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Singapore: Green vehicle rebate to be extended

Buyers of green cars will get a tax break for another 12 months as the Government looks at new ways to encourage motorists to use these vehicles.

The tax break on hybrid, electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) cars will be extended till Dec 31 next year.

It had been due to expire on Dec 31 this year.

Currently, buyers of such vehicles enjoy 40 per cent off the Additional Registration Fee (ARF), the main car tax, on passenger vehicles.

Even with the rebate, a hybrid Toyota Prius costs $130,988 today, comparable to a Toyota Camry sedan.

‘In the meantime, we will undertake a comprehensive review of the measures to promote the adoption of green vehicles, as part of our overall efforts to promote sustainable development,’ said Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech yesterday.

The Green Vehicle Rebate scheme was introduced in 2001 to promote green vehicles which are more fuel-efficient and emit less air pollutants than conventional petrol and diesel ones.

While some welcomed it, they also felt more could be done.

Mr Clarence Woo, executive director of the Asian Clean Fuels Association, pointed out that tax rebates are only part of the solution.

What is really needed, he said, is infrastructure. He added: ‘Even if I buy a green car, I still can’t get to a charging station or CNG station close to my house.’

For example, Singapore’s electric-car test-bed plan has been slow to take off.

Public infrastructure to charge electric cars here will be up and running only in the middle of this year, even though the first batch of Mitsubishi electric hatchbacks has arrived.

And there are just a handful of CNG filling stations here, mostly in far-flung locations such as Mandai.

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