Singapore is doubling its tax on diesel to further discourage diesel consumption, the most recent addition to ongoing efforts to transition away from diesel.
From 18 February 2019, the excise duty on diesel fuel was increased from $0.10 per litre to $0.20 per litre, to discourage diesel consumption, Singapore’s main domestic source of fine particulate pollutants (PM2.5).
It’s the latest measure within a long-running system geared towards discouraging private vehicle ownership and promoting greater public transport use in the city-state.
Buying a car in the country is notoriously expensive, requiring prospective owners to own a “Certificate of Entitlement”, for which they must bid– a process used to control the size of the vehicle fleet on the entire island nation.
Among other recent policy developments is a “zero-growth” policy that kicked in this year, which holds constant the pool of available certificates from now on.
Also since January 2018, a vehicular emissions scheme began that provides rebates and imposes surcharges on all new vehicles based on their environmental impacts.
As of last year, Singapore completed the switch to Euro VI standards for all new diesel and petrol vehicles; commercial diesel vehicle owners have been enticed by an Early Turnover Scheme to replace their existing Euro II and Euro III vehicles for Euro VI– it has seen 27,000 takers since 2013, when it was introduced.
The country also has a peak-hour congestion-pricing system, and takes stringent enforcement action on on-road polluting vehicles.
But the country balances tight control on private vehicles with promoting greater public transport use– it is in the midst of expanding the extensive mass rapid transit rail network and building up its public bus fleet. It is also building cycling infrastructure, a move that could also support public health gains that contribute towards efforts by the government to get its citizens to exercise more.