The scheme designed to encourage the purchase of cars with lower emissions will be extended by one year to 31 December 2020.
Vehicle Emissions Scheme to be extended by a year A scheme to encourage the purchase of cars with lower emissions will be extended by one year to Dec 31, 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

A scheme to encourage the purchase of cars with lower emissions will be extended by one year to 31 December 2020.

The Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), which came into effect last year and originally due to expire on 31 December this year, has been effective in encouraging the uptake of cleaner car models, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said on 30 October 2019.

It added that there will be no change to the scheme even as its end-date is extended till 31 December 2020. Singapore has been using a taxation strategy to encourage cleaner cars here since 2001. 

The latest VES categorises cars according to five key pollutant levels - carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

Buyers of cleaner car models are rewarded with rebates of up to $20,000, while those who buy cars deemed to have higher emissions will have to pay a surcharge of up to $20,000.

New cars registered in Certificate Of Entitlement (COE) categories A (up to 1,600cc and 130bhp) and B (above 1,600cc or 130bhp) qualify for rebates under the VES.

NEA said that between July 2018 and June 2019, the number of new cars registered in these two categories has collectively increased by about 60%. In contrast, the number of new cars subject to surcharges under the VES has collectively fallen by about 14%.

According to data provided to The Straits Times by NEA last week, about 10,700 cars registered in the first half of this year qualified for the VES rebates, out of the 39,735 cars that were registered in Categories A and B.

Of the eligible cars, 1% qualified for the VES A1 banding, which gives them a rebate of $20,000. Examples of cars with A1 banding include the Bluecar, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric and the Renault Zoe.

Meanwhile, 26% of the eligible cars fell into the A2 banding, which gives them a rebate of $10,000. Examples include the Toyota Prius+ and the Honda Jazz 1.3 CVT.

Said NEA, "Motor dealers are encouraged to introduce cleaner car models to the market during the extension. The scheme will be reviewed regularly, taking into consideration its impact on motorists' purchasing decisions and advances in vehicle technology."