Singapore Plans to Ban Petrol and Diesel Cars by 2040

Singapore has announced plans to ban the internal combustion engine by 2040. According to the country’s Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, during his recent budget speech, the country will convert to cleaner energy—ie. electric cars—as part of their efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

Unlike other countries which have also declared war on the ICE—such as the UK, France and Denmark, which are imposing the ban on new cars only—Singapore is taking it one step further by requiring every vehicle on the road to run on clean energy. Singapore already places a high premium on car ownership and is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy a car—and electric cars comes with a premium price tag.

And yet, it is also a tax haven for the rich and the sight of luxury sports cars cruising down the roads are not uncommon. Fortunately for petrolheads with deep pockets, these luxury marques are also going down the electric route, with Porsche launching the Taycan and Ferrari conceding that they could be adding an electric car to their line-up from 2025 onwards. Heng did also announce measures to ease the transition to electric vehicles would include a registration fee rebate.

Presently, public charging points across the island state are only 1,600, but the government plans to increase this to 28,000 points by 2030.

There is the argument that electrification of roads simply moves the pollution point—much of the world’s electricity generation is still reliant on fossil fuel. Singapore has promoted the use of natural gas in recent years and about 95% of the country’s electricity is generated from natural gas. Natural gas, which emits about half the carbon compared to burning coal, is widely regarded as cleaner and a “bridge” between fossil fuel and clean energy.

Some environmental advocates and agencies, though, warn that methane, which is the main component of natural gas, could be much worse for the environment than carbon dioxide. So, thanks to governments around the world, we could actually be speeding up our progress towards environmental disaster.

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