Cars in showrooms must display new label from Jan 1

Buyers get data on pollutants, surcharges, rebates and fuel economy to guide decision

From next month, cars in showrooms have to display a new vehicular emissions label, to help buyers make informed decisions.

The label, issued jointly by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and National Environment Agency (NEA), will replace the existing fuel economy label.

The change is in line with the new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), which takes effect on Jan 1, and replaces the existing Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicular Scheme.

The VES assesses vehicles on four pollutants - hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter - plus carbon dioxide emissions.

But the rebates or surcharges for a vehicle will be decided by the worst-performing pollutant.

However, all vehicles registered between Jan 1 and June 30 will be exempted from the particulate matter (PM) criterion, to give motor dealers more time to submit information on PM emissions for assessment.

"The new vehicular emissions label will display the emissions bands of the five pollutants, the resultant VES rebate or surcharge, and the fuel economy of the car," said the LTA and NEA in a statement yesterday.

Consumers can use the Fuel Cost Calculator on the One.Motoring website - which will include the VES bands of car models approved for registration in Singapore on Jan 1 - to view and compare the VES bands and indicative fuel efficiency of various car models.

One car buyer, business development executive Ryan Kuan, 29, said the labels would help influence his choice of vehicle. "I'll look closely at the fuel consumption portion."

The VES assesses vehicles on four pollutants - hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter - plus carbon dioxide emissions.

Transport economist Walter Theseira, of the Singapore University of Social Sciences, believes the information on the label could lead people to choose greener cars.

But financial incentives, such as rebates and surcharges, are likely to have a greater influence over their choice, he added.

These factors become less important when a person needs a particular type of car.

"If you're in the market for an SUV (sports utility vehicle) or a minivan because you need to take your family around, it's unlikely you'll choose another vehicle just because the SUV models are not environmentally friendly," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 22, 2017, with the headline 'Cars in showrooms must display new label from Jan 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe