In a turn of events, various government agencies have sprung into action following a private phone call from Tesla boss Elon Musk to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, confirmed the Prime Minister’s Office.
Musk had raised the issue of Land Transport Authority (LTA) slapping Joe Nguyan with an unusual tax of $15,000 for having a non-fuel-efficient car – Tesla Model S.
Mr Joe Nguyen, was reported to have spent months trying to get a licence for his Tesla Model S car to be driven on Singapore roads, and finally when he got one, Land Transport Authority did not give him the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) rebate of S$15,000. He was instead charged S$15,000 tax for having a non-fuel-efficient car instead.
An LTA spokesperson earlier explained that in Mr Nguyen’s case, the car was tested under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) R101 standards. The result was that the electric energy consumption of his imported used Tesla car was 444Wh/km.
“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 CEVS surcharge band,” the spokesperson added.
LTA is now working with Tesla Motors, to properly understand the issues and to ensure that LTA has correctly tested the Model S. Tesla does not have a office in Singapore.
A Tesla spokesperson has now informed that the Model S’ energy consumption was rated at 181 watt-hour/km when it left the Tesla factory on June 28, 2014.
LTA while acknowledging that a brand-new Model S would have qualified for a $30,000 CEVS rebate, said that it slapped Nguyen with the surcharge because it did “not know how much the car’s condition might have deteriorated.”
LTA justified its decision saying, “we cannot make exceptions as it would not be fair to other car owners.”
The Tesla spokesperson however was optimistic and said that they were “confident that this situation will be resolved soon.”
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