20 Jun 2017
Hybrid cars are hot in Singapore. According to a Straits Times report, 10,848 petrol-electric cars were registered in January 2017. This was a 70 per cent increase from 2015, when there were only 6,371. Even private-hire car services such as Uber and Grab are joining the hybrid wagon by adding hybrids to their fleet.
If you’re thinking of going green for your next ride, here’s what you should know.
How hybrid cars work
A hybrid car combines the benefits of a combustion engine with those of an electric motor. Its on-board computers constantly calculate when to use the electric motor, the gas motor, or a combination of the two for maximum fuel efficiency. At normal speeds, the engine is used in combination with the braking action to recharge the hybrid car’s batteries.
When you slow down, the car runs on the electric motor instead.
Consider the make and model
If you’ve decided that a hybrid car fits your lifestyle, it’s important to think about the make and model of the car. Also, what happens when you need to send it for repairs? Consider a model with repair centres that are readily available. Still undecided? Contact your motor insurance agent and find out the cost of insuring a hybrid to help you decide.
You’ll enjoy green rebates
To further encourage motorists to switch to models with lower emissions across all criteria and are overall cleaner, the Singapore government will implement a new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) beginning 1 January 2018. The lesser pollutants the vehicle emits, the more rebates motorists stand to enjoy. This new scheme will replace the current Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme, which will be extended to December 31 2017.
You’ll be saving in the long run
This depends on the type of hybrid car you drive, your driving habits and the price of fuel. Since a hybrid car can be 40 per cent more fuel-efficient than comparable petrol-powered ones, the savings would increase as the price of petrol increases. It’s even more beneficial for city drivers, as a hybrid car is more efficient during traffic jams when the electric motor is used most frequently.
You’ll be saving our planet
The greenest form of transport is public transport. However if you need to drive, a hybrid car ensures you’ll be helping the planet while you’re at it. While the savings over time is an advantage, the real motivation for going green is to help the planet in any way you can. That’s because most hybrid cars produce up to 90 per cent less pollutants when compared to conventional cars, have lower emissions and use less petrol.