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New green policies good but bring back diesel duty at pumps too

Attached Image There are few better ways to motivate people to go green than through the colour of money.
Thus, the higher petrol duty and tightened Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) are, in principle, effective environmental policies.
The 15-20 cent/litre increase in petrol duty came into effect yesterday, while the revised CEVS - with bigger carrots and bigger sticks - will kick in from July.
The former is supposed to persuade motorists to drive judiciously and to plan their routes before they set off. The latter aims to encourage car buyers to pick more carbon-efficient models.
Working in tandem, the two policies announced by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech yesterday should lead to cleaner air for everyone.
If drivers could reduce their mileage by just 10 percent, Singapore would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 210,000 tonnes a year. And if the average carbon emissions per car were reduced by a mere 20g/km, the country could cut down on such emissions by 234,000 tonnes a year.
That's a combined total of 444,000 tonnes of carbon reduced every year, not to mention commensurate cuts in toxins such as particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and benzene.
The figures are based on a car population of 650,000, an average mileage of 18,000km, and an assumed average carbon emission of 180g/km per car.
But the outcome could be even more promising if a few other related changes were made.
One is the re-introduction of diesel duty at the pumps.
Right now, the various diesel users each pay their respective duties upfront annually. This was meant to be a business-friendly initiative by capping duty payable. But what is good for business is bad for the environment.
Because they don't feel the pinch as they pay, diesel users do not see the need to curb wasteful behaviour, such as leaving engines running while stationary - even though this is illegal - or over-revving.
It is common to see taxis, delivery vans or buses spewing exhaust while they are parked.
And other road users know when a diesel vehicle is being driven hard, when they are left in the trail of black smoke.
Diesel is also the culprit in bootleg sales. Once the diesel pump duty was removed in 1998, "white pumps" selling non-branded fuel proliferated.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that fuels sold at these pumps do not meet the low-sulphur requirement in place here.
With the new announcements, cabbies driving petrol-run taxis will face the brunt of the hike in petrol duty.
Over time, they might shun these models and revert to diesel cabs.
This would be a shame, as cab operators like SMRT and Prime Taxi have been growing their environmentally friendly petrol-hybrid fleets.
Re-introducing the diesel duty at the pumps - and pegging it to petrol rates - would level the playing field on this front, and allow petrol cabs to compete fairly with their diesel counterparts.
Meanwhile, the revised CEVS would be far more meaningful if the rebates can be used to offset road or income taxes.
As it is, end-users do not realise the full benefit of a rebate, which is bundled with a car's list price. It would be easy for a dealer to raise prices before applying the CEVS - the consumer would be none the wiser.
Also, since the CEVS is offset against a car's Additional Registration Fee (ARF), its scrap value is also reduced accordingly, so the actual savings are far less than advertised.
Not only that, it will be buyers of fairly expensive cars who enjoy the full benefit of a top-tier CEVS rebate. This is because the minimum ARF payable is $5,000, so the open market value of a car has to be $35,000 or more for the maximum CEVS rebate of $30,000 to be fully realised.

by Christopher Tan

cevs, diesel duty and 2 more...

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Written by SGCM_editorial
The editorial team will be more than happy to feature all the latest cars and news. Really.

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Xanavi Feb 24 2015 03:06 PM
You are such a b**tard
Eyke Feb 24 2015 04:41 PM

ban diesel lah, since it is so evil.


use Flintstone power!

Jayy25 Feb 24 2015 04:50 PM

Seriously.... have the editors been banged on their head recently????


nowadays living standards have been raising and now with the increased petrol tax, it will be foreseen to be higher once the crude oil price head north to over 100USD again.


and you still can recommend on having diesel duty reinstate and pegged in align with petrol...


 do you really want to pay $5 for a small bowl of mee pok or $10 for a big plate of char kway teow???


if this govt want to be eco friendly, learn from the europeans....build more natural gas pump, and electric charging points... 


during my 3 years in Oslo, there are many hybrid and electric cars because of govt pro-activeness in creating an eco-system that sustain eco friendliness environment and not thru higher tax or new tax for driving. 



lastly, please think before you write anything and not just blah blah just to create an impression to your boss you are working.....

Zyklon Feb 24 2015 05:58 PM

If only there was a dislike button.

frenchfly Feb 24 2015 06:15 PM
But diesel taxes are more expensive than petrol counterparts. The writers got use brain or not, or he using his as s to write?
Vhtfhwlego Feb 24 2015 08:52 PM
If gov wants to go green, they can always introduce cng. If they really wanna go green, paperless like from coupons to submitting of documents etc.
Atonchia Feb 24 2015 09:41 PM

So Euro V standard is pure bullcrap?

They are unfriendly environmentally?

Crap logic

Atonchia Feb 24 2015 09:44 PM

For business, any incurred cost will be pass on to consumers, You really think the delivery drivers will go soft on the pedal just to save the world?

They are going hand to mouth daily and care more on their livelihood, to make more trips, to earn better KPI.


Which world you came from?

Ivanpaseo Feb 24 2015 10:46 PM

If they really wan green just sell full electric car in sg and build more charging stations...  sadly all this is just for show about green, petrol taxes are good to earn....

Dice Feb 25 2015 09:24 AM

this editorial is lopsided and made no consideration that euro V and even VI diesel vehicles are clean and more efficient, dont just lump commercial trunks with passenger variants...


your opinion on this diesel matter makes no sense, how about if drivers can maintain their mileage but use lesser fuel i.e. diesel vehicle, it would achieve the same end correct? And its more win-win right? Many passenger diesel vehicles can do 18-25km/l or better, say, compared to petrol variant which may average 10-12km/l... 

Ultroman Feb 25 2015 12:59 PM
There was no mention of the special tax that diesel vehicles have to pay during payment of road tax. A poor article just trying to play tic for toe. Anyway our government would have already known someone will bring this issue up. But the manner it was brought up feels like it was a quick piece of work to rub off the current sentiment
Watwheels Feb 25 2015 09:52 PM

LoL...I wonder what public buses run on. Hot air?

What the gahment wants is to cramp as many ppl into a public bus or a train. They do not want ppl to buy cars...period.

If you want to talk about green taking public tranport is the way to go. Cramp as many ppl into a diesel euro V bus or an mrt train that runs on electricity. That would minimise the carbon footprint of each individual taking bus/train. Now that's green. Driving a car needless to say has a larger carbon footprint be it a hybrid car or a supercar.

IMO green policies do not work in small and tiny Singapore. What gahment wants is to control the vehicular population to prevent it from getting out of hand. So it will intro all kinds of "policies" to police it. It would be naive to think "green policies" that will work in Singapore.

Detach8 Feb 26 2015 10:21 PM

You must be kidding. Euro5 diesel cars are at times much more carbon friendly than petrols, and also more fuel economical. If they introduce diesel duty, then the road tax would have to be reduced. There would be no incentive for businesses to upgrade to higher Euro standard diesel vehicles. AT present the Euro 5 road tax is a fraction of what the old Euro 3/4 tax costs. If one day we ever see diesel-hybrids that would be THE way to go.

Ake109 Mar 26 2015 06:26 PM

The main problem is that the majority of diesel drivers don't own or have to pay for the maintenance of their vehicles. So they get thrashed and spew fumes.


It doesn't matter what the factory emission specs on the brand spanking new EuroV/VI taxi says. After a couple years thrashing by our local cabbies, it is going to smoke. And will companies pay for the AdBlue and DPF maintenance?

Detach8 Mar 26 2015 10:55 PM

What are you talking about. Our diesels do not have adblue. The DPF is self-maintaining/auto-regenerating. Technology is improving. The purpose of diesel road tax was to make it more worthwhile for people with high mileage to use diesel as the fuel itself is not taxed. If this balance is taken out, then what's the differentiation between diesel and petrol? Like Watwheels said -- busses run on hot air izzit?

Ake109 Mar 26 2015 11:56 PM

What are you taking about. A DPF is not magic. Just like Cat Converters (who are 'non maintenance' items in a sense too), they will wear out over time and our diesels run for really high mileages.


You can always tweak the diesel road tax down.


Your last sentence, if directed at my post, is uncalled for. I can very well make one too. You think people work for free is it?

Spyder79 Apr 05 2015 08:59 AM

Don't really understand most of his articles , always make no sense. His directions is always so negative.

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