Emissions for thought

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With the seemingly never-ending inflation of Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) prices, many of us have been struggling to come to terms with what the future of motorcycling in sunny Singapore will be like in the future. It is telling to see some people celebrating the latest drop in prices from $6,801 to $6,512 when people were complaining about how expensive a $4,289 COE was in 2014. With all the hype on COE prices recently, the fact that the LTA will be implementing Euro 4 emission standards for motorcycles has largely gone under the radar and we take a look at how that will affect our motorcycling community.

Although the Euro 4 standard will be made mandatory internationally on January 2016, an official letter has been submitted to the NEA (National Environment Agency) by the SMCTA as of March 2014, requesting for postponement of the implementation of Euro 4 standards. With a possible Euro 4 implementation period projected to be in 2017, the SMCTA has since advised local authorities to take a more progressive approach in Singapore due to various reasons, including the fact that the NEA did not provide the association with an Emission Reduction Effectiveness study for Singapore motorcycles.

The Euro 4 emission standards will mean that motorcycles have to produce 1.14g/km of carbon emissions instead of LTA’s current Euro 3 standard of 2g/km. This change will see further improvement in Singapore’s air quality as the shift towards more environmentally-friendly vehicles continues, Naturally this means the culling of less efficient vehicles that have been producing higher emissions. Despite the good intentions, the progression has resulted in lower-income earners who rely on their motorcycle for deliveries feeling marginalised, as they struggle to continue paying the imposed surcharges on their bikes.

In fact, this initiative isn’t exactly something new with the Euro 3 standards being implemented in October 2014 despite outcries from the motorcycling community. The turning point could be pointed back towards when NEA and LTA announced their new green initiative coupled with the ever-shrinking COE supplies. Motorcycle dealers had to clear existing stocks of motorcycles that did not meet the higher standards or risk not being able to register their motorcycles below the Euro 3 standard for COEs. People were also rushed into panic buying because a Euro 3 compliant motorcycle typically costs 20 to 30 per cent more than the Euro 1 models sold here. Motorcycle COE prices have risen steadily from $1,710 in November 2013 to record highs over and over again ever since without looking back. All these factors have resulted in motorcycles being priced at a premium.

While the local motorcycle community is embattled with the prospect of more current and new riders being deprived of the right to own a motorcycle, the motorcycle industry now has to contend with strangling international regulations on vehicle pollution standards.

Note: In issue #50 of Motorculture, we mentioned that Euro 4 will be implemented on 1st July 2015; this is incorrect. We apologise for the error on our part.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 8.20.38 pm green-business-graph

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