Forum: Tag certificate of entitlement ownership to drivers, not cars

Car owners are being encouraged to exchange their internal combustion engine vehicles for electric vehicles which are more fuel-efficient and less pollutive.

However, many owners are still hanging on to their inefficient combustion engine vehicles. It seems counter-intuitive, but this could be due to extremely high certificate of entitlement (COE) prices.

COEs were introduced as a means of limiting car ownership and controlling the number of vehicles on our roads.

However, by tagging them to the physical vehicle, we are severely limiting the COE scheme's purpose and reach. The authorities should look into decoupling the COE from the physical vehicle and tagging it instead to the car owner.

If the current system is tweaked, the owner of an existing combustion engine vehicle could easily replace it with an electric vehicle, and take advantage of the advances in vehicular technology to drive a vehicle that is more environmentally friendly and not dependent on petrol.

The replacement electric vehicle could then be used for only the remaining duration of the original COE. There would be no net increase in vehicles, as this would simply be a one-for-one replacement.

As vehicle owners delay the process of upgrading their cars, the vehicular population here ages and we continue to rely on costly and inefficient fuels like petrol and diesel.

In a city state that has a dense population like Singapore, we must do whatever we can to drive the adoption of a more efficient and more environmentally friendly solution.

Roy Ong Ban Guan

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