Car emissions scheme to be tightened from 2024

SINGAPORE – Car buyers and sellers here will be nudged further to adopt environmentally-cleaner models such as electric vehicles (EVs) when a tightened emissions scheme kicks in from 2024.

In a joint announcement on Thursday (June 30) morning, the National Environment Agency (NEA) and Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the current Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) – which expires at the end of this year – will continue for another year with no change.

But from Jan 1, 2024, thresholds for the various pollutant levels in the carrot-and-stick scheme will be lowered.

“The more stringent thresholds for emissions of carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter clearly distinguish pure internal combustion engine cars, cleaner alternatives such as hybrids, and electric vehicles,” the announcement read.

The two agencies added that there will be no change to the VES rebate till Dec 31, 2023, and no change to the VES surcharge till Dec 31, 2025. Rebates applicable from Jan 1, 2024 will be announced in 2023.

Examples of cars which currently meet the tightened A1 band – the highest standards which qualify them for the highest tax rebate – include the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq, MG ZS EV, and Hyundai Kona Electric.

Those which will fall into the lowest C2 band – which attracts the heftiest surcharge – include the Mercedes-Benz C180, Toyota Vios, Audi Q3 and Honda Odyssey.

Ms Sabrina Sng, managing director at Wearnes Automotive in charge of Swedish EV brand Polestar, said: “I think the measures are in the right direction, to encourage consideration of cleaner emission vehicles. But the incentive amount needs to be higher to get wider and quicker EV adoption.

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“In countries such as Norway and the Netherlands, EVs are cheaper than internal combustion engine cars – that makes it much easier to swing consumers.”