With Singapore recently incentivising electric car ownership and early adoption, many Singaporeans are wondering right now;
“How affordable is it to actually drive an electric car in Singapore today?”
The actual cost of driving an electric car in Singapore varies widely – you could be forking out $160,000 for a Tesla Model 3 or renting one for $50 a day from a car sharing provider.
To help you get a clearer idea of the costs involved in electric car usage, we’ll take a look at the base cost as well as other variable costs attached to electric car ownership!
Base Cost Of Buying An Electric Car In Singapore
Owning a regular car alone in Singapore is already expensive enough – but how about electric cars?
As of 2021, there isn’t a huge variety of electric cars available in Singapore, here are a few popular models we found:
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Hyundai Kona Electric
Tesla Model 3
$112,845 (excluding COE)
But you can clearly see that from the main car companies that are actively selling electric vehicles – these don’t come cheap either.
(Prices of 2nd hand electric cars or first hand cars from parallel importers also fall in the $100,000 – $200,000 range)
Fortunately, most car prices usually include COE, Registration Fees, Additional Registration Fees, 1 Year of Road Tax, and GST – and electric cars are no exception.
Where you CAN save on electric cars however – is through the recently established Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI).
In essence, if you were to purchase an electric car from now until 31 Dec 2023, you can save up to $25,000 off your Additional Registration Fee.
(Or if you wait until January 2022, you could pay virtually no Additional Registration Fee!)
The electric car you’re eyeing MAY fall into either Band A1 or A2 depending on how many other pollutants the car may produce – which drastically affects the rebate you get,
So make sure you check on which category your potential car falls into!
Charging Costs Of Electric Cars
As electricity is the fuel alternative to petrol and diesel, the other main cost is how much it is to regularly charge your car to full capacity.
Distance Per KWH (estimates)
Cost Of 1 Full Charge
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Hyundai Kona Electric
Tesla Model 3
These charges may seem low – however if you’re constantly driving long distances, you can definitely expect the charging costs to rack up.
Most electric cars easily can drive about 200km-400km per charge,
So if you were to drive 400km per week, a Tesla Model 3 would cost ~ $17 * 4 = $68 in electricity per month!
Maintenance & Variable Costs Of Electric Cars
Considering you don’t have to buy engine oil, spark plugs, or replace filters, as you would for traditional fossil fueled powered cars, electric car maintenance costs are drastically lower.
Electric cars still retain some maintenance costs comparable to their petrol counterparts,
These include tyres, brakes, suspension components and software updates, but these definitely won’t heavily eat into your monthly budget in the long run,
In fact, the only biggest long term maintenance cost you’ll have to consider is a battery change,
Which you’ll probably only need after driving ~ 160,000KM and can cost anywhere from $10,000-$12,000.
Finally, while not a financial cost – you may want to consider the time and effort required to conveniently use your electric car.
Unless you live in a landed property or live close to a public charging station such as the ones from SP Power or Greenlots, it may be difficult to charge your car regularly,
You may have to go out of your way to charge your car, which due to the still low availability of charging stations in Singapore is a big turn off for most.
But if you already live near a charging station, or you’re capable of owning a homebox to charge your car with, then great, you’re good to go!
Alternative: Renting An Electric Car
If you’re not purchasing an electric car but still want to go green,
Blue SG is currently the biggest electric car rental operator in Singapore, where as a part of their membership, you gain access to their island-wide network of cars and charging stations.
(Table courtesy of Blue.sg)
With effect from 1st March, besides the monthly subscription of $18,
Each rental comes at a starting fee of $5.40 for the first 15 minutes, and a subsequent $10.80 for every 30 minutes after that.
Remember – as you’re renting a car, you’ll be the one bearing all the parking, ERP, and fines (if you’re unlucky enough)
Were you to use BlueSG twice a week with an average of 4-5 hours each rental,
That’s about $167.4 a week or $669.60 per month, which may seem expensive but definitely is a lot cheaper than owning your own electric vehicle (and even a regular petrol powered car)
Of course, you have to consider availability, ease of usage, and the chance of getting a beaten up car and having to contact BlueSG amongst other risk factors.
But all things considered – renting is definitely a viable option if you’re not in daily need of a car or, you live near a lot!
So Is it Affordable To Own An Electric Car In Singapore?
In conclusion, electric car ownership in the long term will definitely be more affordable than their petroleum based counterparts,
However right now, most electric cars are above the average car price in Singapore (Which is closer to $100,000)
Even with the deduction of the Additional Registration Fees by the government, it may remain a slightly more expensive option for people looking to buy a car in Singapore.
So we’ve done the calculations for you – so if you’re thinking about getting an electric car, let us know how much you’re willing to spend and why!
Stay safe and happy driving!