Useable)||Efficiency||Real Range|
|Audi Q4 E-tron Sportback quattro||$333,461||SUV||86.5 kWh||231 Wh/km||375 km|
|BMW i3s Electric||$196,888||Hatchback||37.9 kWh||165 Wh/km||230 km|
|BYD e6 Electric||$104,888||MPV||80 kWh||195 Wh/km||370 km|
|Honda E Electric||$147,000||Hatchback||28.5 kWh||168 Wh/km||170 km|
|Hyundai IONIQ Electric||$159,999||Sedan||38.3 kWh||153 Wh/km||250 km|
|Kia Niro Electric||$161,999||SUV||64 kWh||173 Wh/km||370 km|
|Jaguar I-Pace EV320||$358,999||SUV||84.7 kWh||232 Wh/km||365 km|
|MG ZS||$116,888||SUV||42.5 kWh||193 Wh/km||220 km|
|Mini Cooper Electric||$144,000||Hatchback||28.9 kWh||156 Wh/km||185 km|
|Nissan Leaf Electric||$129,888||MPV||36 kWh||164 Wh/km||220 km|
|Renault Zoe Electric||$115,999||Hatchback||52 kWh||165 Wh/km||315 km|
|Tesla Model 3 Standard Range||$158,847||Sedan||50 kWh||149 Wh/km||335 km|
|Tesla Model 3 Performance||$200,817||Sedan||76 kWh||165 Wh/km||460 km|
Source: EV Database, sgCarMart & manufacturer’s website
We can see that an electric car in Singapore roughly costs between $100,000 to $350,000, depending on its brand.
While this means that owning an electric car does not seem that affordable, prices have been coming down and they are slowly becoming comparable to petrol or diesel-powered cars.
With factors such as car maintenance and an increase in rebates, we can expect the closing of the price gap between these two car types.
How Much Money Would I Save if I Were To Make the Switch To an Electric Vehicle?
There are two biggest savings factors when you switch to an electric vehicle:
- Lower energy consumption
- Lower maintenance fees
An EV does not have an internal combustion engine, which means there would not be the maintenance of typical liquid fuel components, such as a fuel pump, fuel line, or fuel tank.
The main concern is usually battery longevity, which modern technologies have allowed batteries to function at their peak working condition and also have good lifespans.
According to sgCarMart, an electric car can provide more than 50% in cost savings in terms of running costs:
|Kia Seltos||Kia Niro EV|
|Rate of consumption||6.28L/100km||14.7kWh/100km|
|Cost (10 years)||$21,649.20||$5,899.43|
Based on the assumption of an average travel distance of 17,500 km per year, one can expect to save more than $15,000 solely on running costs.
This is due to the energy costs of Kia Niro EV being significantly lower than the petrol costs of a Kia Seltos.
One can expect even more savings after taking into account car maintenance fees.
Incentives for buying an Electric Vehicle in Singapore
To encourage the early adoption of electric vehicles, here are some incentives that have been introduced during Budget 2021:
|Lowering of the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) floor from $5,000 to zero for electric cars||Additional Registration Fee (ARF): Tax paid when registering a vehicle, calculated based on a percentage of a vehicle’s Open Market Value||Jan 2022 to Dec 2023|
|EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI)||Rebate of up to 45 per cent on the ARF, capped at $20,000||Till 31 Jan 2023|
|Revision of the road tax bands||Taxes to be comparable to a petrol-powered vehicle equivalent||TBC|
|Enhanced Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES)||Band A1 Cars: $25,000 rebate|
Band A2 Cars:
|Dec 31 2022|
The enhanced Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) and Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) will allow buyers to enjoy cost savings of up to $45,000 when they purchase a new electric car.
Where Are the Electric Vehicle Charging Points in Singapore?
The accessibility of charging points in Singapore has been an ongoing concern and might also be one of the reasons holding people back from purchasing an electric car.
There are currently 1,600 charging points publicly available in Singapore.
Here are the current providers of charging points in Singapore, and how much it costs to charge an electric car:
|Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Points||Number of Locations||Cost/Compatibility|
|BlueSG||239 currently accessible to non-BlueSG users||$1/hour (first 3 hours); subsequently $2/hour
Note: subscription fee of $20/year
|Shell Recharge (powered by Greenlots)||18||$0.55/kWh1
Combined Charging System (CCS)
Type 2 (43kW AC) connectors
|SP Group||33 charging stations|
1,000 charging points
|Dependent on electricity consumed per charging session|
|Greenlots Singapore (powered by Shell Group)||79, including condominiums|
36 public locations
|$1.50/hour to $2/hour
Type 2 (43kW AC) connectors
|Komoco Motors (Hyundai dealer)||1||Only for customers|
We can see that it’s a lot cheaper to charge an electric car than to pump petrol for the same distance covered.
However, charging points are still not a common feature on our island as of yet, especially at private premises like condominiums.
In response to that, there will be $30 million set aside for the next 5 years for EV-related initiatives as part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030,
This includes plans to increase the number of charging points at public carparks and private premises to 60,000 by 2030.
Should You Buy An Electric Vehicle Right Now?
With these upcoming rebates and incentives, here’s the question:
Should you buy one now?
I’m personally intrigued by the idea of an electric car if I were to choose to own a vehicle.
However, I would not forsee myself getting one within this year given how it might cost at least $5,000 cheaper in 2022 with the reduction of ARF.
Road taxes are also still a concern for current EV owners, so I would rather wait for them to be comparable to the taxes for petrol or diesel-powered cars.
In addition, I would also rather wait a little longer for more established EV technologies and infrastructure to be in place.
Including installation of those additional charging points, or even more local manufacturers which might bring the car costs down further.
Which is why I personally feel that 2021 is still not the year to own one yet.
Nonetheless, the decision to make this switch is definitely real.
Given how Singapore has plans to have all vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040 as well.
It’s just a matter of time where we start heading over to the environmentally-friendly side of driving.
Would you switch to an electric car? Let us know your thoughts!