Real life Ironman, Elon Musk, is so powerful that he can pick up the phone and talk to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong anytime he wants.
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.
Channel NewsAsia earlier quoted an LTA spokesperson as explaining 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.
When Tesla Motors Club enthusiast Valdric Lim highlighted the plight of Mr Nguyen to the CEO of Tesla via a tweet, Musk responded saying, “we spoke earlier today and he (PM Lee) said he would investigate the situation.”
In 2011, Tesla opened an office in Singapore but they closed it six-months later because they did not qualify for ‘green-tax incentive’ from the Singapore Government. The Economic Development Board explained that Tesla had ‘not met technical requirements’ for the tax incentive.
During the PM’s recent visit to California, the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk gave Mr Lee a ride in the Tesla Model S P90D. Mr Lee described the ride as “a brief but exhilarating ride”
It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of the PM’s investigation in the surcharge and emission calculations for the Tesla.
But whatever transpires, Musk’s tweet only displays the power of silicon sultans to the whole wide world.
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