'Ineffective' car emission scheme being reviewed

Christopher Tan The Straits Times AsiaOne 11 Oct 14;

THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) is reviewing a scheme that rewards or penalises motorists based on the amount of carbon dioxide their cars emit.

The carbon emissions-based vehicle scheme (CEVS), which was introduced on Jan 1 last year and is slated to run till June 30 next year, has been criticised for being lax, biased and ineffective.

Cars with low carbon emissions receive rebates of between $5,000 and $20,000, which are offset against the vehicle's Additional Registration Fee (ARF). But motorists have complained this lowers the residual cost of the car.

Cars with high carbon emissions pay a registration surcharge of between $5,000 and $20,000.

Motor traders said the main beneficiaries have been sellers of European makes with small-capacity turbocharged direct-injection engines.

Experts have also questioned the effectiveness of CEVS in reducing air pollution.

Asian Clean Fuels Association executive director Clarence Woo said: "You can lower CO2 and yet not lower pollutants such as particulate matter."

Since Singapore plans to adopt the Euro 6 emission standard, which specifies a big reduction in pollutants such as fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, the CEVS could be refined towards meeting this objective, he said.

LTA met motor industry representatives on Tuesday to inform them of the review and gather feedback. The Straits Times understands several industry players have suggested rewards be delinked from ARF.