Electric vehicles make up 1.3% of car, taxi and bus registrations; up 1 percentage point from last year

Singapore aims to put in place 60,000 charging points by 2030 to meet electric vehicle charging needs.
Singapore aims to put in place 60,000 charging points by 2030 to meet electric vehicle charging needs. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Electric vehicles made up 1.3 per cent of car, taxi and bus registrations between January and June this year, an increase of 1 percentage point from the same period last year.

This is a significantly higher rate, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said in Parliament on Tuesday (July 27). He did not give projected take-up rates for 2022 and 2023 when asked, although he said his ministry expects the number of electric vehicles here to continue growing.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA), in response to The Straits Times’ queries, said the 1.3 per cent of car, taxi and bus registrations amounted to 340 vehicles – 339 cars and one bus. 

Corresponding figures for last year were 33 cars and 24 buses. For the whole of 2020, 99 electric cars and 40 electric buses were registered. 

Mr Iswaran also said in Parliament that electric motorcycles are being explored. "Some of the ideas being explored include swoppable batteries. This is an area of work that is being undertaken in consultation with the industry."

Singapore has put in a suite of measures to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles, which are more environmentally friendly, and is aiming to phase out all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040.

This means all vehicles should either be hybrid or run on electricity in 20 years. Take-up rates for private electric cars, however, have so far been slow, in part due to electric vehicles still being more expensive and the inconvenience of finding a charging point.

Mr Iswaran said initiatives like the Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) and the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), which was enhanced this year, have reduced the price differential between electric and internal combustion engine cars. The EEAI gives rebates for buyers of electric cars, while the VES gives rebates and also imposes more punitive surcharges for pollutive vehicles.

The aim to put in place 60,000 charging points by 2030 is also enough to meet electric vehicle charging needs, he said.

There are currently about 2,000 charging points here, while another 600 at 200 public carparks should be in place by next year.

Mr Shawn Huang (Jurong GRC) asked if the Government would consider phasing out pure diesel public buses before the current target year of 2040, to which Mr Iswaran said current plans already mean that there should be no more pure diesel public buses on the roads before 2040.

"Public buses are replaced after being in service for 17 years. In the years ahead, we will continue to adapt our infrastructure and operational processes to support a much larger bus fleet that runs on cleaner energy," the minister said.

Since 2020, all new public bus purchases have been fully electric or hybrid models.

Domestic land transport accounts for about 15 per cent of Singapore's total carbon emissions, and the Government has embarked on a major effort to reduce this, Mr Iswaran said.

By 2030, mass public transport modal share during peak periods should go up from 64 per cent to 75 per cent, he said. And by 2040, 90 per cent of all peak-period journeys should be completed by walking, cycling, public transport or shared transport services like taxis, private-hire cars and car-sharing.

"We will continue to invest in expanding and renewing our rail and cycling networks, and take an integrated planning approach to promote walk-cycle-ride," the minister said.