Singapore Budget 2021: Electric vehicles to go the extra mile with $30m support from govt

PHOTO: The Straits Times

One sector that has definitely emerged stronger from the Budget 2021 announcement would be electric vehicles. Find out what initiatives there are in place for Singaporeans who wish to adopt a greener automobile.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat unveiled a slew of measures in his Budget announcement earlier this afternoon.

Dubbed ‘Emerging Stronger Together’, this year’s Budget is a forward-looking one. It aims to cushion the impact of a projected K-shaped recovery and prevent any large-scale Covid-19 outbreaks that will halt the Lion City from reopening both internally and externally.

One set of measures regarding sustainable development showcased the Government’s eye towards the future. DPM Heng mentioned that $19 billion worth of public sector green projects have been identified and that green bonds will be issued for these.

These announcements come on the back of the Singapore Green Plan 2030 unveiled just last week.

Although the impact of these large-scale infrastructure projects won’t be felt immediately, there is one sector that bears watching: transport.

DPM Heng said that more than $60 billion will be allocated to renewing and building up Singapore’s rail network. And on the roads, electric vehicles have been given an extra boost by the Government.

Here are the facts and figures that’ll turbocharge your decision to save up for a spanking new Tesla.

$30 million

While $60 billion has been set aside for Singapore’s rail network, $30 million over the next five years has been designated for electric vehicle-related initiatives.

Several of these measures include lowering the Additional Registration Fee to $0 from January 2022 to December 2023 from the current minimum of $5,000.

The road tax bands will also be adjusted for electric vehicles, bringing them more in line with conventional automobiles. To sweeten the deal, revised rebates for purchasing cleaner cars kicked in last month and are set to last till December next year.

All in all, electric vehicle purchasers stand to save up to $45,000 when all rebates are factored in.

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$0.15 and $0.10

Duties for premium petrol will be raised by $0.15 per litre. For Intermediate petrol, it’s $0.10 per litre. This takes place with immediate effect, highlighting the Government’s commitment to a greener future as this is the first time in six years that petrol duties have been raised.

To put things into perspective, it’ll now cost approximately $5 to $10 more every time you refuel an empty tank.

60,000

Charging points for electric vehicles aren’t exactly ubiquitous in Singapore. You’d be hard pressed to find one in your HDB’s open air carpark, for instance.

However, things are set to change, with DPM Heng declaring that 60,000 charging points at public car parks and private premises will be built by 2030, up from the previous projection of 28,000.

This is more than double the target that was previously set and given Singapore’s small size, will be a lifesaver for both new and existing electric car owners.

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In conclusion

Singapore has been criticised in the past for being slow on the electric vehicle uptake by none other than Elon Musk, Tesla’s head honcho. With Budget 2021 done and dusted, the Government has shown that it clearly does not agree and will take the fast track to encourage electric vehicle adoption in Singapore.

Financial institutions have hopped onto the electric bandwagon as well. DBS is currently the preferred loan partner of Tesla and OCBC has a tie-up with Charge+, an electric vehicle charging infrastructure provider, to encourage customers to install charging points onsite.

DPM Heng used multi-prong approaches to tackle other areas of concern in this year’s Budget and sustainable development is no different.

With the first petrol duty hike since 2015 and a greater increase in affordability for electric vehicles, going green is something you might just consider one your current COE runs its course.

This article was first published in SingSaver.com.sg.