Electrified cars charge forward in Singapore in first half 2021

Derryn Wong

The first half of 2021 already equalled 2020’s growth, full-electric vehicles registrations saw a 30 percent jump. Nissan, Toyota, Audi sold most electrified cars in the top 10

– More electrified cars here in the first six months of 2021 than all of 2020.
– Hybrids still the dominant electrified car type, but fully-electric cars saw 27 percent jump
– 31 percent of cars sold by the top 11 brands were electrified
– Of the top 10 brands, Nissan, Toyota, and Audi lead in electrified car sales by proportion

Electrified motoring continues to surge here. While electrified cars* still make up just eight percent of the total car passenger car population here, at 50,951 cars this is the highest it’s been to date, and its growth continues to accelerate.

Electrified cars include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, battery electric vehicles, and diesel-electric hybrids.

Compare that to 2020, where electrified cars only made up 6.9 percent of the total, and 2019, where it was 5.9 percent. Petrol cars made up 89.2 percent of the total in 2021’s first half, compared to 90.2 percent in 2020. 

In fact, in the first six months of 2021, the number of electrified cars on the roads here grew by 7,319, or 16.8 percent. That’s already higher than the growth of the electrified car population for all of 2020, where it grew 6,302, or 16.9 percent. 

Breaking down the circuit

Graph bars are not to scale

Numerically, hybrids still make up the majority (96 percent)of electrified vehicles here, and they saw the largest addition to their numbers in the first half of 2021. Most of those cars would have been mild hybrids.

With 48,758 in total, there were 6,913 hybrids added to Singapore’s roads in the first six months of 2021, or 16.5 percent. That’s something CarBuyer anticipated – with the enhanced Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) kicking off in 2021 and further incentivising vehicles, like hybrids, that pollute less.

BMW’s X3 is the only car here offered as a petrol, PHEV or full-electric BEV – and the latter is the one to pick. We explain why!

PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) saw similar growth, swelling by a modest 13.2 percent. That might be down to the fact that PHEVs can be seen as a flexible alternative to going full-electric and away from petrol, but it also reflects the fact that Singaporean drivers get the same benefits by simply going to full electric – if you have a place to charge it everyday, going full battery-electric makes more sense if you’re not planning on taking long trips.  

The popular narrative is that electric cars will only take off when charging infrastructure is widespread. In reality though, it will be a turn of the dimmer rather than the flick of a switch. Landed properties, where home charging is less of an issue, only make up five percent of residential properties here, but one could also assume these homeowners are more well-represented in private car ownership as well.

This hardcore BMW fan is going from turbo petrol power to electric – he explains why

That’s one reason why fully-electric cars that surged ahead by the highest percentage in the first half of 2021 – by adding 332 cars to its ranks, it’s increased by almost a third, or 27.3 percent – but the main reason is the EEAI rebate.

And that’s without counting the ‘T Word’: Tesla. In the first half of 2021, the American luxury BEV maker put 30 cars on the roads here, but here’s the thing: Those were parallel imports, since Tesla has only just begun official deliveries to its customers in late July. We will see an increase in BEV sales towards the end of the year because of that, as well as other German luxury electric cars – Audi is launching its E-Tron GT electric sedan, and BMW could have its first electric sales hit with the least expensive luxury BEV SUV around, the iX3

Continue to Page 2: The most electrified brands here in Singapore? You probably didn’t guess the brand ‘Ni… or Au…’

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Analysis BEV electric car electric cars electrification EV Hybrid hybrid car industry sales

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's chief editor brings 15 years of experience in automotive journalism. Previously, he was the editor for Top Gear Singapore, and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment. He's contributed to The Business Times, Today, and many other publications, and also covered technology as editor of Stuff magazine. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he is the Chief Slave of two cats. Follow him on Instagram @werryndong

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