Channel NewsAsia: New carbon emissions scheme for vehicles

Starting July 2013, a new carbon emissions tax scheme for vehicles will be introduced, where less eco vehicles will cost more to register. Channel NewsAsia reports.

New carbon emissions scheme for vehicles

SINGAPORE: From July next year, those registering new cars with higher carbon emissions will pay between S$5,000 and S$20,000 more.

And rebates within the same range apply to vehicles producing less carbon dioxide from January next year.

This comes with a new Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) taking effect in phases, to give consumers and the motor industry more time to adjust.

The scheme replaces the existing Green Vehicle Rebate, which has experienced a low take-up rate at less than 2 per cent of Singapore’s total car and taxi population as at end-2011.

The new scheme will be applicable till end-2014, after which it will be reviewed.

Besides new cars, it applies to all taxis and newly-imported used cars registered from 2013 onwards.

Electric vehicles could enjoy significant registration rebates under “Band A” of a new Carbon Emissions Scheme.

Vehicles under “Band A” formed 20 per cent of cars bought in 2011.

They produce carbon emissions of less than or equal to 160g Co2/km.

Applying this table, cars with a mid-sized carbon footprint will have no registration rebates or surcharges.

Such vehicles formed 60 per cent of cars bought last year.

They produce carbon emissions of between 161g to 210g Co2/km.

Vehicles with high carbon emissions, however, fall under “Band C” – and will cost up to S$20,000 more to register.

Such vehicles formed 20 per cent of cars bought in 2011.]

They produce carbon emissions equal to or more than 211g Co2/km.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew, said: “This is more commonly known as a ‘fee-bate’ scheme and it draws reference to similar schemes that have been implemented in other countries. By widening the price differential between low-emission models and high-emission ones, the scheme will help to accelerate the switch towards low-emission cars.”

But is it just about carbon emissions?

Nominated MP Nicholas Fang said: “When it comes to safeguarding the quality of our air, simply narrowing the focus to carbon emissions neglects other pollutants such as particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides.”

Hence, non Euro V-compliant diesel vehicles will not enjoy registration rebates with the new scheme, even if they fall within the rebate emission bands.

This is because they emit significantly more fine particulate matter.

However, if diesel models fall within the surcharge emission bands, the appropriate additional registration costs will still apply.

Also, to encourage taxi companies to adopt lower emission models, the rebates and registration surcharges for cabs is set at 50 per cent higher compared to cars – at between S$7,500 and S$30,000.

As for commercial vehicles, buses and motorcycles, the current Green Vehicle Rebate will be extended till end-2014 while the Land Transport Authority explores how to better encourage the shift to low carbon emission models in these vehicle categories.

In addition, showrooms must display new mandatory information labels to assist buyers in making informed choices when purchasing cars based on carbon emissions.

The Land Transport Authority is taking over the administration of the Fuel Economy Labelling Scheme (FELS) from the National Environment Agency around mid-2012.

The Authority will set up an online database and online fuel cost calculator for prospective car buyers to compare carbon emission and fuel efficiency data across vehicle models.

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    Founded in November 2007, Green Drinks Singapore is one of more than 800 cities with a Green Drinks presence.

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