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  • Kyle Chua

The EV You’re Eyeing Might Be Cheaper in Singapore Starting May

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) on Tuesday, 8 March announced it will be revising the certificate of entitlement (COE) criterion in a bid to make certain fully electric vehicle (EV) models more accessible to the market.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Credit: Hyundai

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said that EVs with up to 110kW of power will fall under Category A COE starting May. This change could make it more affordable to own EV models that fit the criteria, given how premiums for Category A cost much less than that of Category B's. Under the latest COE tender, the premium of Category A was about S$30,590 cheaper than Category B, as The Straits Times notes.

Some of the mass-market EV models that will be classified under the new Category A COE include the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and Kona Electric, Kia Niro Electric Short Range and Nissan Leaf. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric, for instance, is, as of right now, under Category B, selling for S$172,888 inclusive of COE. Once the revision goes into effect, that price should go down.

Currently, Category A COEs cover cars with engine capacities of up to 1,600cc and maximum power output (MPO) of 97kW or 130bhp, regardless of whether they’re EVs or not. The new change to 110kW, however, only applies to fully electric vehicles. The threshold for internal combustion engine vehicles will remain the same.

Automakers are optimistic about the change, hoping that it results in better sales. “We have received many inquiries on our Nissan Leaf EV, but many times, customers were put off by the pricing as a Category B model,” commented Mr Ron Lim, Head of Sales and Marketing at Tan Chong Motor Sales, the local franchise holder of the Nissan brand.

Distributors are now likely to bring in more EVs that fit the new Category A COE in the coming months, added Mr Raymond Tang, Honorary Secretary of the Singapore Vehicle Traders Association.

Credit: Reuters

Mr Iswaran also outlined plans to install at least three charging points in nearly 2,000 Housing Board car parks in the next three to four years. He said that easing range anxieties and supporting wider EV adoption would help Singapore achieve its goal of net-zero emission

The plan could help ease EV range anxieties and accelerate their adoption, which would then help Singapore reach its net-zero emission target by mid-century.

This concern over nascent technology is understandable. To take the anxiety out of range, chargers must be widely available," said Mr Iswaran. The target is to reportedly have a total of 60,000 charging points across the island city-state by 2030, 40,000 of which will be in public car parks with another 20,000 in private properties.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) together with the National EV Centre will lead the initiative and will fund it through the issuance of green bonds. A tender for the installation of EV chargers in HDB car parks will launch within the first half of the year.

"This is an ambitious goal that will require policy moves, new technologies, and behavioural shifts across our land transport system. Along with the decarbonisation of the power grid, electrification of vehicles is a key initiative that will have a material impact," said Mr Iswaran.

  • The Ministry of Transport (MOT) said that fully electric vehicles with a power threshold of up to 110kW will fall under Category A certificate of entitlement (COE) starting this May.

  • The revision to the criterion could make some electric vehicle models more affordable, given how Category A premiums cost much less than Category B's.

  • Transport minister Iswaran also outlined plans to install at least three charging points in nearly 2,000 Housing Board car parks in the next three to four years.

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