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Singapore gets tough on vehicle pollution. How does this affect car and motorcycle owners?

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Several recent announcements point towards a government keen on reducing pollution caused by transportation.

All vehicle owners will feel the first in the hip pocket, as from April cars registered after 2014 will now need to pass a High Idle Emissions Test – checking exhaust emissions at 2,500rpm, rather than at idle, to better reflect real-world use – in the annual inspection, adding $6.42 to the fee.

Cars registered before 2014 and motorcycles will be tested for unburned hydrocarbons – considered a measure of how well the vehicle is maintained – for an extra $1.07.

New car buyers are feeling the changing times too. From the beginning of the year the Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) replaced the Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS).

VES assesses vehicles on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, as well as hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and, from July, particulate matter (PM).

The VES rebate or surcharge for the vehicle is determined by the worst-performing pollutant of the five being assessed. To help buyers make informed decisions, a new Vehicular Emissions Label replaces the familiar Fuel Economy Label, clearly displaying emissions in each class, fuel economy, and whether the vehicle attracts a $0, $10,000 or $20,000 rebate or surcharge. Apparently only fully electric vehicles qualify for the full $20,000 rebate under the new scheme.

De-registration of older motorbikes

Affecting fewer road users is the incentive to deregister older motorcycles. From April 6, 2018, the National Environment Agency will be offering an incentive of up to $3,500 for owners of motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, to de-register their motorcycles. (There are conditions, of course go here to see the full announcement.)

After June 30, 2028, these older motorcycles will no longer be allowed for use on Singapore’s roads.

The reasoning is that apparently while motorcycles make up only15 percent of the vehicle population, they contribute ‘around 50 percent’ of the carbon monoxide (CO) pollution from vehicles. To be fair to motorcyclists, this is a reflection of the regulations that applied at the time, which were much less stringent than those for cars. 

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