Elon Musk claims PM Lee 'would investigate' Singapore's Tesla situation

Elon Musk claims PM Lee 'would investigate' Singapore's Tesla situation

Yesterday, my family and I went to Turf City to look at pre-owned cars. Our 20-year-old Nissan March is dying and we had to replace it pronto. While looking at the automobiles, I went, "Maybe there's a Jeep in here somewhere."

My dad then responded, "Nah. You won't find it in a used car store. Jeeps are the rarest cars in Singapore."

If only he knew. Because Jeeps were never in the running for the rarest cars you can buy in Singapore today.

It's Tesla.

The gist

Last week, we wrote about an IT-professional who's the only legal person to drive a Tesla in Singapore. Joe Nguyen purchased a Tesla Model S from Hong Kong more than a year ago. Much to his dismay, he had to forked out a whopping $15,000 tax for having a non-fuel-efficient car.


If you recall from our post, Tesla is an electric car that produces zero emissions, and is equipped with a smart driving system.

In an interview with Stuff, Joe explained his disappointment, "These are not [the] specs that I have seen on Tesla's website, or anywhere else for that matter. And then underneath [the results from VICOM], there's a conversion to CO2 emission."

This is the first time the Tesla Model S has been tested for emissions.


LTA's explanation

A Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesperson has divulged that the Tesla Model S was tested under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) R101 standards. It was reported that the electric energy consumption of Nguyen's imported used Tesla car was 444Wh/km.

In an interview with Channel News Asia, the LTA spokesperson further added, "As for all electric vehicles, a grid emission factor of 0.5 g CO2/Wh was also applied to the electric energy consumption. This is to account for CO2 emissions during the electricity generation process, even if there are no tail-pipe emissions. The equivalent CO2 emission of Mr Nguyen's car was 222g/km, which is in the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme surcharge band," and hence the Tesla S would need to be taxed.

Now what?

The long and arduous process that Nguyen went through has caused a major uproar in Singapore. Last Friday, 22-year-old Valdric Lim, who has caught wind of the situation, tweeted his frustration to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. The good news? Elon Musk replied to his tweet.

This was his response:


All hope's not lost

Tesla is akin to the most popular clique in school. We want to squeeze in and be part of the exclusive gang, but we know it's a silly wish and that it's not going to happen anyway. Ever since the American automobile company closed its operations in Singapore, local car aficionados have been feeling left out. The obstacles Ngyuen went through is unbelievable, to say the least.

But now that Musk and our Prime Minister are joining forces to get to the bottom of it, there is a chance of a favourable outcome. The odds aren't looking good. They aren't looking bad, either. Hopefully with these big kahunas, there will be beneficial changes to the current framework.

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