Friday, July 19
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The drive toward an all-electric vehicle future in Singapore

Eu Gene Goh, a Singaporean chip designer, is passionate about electric vehicles and owns two Teslas. However, he is not yet ready to give up his S$1.6 million ($1.21 million) McLaren 765LT, which boasts a V8 engine capable of accelerating to 100 km per hour (62 miles per hour) in just three seconds.

by Faisal Abdullah

Singapore’s plan to ban the sale of combustion-engine cars from 2030 is facing resistance from a deep-rooted love for supercars, ultra-luxury vehicles, and wealthy buyers in one of the world’s most expensive places to own a car.

Although Singapore is among a small group of countries, including Iceland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, with a near-term goal of phasing out combustion car sales by 2030, the uptake of electric cars in those markets has been faster.

For the past two years, the Singaporean government has been promoting electric vehicles by providing incentives of up to S$45,000 and expanding the charging network. However, individual buyers need to significantly increase their adoption rate to achieve the target.

According to the Land Transport Authority, electric vehicles accounted for nearly 12% of all car sales in Singapore last year, up from almost 4% in 2021. Nevertheless, ownership data analyzed by Reuters found that electric vehicles represented only 1% of cars on the road, while combustion sports cars made up 1.65% of almost 653,000 registered vehicles, including 180 McLarens, whose numbers have increased more than five-fold since 2012.

One possible factor for the slow uptake of electric vehicles is their high price, with the cost of owning a small car for a decade starting at least at S$88,000, excluding the vehicle’s cost, which has driven luxury sales. Singapore has a small island with a well-established public transport system, and car ownership per 100 people is relatively low, with only about 12 cars compared to 9 in Hong Kong and 82 in the US.

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