EVs with less than 110kW /147hp eligible for Category A COE from May 2022

Derryn Wong

New LTA ruling means more EVs in the ‘mainstream’ Category A for Certificate of Entitlement (COE) in Singapore come May 2022

SINGAPORE – The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced today that it will “revise the Category A Maximum Power Output (MPO) threshold for electric cars from 97kW to 110kW.”

The move is part of the LTA’s efforts to reduce Singapore’s transport emissions by 80 percent of its 2016 level, which will also include increased electrification of most vehicles here and the adoption of renewable energy.

For potential electric car owners it’s good news: This means that electric cars with a power output of less than 147hp/110kW will now be eligible for a Category A COE, and could see their prices reduced by as much as S$30,000.

Currently, COE Category A (the ‘mainstream’ category) are defined by engine capacity (up to 1,600cc, or 1.6-litres) and/or power output, below 97kW/130hp. Cars exceeding those figures are placed into Category B, which is perceived as the luxury, or at least, non-mainstream COE category.

Watch to see what EVs are coming to Singapore in 2022!

From the last round of COE bidding, February’s second round, a Category A COE costs S$63,000, while a Category B COE costs S$93,590, or 50 percent more. This price difference means EVs switching from Cat B to A could become S$30k cheaper in May, which is when the new ruling kicks in.

COE CategoryCurrent (for COEs obtained before May 2022’s first COE bidding exercise)Revised (for COEs obtained from May 2022’s first COE bidding exercise onwards)
ACar with engine capacity up to 1,600cc and MPO up to 97kW (130bhp)Car, except fully electric car, with engine capacity up to 1,600cc and MPO up to 97kW (130bhp); and fully electric car with MPO up to 110kW (147bhp)
BCar with engine capacity above 1,600cc or MPO above 97kW (130bhp)Car, except fully electric car, with engine capacity above 1,600cc or MPO above 97kW (130bhp); and fully electric car with MPO above 110kW (147bhp)
LTA supplied chart showing the new COE Category A rules

The reason is to support the adoption of electric cars, said the LTA in its announcement. Because electric motors, unlike combustion engines, can be more easily designed to make more horsepower, that means most EVs have more than 130hp. Secondly, most overseas markets do not have a power cap or ruling similar to Singapore’s.

Mr Sujar Ravikumar, secretary of EVAS (second from the left), at EV Weekend’s panel discussion

“We’re hoping that this will encourage automakers and dealers to bring in more models to the market, because they will now qualify for Cat A. In parallel, existing models which move to Cat A should get a boost in sales as they may be up to $30k cheaper,” said Mr Sujay Ravikumar, Secretary, Electric Vehicle Association Singapore.

The move will make some EVs cheaper – butwhich ones? CarBuyer has already rounded up five of them, including the Kia Niro EV, one of our favourite mainstream EVs on the market.

That will only hold true, of course, if the difference remains the same – throughout history Cat A and B have fluctuated quite a bit and even been almost identical at times. But CarBuyer believes the difference between Cat A and Cat B will continue to hold for now.

Why the use of inverted commas on ‘mainstream’, though? Well since COE categories for passenger cars began taking into account power output in 2013, CarBuyer has said that it doesn’t really work as it is extremely difficult to put an single threshold figure on what constitutes a ‘mainstream’ car or not.

Electric public transport, EV charger rollout in HDB estates, solar power

The LTA also announced measures to electrify public transport fleets: By 2040, it said, all bus fleets here will run on ‘clean energy’ and with half the fleet electric by 2030, likewise for taxi fleets. It will also work with private hire car operators to increase EV takeup rates.

As mentioned in the Green Plan 2030, Singapore will have 60,000 public charging points by the same deadline. The LTA gave more details on that, saying that ‘every HDB town will be EV-Ready by 2025’, meaning all of Singapore’s 2,000 HDB carparks will have at least three electric chargers by that time. As reported by CarBuyer, the first HDB public EV chargers have already been rolled out.

“We know from our general population survey that the number one reason that Singaporeans cite for not considering EVs is the perception of an underdeveloped charging infrastructure. Having this announcement that every HBD carpark will have at least three EV chargers means that there’s going to be a lot more access and visibility of charging stations. We see that as a positive move to address some of the concerns that many people have, as people will see chargers where they live, and start considering purchase of an EV,” said Mr Ravikumar.

The LTA plans to introduce solar power to the transport network by building solar panels ‘on the roofs of new or recently-upgraded land transport infrastructure such as rail and bus depots, offices and facility buildings.’ It hopes to build enough panels to deliver 20MWp (megawatts peak) of power.


Cat A Cat B coe electric EV law legislation lta rules Singapore

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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