New emissions scheme, tighter standards to curb air pollution: Masagos

New emissions scheme, tighter standards to curb air pollution: Masagos

While emissions of pollutants from vehicles have fallen, the Environment and Water Resources Minister says more needs to be done

SINGAPORE: Rebates or surcharges under the new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) will be determined by its worst-performing pollutant, to encourage buyers to choose car and taxi models with lower emissions. Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said this in Parliament on Wednesday (Mar 8) as part of his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate.

The new scheme was first announced during the Budget this year, as a replacement to the Carbon Emissions-Based Scheme (CEVS) for all new cars, taxis and newly imported cars. The CEVS, introduced in 2013, and revised in 2015, was aimed at encouraging owners to move towards vehicles with low carbon dioxide emissions. The new scheme will expand on this, to include four other pollutants - hydrocarbons (HC), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM).

Providing more details, the National Environment Agency said rebates and surcharges for cars will range between S$10,000 and S$20,000, while those for taxis will range between S$10,000 and S$30,000, depending on the vehicle’s worst-performing pollutant.

It said similar to the CEVS, rebates and surcharges for taxis under the new scheme will be 50 per cent higher to encourage taxi companies to adopt fleets with lower emission models. That is because taxis clock a higher mileage than cars.

It will affect all cars and taxis registered from Jan 1, 2018, to Dec 31, 2019. NEA said the scheme will be reviewed regularly and take into account purchasing decisions by motorists, technological advances and Singapore’s overall efforts to mitigate climate change and air pollution.

Meanwhile, NEA said the existing CEVS will be extended by six months to the end of this year, to give vehicle dealers time to prepare for the new scheme, and import cleaner models.

TIGHTER EMISSION STANDARDS VEHICLES AND MOTORCYCLES

New emission standards for petrol vehicles and motorcycles plying the roads will also be introduced, said Mr Masagos. He said such standards are already in place in places like Europe and Japan, and can be “easily met” by vehicles that are properly maintained.

NEA said new petrol vehicles and motorcycles will have to meet lower limits of carbon monoxide from Apr 1, 2018. Meanwhile, hydrocarbon limits will be introduced for all petrol vehicles and motorcycles plying the roads from next year.

NEA said hydrocarbon is a precursor to ozone, and both carbon monoxide and ozone are known to cause nausea and affect respiratory functions. The revised standards are expected to reduce CO emissions by 55 per cent, and hydrocarbon emissions by half.

ENHANCED EARLY TURNOVER SCHEME

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the extension of the Early Turnover Scheme in his Budget speech in February. Since it was introduced in 2013, the Scheme has resulted in more than 27,000 older diesel vehicles being replaced with less pollutive ones.

Mr Heng said the scheme will be extended until Jul 31, 2019, to encourage owners of the older and more pollutive Euro II and III commercial vehicles to replace them for the cleaner Euro VI ones.

Providing more details, Mr Masagos said the scheme will be enhanced by increasing the Certificate of Entitlement bonus for light goods vehicles from the current 13 per cent to 35 per cent.

Mr Masagos said industry feedback and other findings have shown that light goods vehicles are a major contributor of diesel pollution due to their high numbers plying the roads. “We hope that through this, more diesel commercial vehicles and buses will switch to Euro VI models or cleaner electric hybrids or petrol alternatives,” he said.

Source: CNA/mo

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