Home News Minister Masagos criticises Tesla cars saying they prioritize lifestyle, not climate

Minister Masagos criticises Tesla cars saying they prioritize lifestyle, not climate

The minister expressed the views that Tesla’s ‘Superchargers’ could pose a problem for Singapore.

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Last year, Elon Reeve Musk FRS co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla said in a tweet that the Singapore government is not supportive of electric vehicles.

In an interview on Wednesday (August 21) with Bloomberg, Minister for Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli shot back at Musk’s comments and asserted that his fancy Tesla cars are just “lifestyle” assets and not so much a solution to climate change.

“What Elon Musk wants to produce is a lifestyle. We are not interested in a lifestyle. We are interested in proper solutions that will address climate problems,” Minister Masagos said.

According to answers on popular forum website Quora, user and engineer Philip Remaker said there aren’t any Tesla cars in Singapore as, “The regulatory authorities of Singapore do not approve of Tesla’s electric cars”.

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He added, “Tesla pulled out of Singapore in 2011 when the Singapore Economic Development Board ruled the Tesla Roadster ineligible for tax breaks for “technical reasons,” rendering it uncompetitive in the Singapore market”.

Tesla cars are known because they run on sustainable, clean energy sources. Their all-electric vehicles are charged very quickly by ‘Superchargers’.

Masagos is confident Singapore is capable of converting “petrol cars to 100 per cent EVs” (electric vehicles),

But he expressed the views that Tesla’s ‘Superchargers’ could pose a problem for Singapore.

“Just choosing a parking spot is already problematic,” Masagos told Bloomberg.

“And now you want to say who gets the charging point. We do not have the solution yet.”

As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned in his National Day Rally last week, Singapore faces an existential threat from the impacts of climate change and it could cost more than S$100 billion ($72 billion) over the next century to protect it from rising sea levels, hotter temperatures and more intense rainfall.

Earlier this week, the Economic Development Board supported Royal Dutch Shell’s initiative in launching EV charging points at 10 Shell kiosks across the country. Next week, Sentosa will test-run a service that allows visitors to book rides on driverless electric shuttle buses.

SP Group — a state-owned electricity and gas provider — plans to roll out 1,000 EV charging points all over Singapore by next year.

James Dyson has also moved his company’s operations here and will have his first Dyson electric car manufacturing plant in Singapore next year. /TISG

Read related: CEO of Tesla: “Singapore govt is not supportive of electric vehicles”

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