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Cost Of Owning An Electric Car In Singapore 2024

With the Singapore government’s announcement on the phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, and the number of electric vehicle (EV) charging points set to double by 2030, the EV revolution in our little red dot is taking place really quickly. The cost of petrol is climbing even as we speak, so is it really a good time to consider switching to an electric car?

Let’s find out the cost of owning an electric car and see if it makes sense to own an EV as compared to a regular petrol car.

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TLDR Summary: How Much Is Needed To Own An EV?

  • The actual exact cost of owning an EV differs from EV to EV, as it really depends on the model of your EV, the age of the EV, and many other factors like NCD, prices of COE, and vice versa. 
  • You’ll need to set aside different amounts for the basic costs which comprise car insurance, road tax, COE, Additional Registration Fee (ARF), excise duty fee and monthly charging fees.
  • Switching from a regular petrol car to an EV can help you make great savings through special schemes such as the EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) which runs from now till the end of 2023, and the Vehicle Emission Scheme (VES) which lets you get up to $25,000 rebate.

How Much Do Electric Cars Cost?

Besides the much-hyped-about Tesla, there are many other electric car models available in Singapore such as those by Nissan, Audi, Honda, just to name a few. Here are some of the models available at the moment and how much they cost. All prices quoted with reference from the latest available price lists (as at August 2022) on SGCarMart.

It’s not surprising that these prices may seem a little steep because electric cars still cost a premium compared to their petrol counterparts.

List Of Prices of Electric Vehicles In Singapore

ModelEstimated Price (Including COE)
Audi e-tron S Sportback Electric$506,290
Audi RS e-tron GT Electric$690,940
BMW IX Drive40Price On Request
BMW IX3Price On Request
BYD e6$153,000
BYD M3e$144,888
Honda E$185,000
Hyundai IONIQ Electric$173,888
Hyundai KONA Electric$230,888
Jaguar I-Pace$420,000

How Much Does It Cost To Own An Electric Car?

Here comes the real thing — calculating the total cost of owning an electric car. However it differs from EV to EV, depending on the model of the car, the age of the car, and many other factors like NCD and so on. 

Let’s just say you decide to purchase a more affordable model by Honda and it’ll already cost you about $185,000 (including COE) at the beginning. Besides the cost of the vehicle, you’ll have to factor in the following costs: 

  1. Car insurance – In the first year of owning an EV, the car insurance is likely to cost over $1,000. Thereafter, it’ll usually range between $2,000 to $5,000 depending on the model and make of your EV and your NCD status.
  2. Road tax – It’ll come up to about $800 a year for a 60kWh full electric car. However, road tax will be reduced for electric cars in the next 3 years. 
  3. COE – Currently, it is hovering around $80,000 (Cat A) and $100,000 (Cat B) as of August 2022, and it’ll last you for a good ten years if you are buying a brand new car. 
  4. Additional Registration Fee (ARF) – Paid when you register a vehicle, and currently, a rebate of 45% (capped at $20,000) is possible. Usually >50% of your car’s Open Market Value for cars under 10 years old after offsetting with the PARF rebate that you receive when the car is eventually deregistered.
  5. Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) rebate – Subtract $10,000 to $20,000 from your costs if you qualify for this.
  6. Excise duty – It has been adjusted and will range from $100 to $350 ($350 will start from 2023 onwards).
  7. Charging fees – It can range from $300 to $400 per month (if need about 2 to 3 times of full charging sessions per week).

So if we do the math, the calculation will be as follow:

$250,000 (COE included) + $6,200 + $800 + $192,241 - $10,000 + $100 + $300- $20,000= $419,641

The total cost to own an EV will be about $419,641, assuming that we subtract the lowest rebate you’ll get from the VES scheme and the maximum rebate you’ll get for the ARF (using the price of the Honda car as of August 2022 as an example).

How Much Money Can You Save From Switching To An Electric Car?

At the moment, there are quite a few schemes that will enable you to save a few thousands of dollars or even up to about $40,000 when you switch from a regular petrol car to an electric one. Moreover, the cost per km for electric cars is many times less than that of petrol-run cars.

No Additional Registration Fee (ARF)

For electric cars registered from Jan 2022 to Dec 2023, the ARF will be lowered to $0, down from the usual $5,000. If you don’t know what ARF is, ARF is a tax that is charged based on a car’s Open Market Value (OMV) when the car is registered. So for a start, you’ll get to save $5,000 even before using your new EV.

Up to 45% rebate under the EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) scheme

If yours is a fully electric car, you can claim up to 45% rebate on the ARF, capped at $20,000. This scheme is called the EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) and it runs from now until 31 Dec 2023.

More than $10,000 savings with the Vehicle Emission Scheme (VES)

The VES will also let you get $15,000 to $25,000 rebates for new cars, taxis, and imported used cars registered on 1 Jan 2021 onwards.

Comparison between EVs and petrol-powered cars

Let’s say you’re currently owning a regular car that requires a 95-octane petrol pump at $2.94 / litre and you’re thinking of switching to an EV, so you’re comparing the running costs as well. Below is an estimate of the running costs of both an electric car and petrol-powered car.

No. of charging stations across Singapore

Currently, there are slightly over 1,600 EV charging points across the island and the government aims to instal more EV charging points in HDB and private car parks.

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Where You Can Charge Your Electric Car

Petrol/Charging StationsType of chargersNo. of charging stationsLocations
Shell Recharge50kW Direct Current (DC) 87Bedok, Punggol, Paya Lebar, Hougang, Toa Payoh, Bukit Timah
Caltex50kW Direct Current (DC) 4Yishun, Changi, Jurong West, Dunearn
BlueSGType 3 AC (3.7kW)> 300Islandwide
SP Group50kW Direct Current (DC & AC)> 540Islandwide
ChargeNow by BMW50kW Direct Current (DC & AC)318Islandwide
Tesla480-volt (DC)8Buona Vista, Cityhall, East Coast, Orchard Central, Punggol, Tampines, Woodlands
Porsche50kW Direct Current (DC & AC)5Gardens by the Bay, South Beach, Sembawang Country Club, City Square Mall, Quayside Isle

Costs Of Charging An Electric Car

To be exact, a typical electric car battery is about 60 kWh, so that’s $33 for a full charge. The charges by electric car charging stations are usually by the kWh or by the hour. However, it can get tricky to estimate the costs since the time it takes to charge depends on the car model and speed of the charger — a full charge can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours, and the frequency of your required charging depends on your vehicle’s “charge range”, i.e. how many km your vehicle can be driven on a full charge.

What Is The Average Cost Of Electric Car Insurance?

There is a wide range of car insurance options available for cars powered by petrol, but not many insurance providers offer coverage for EVs. There are only 4 EV insurance plans around in Singapore as AXA has plans to discontinue their EV car insurance product in 2022, but that doesn’t mean you should skip a careful comparison before picking one.

Factors that determine the cost of your car insurance

The cost of car insurance in Singapore ranges from $700 to $1,000 per year, but the exact annual premium is determined on a case-by-case basis. Specific factors such as your age, occupation, driving experience, claims history and many more, are taken into consideration before your premium is determined:

  • Age and gender
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Driving experience
  • Claims history and No Claims Discount (NCD)
  • Certificate of Merit (COM) discount
  • Type of car, car model, age of car and car usage

Compare quotes for car insurance premiums

At times, you may or may not get quoted a remarkably high premium, and it could be due to statistics associated with your car or profile, and how insurers measure risk i.e. using the Risk Factor Rating System (RFRS) to determine your premium.

RFRS analyzes data on you and your vehicle to calculate how likely you are to get into an accident. The higher the RFRS rates your risk factor, the higher your car insurance premium will be. So, it’s wise to compare car insurance quotes via a comparison platform like MoneySmart or a broker, as you may come across one that is more affordable and suitable for your budget.

Comparing 4 Electric Car Insurance Plans

If you’re unsure of how to do this, here’s an example to illustrate. Here’s our round-up of the 4 EV insurance options for you to think about before picking your preferred EV insurance plan. Assuming that you’re a 26-year-old male who is single, has less than 2 years of driving experience, has made no claims, has a no-claim discount of 0%, and is considering getting an Income plan for either one of the below 4 EVs.

You may realise that as you compare across these 4 EVs, those EVs with a more premium make will carry a higher price tag for their insurance premiums too. So if you’re planning to get an Audi e-tron or Tesla Model 3, you’ll need to set aside a lot more for car insurance as well.

Electric car modelPrice of base model (as of 3 August 2022) Estimated annual premium* (without NCD)
Nissan Leaf $167,800$2,000 - $3,000 (*Based on 1,200km/month)
Honda E$185,000$2,500 - $3,500 (*Based on 1,200km/month)
Audi e-tron$506,290$4,800 - $5,500 (*Based on 1,200km/month)
Tesla Model 3$250,000$6,200 - $7,000 (*Based on 1,200km/month)

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it more expensive to own an electric car than a petrol-powered car?

At the moment, the Open Market Values (OMVs) of electric cars are still much higher than regular petrol-powered cars. However, there are still significant savings for fuel consumption for electric cars.

How much does it cost to charge an electric car?

Most electric car charging stations charge by the kWh or by the hour. A typical electric car battery is about 60 kWh, so that’s $33 for a full charge.

Can I get rebates from switching to an electric car instead of still using a petrol-powered car?

Yes. you can claim up to 45% rebate on the Additional Registration Fee (ARF), capped at $20,000 under the EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) scheme, and more than $10,000 savings with the Vehicle Emission Scheme (VES).

Do I have to pay for the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) when I get an electric car?

If you get your electric car registered from Jan 2022 to Dec 2023, you will not have to pay for any ARF, but if it’s not within this period, you’ll need to pay the usual $5,000 ARF fee.

What is the Risk Factor Rating System (RFRS)?

Many insurance companies use the RFRS to analyze data on you and your vehicle and calculate how likely you are to get into an accident. The higher the RFRS rates your risk factor, the higher your car insurance premium will be.

Should I buy car insurance directly from an insurer or through a broker?

Yes and no. Some insurers may quote more competitive premiums just to attract new customers, so it may be wiser to compare quotes via a comparison platform like MoneySmart or a broker before you renew. If you do not mind going through the details and reading the fine print yourself, you can also buy the car insurance directly from your preferred insurer.