I love cars.

So do 4.5 million other Singaporeans.

The problem is that there is limited land in Singapore. So there are various measures in place to limit the number of cars on the road, such as the COE car ownership quota system and high car taxes.

The road tax is calculated based on the engine capacity of the vehicle, and designed to encourage small cars especially 1600cc and below.

I don’t quite agree with this but at least it makes sense: small-engined cars are, as a rule of thumb, more fuel-efficient than those fitted with thumping V8 powerplants.

Singapore is a city-state, so we spend most of our time in start-stop traffic. This is exactly the scenario that hybrid cars are designed for.

Hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, have a conventional petrol and an electric motor. At low speeds, they are powered solely by the electric motor. The petrol engine only kicks in at higher speeds, making them eminently ideal for urban driving.

So why is Singapore discouraging the ownership of hybrid cars?