In Singapore, small EVs are reclassified under the Cheap Cat A COE, which makes all cars.

In March this year, the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) announced that it would revise the Vehicle Quota System (VQS), which classifies vehicles into five COEs (Certificates of Entitlement). Under the compatible system, effective from the first COE bidding practice in May of this year, electric vehicles (EVs) with output up to 110 kW (147 hp) will now qualify for a Division A COE.

This is an increase from the previous maximum power output threshold of 97 kW (130 hp), where EVs exceeding this limit were classified under the more expensive category B COE. From May, EVs with only more than 110 kW of power output will fall under Category B.

Examples of EVs sold in Singapore that have moved from Category B to Category A due to this combination include Kia Nero Electric Short Range (100 kW), MG ZS EV (105 kW), Nissan Leaf (110 kW), Hyundai Kona Electric. Range (100 kW) and Hyundai Ioniq EV (100 kW). According to Business TimesThe number of EVs falling into Category A has increased from 10 to 20

Meanwhile, the B-category EVs with more than 110 kW of power output include Tesla Model 3, Polyester 2, MG5 Electric, Mercedes-Benz EQA and EQC, Volvo XC40 Recharge Pure Electric, Porsche Tycoon as well as BMW iX, iM In

It should be noted that this change will only affect EVs, as non-electric vehicles with an internal combustion engine will still comply with the previous requirements of Section A COE. Including engine capacity up to 1,600 cc and power output up to a maximum of 97 kW (130 hp), the Honda Civic is an example of a Category A COE car. Any car with an engine capacity of more than 1,600 cc or maximum power output of 97 kW (130 hp) will continue to fall into B class.

The decision to change the system is to allow for more mass-market EVs in Singapore under Category A COE and to promote the adoption of EVs as (somewhat) cheaper ownership. In 2017, 314 EVs were registered in Singapore, which increased to 560 units in 2018 when the Vehicle Emission Scheme (VES) was launched.

The following year, EV registration in Singapore doubled to 1,120 units and in 2021 to 2,942 units, indicating an increase in demand for EVs. However, the revised COE premium for EVs in Category A COE has also increased, affecting all buyers looking for a car in that category, whether fully electric or not.

Following the last tender practice that closed last Friday (May 6, 2022), the COE premium for category A was SGD70,901 (RM223,208), which I bought in April 3.2% higher than the second SGD68,699 (RM216,313). Meanwhile, the COE premium for B category was SGD92,090 (RM289,914), 2.3% higher than SGD90,002 (RM283,390) during the previous round of bidding.

The increase in COE premium from May 2022 to July 2022, despite having a larger quota of 11,951 (it was previously 10,452 from February 2022 to April 2022), The Straits Times Reporting that the general consensus among car dealers is that the demand was driven by the entry into the category of low powered EVs.

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