The Renault Twizy, an electric quadricycle that has been cruising along on European roads, is likely to hit a roadblock here.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has reportedly assessed that the battery-powered vehicle "is not fit for public roads".
According to an online report published on Monday by motoring news magazine CarBuyer, "LTA has not informed Renault dealer Wearnes Automotive that the vehicle does not meet local (standards), but the conclusions already seem certain".
In response to My Paper, LTA said yesterday that it received an application last month "from Renault Singapore to type-approve the Twizy as a motorcycle for use on our roads".
Equipped with four wheels and weighing just 474kg, the eco-friendly vehicle can seat two passengers - one behind the other - and is about the size of a large motorcycle.
Under the Road Traffic Act, a motorcycle has fewer than four wheels and an unladen weight of not more than 400kg.
Hence, the Twizy cannot be classified as a motorcycle.
"As our initial evaluation shows that the vehicle does not fall within the classification for motorcycles, we have asked for more information from Renault Singapore before we can confirm if the Twizy can be approved for use as a vehicle on our roads," an LTA spokesman said.
If it were to be categorised as a small car, it would cost almost $100,000 - far more than the $25,000 it would cost if categorised as a motorcycle.
The certificate of entitlement (COE) premium for small cars - up to 1,600cc and 130bhp - is now $63,190, while that for motorcycles stands at $4,089.
When My Paper contacted Wearnes Automotive yesterday, a spokesman said: "We have not received an official response and we are still reviewing with LTA. Nothing has been confirmed."
The Twizy can be found on the roads of many European nations, including Britain, France and Italy. Over 11,000 units have been sold worldwide so far.
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