All you need to know about ownership of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Singapore, updated for 2021
Updated: October 2021, February 2021, April 2020, October 2019. Story First published: 2018
Note: CarBuyer.com.sg now uses the term BEV (battery electric vehicles) to refer to cars powered solely by electricity of their batteries. The terms BEV and EV are used interchangeably in this guide, though technically an EV can be powered electrically but not use batteries (eg hydrogen vehicles).
This guide is split up into segments, click the links below to jump straight to that section:
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are not far from the mainstream now – they can go much further than the average Singaporean driver needs per day and offer a great driving experience. While their price is still higher than conventional cars and widespread personal charging isn’t available here just yet, that will change in the next five years. In short, even if you’re not considering one right now, you certainly will be in the near future.
BMW’s i3 was the first passenger EV to launch in Singapore, back in 2014, and it set the trend for expensive, luxury EVs that bring us to where we are now – if you want to save the world, you’d better have the extra cash.
However from 2018 on, the launch of more affordably-priced and a wider range of EVs saw Singapore reaching another signpost on the road towards electrification.
But the biggest change came in 2020 and 2021, when the Singapore government announced widespread measures to boost BEV ownership here. The Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Initiative (EEAI) and updated VES announced in 2020 makes BEVs up to S$45k less expensive than before, while there are plans to expand BEV charging infrastructure to 28,000 charge points in Singapore by 2030.
We say 2021 is the year of the hybrid because petrol-electric hybrids are now extremely cost effective and will be the default for normal car buyers that don’t have a charge point. But BEVs are now accepted as the step global motoring needs to take to prevent emissions, and Singapore is now officially onboard with this.
"...while you may not actually be considering an EV right now, we guarantee that will change in 2020 and beyond, so be prepared for the electric revolution."
In 2013, there were 134,000 EVs/plug-in hybrids sold globally. Since then, that number has grown by almost 50 percent every year, with 2017 seeing 1,281,000 sold globally, with a forecast for 1,900,000 in 2018, according to EV sales database consultancy, EV-volumes.com
So we’ve put together a CarBuyer guide to EVs in Singapore. And even if you may not actually be considering one right now, we guarantee the landscape will change in the next few years, so you’ll be prepared for the electric revolution.