This has led to speculation that Tesla’s owner, Elon Musk, may have changed his mind about Singapore’s government being “unwelcome,” which he tweeted in January 2019. Mr Musk had been asked several times about why Tesla is not in Singapore, where the company seems to be a natural fit.
Govt has been unwelcome
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 3, 2019
A few months ago, in July, Tesla, arguably the world’s leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, started advertising for such jobs as store leader and sales advisers in Singapore. More recently, there have been positions open on LinkedIn for senior developers as well, although how many people are needed by the company is still unclear.
According to Bloomberg, a representative for Tesla in Beijing has declined to comment on the matter.
As to whether the government has become more welcoming of Tesla or Mr Musk has changed his mind on the issue, is still uncertain. In May 2018, when a netizen on social media asked him to “do something” that would let Singaporeans buy Teslas in the country, he answered, “We tried, but Singapore government is not supportive of electric vehicles.”
We tried, but Singapore govt is not supportive of electric vehicles
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2018
In the meantime, Tesla has set up shop in many areas in the region, such as Tokyo, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Taipei.
Bloomberg further said that the company is planning on shipping the vehicles manufactured in Shanghai to other Asian countries, including Singapore, by as early as the end of this year or the beginning of 2021.
Earlier in the year, the government announced that fossil fuel-powered vehicles would be phased out by 2040, adding to the push for the public to opt for electric cars.
Mr Musk had also tweeted in 2018 that Singapore “has enough area to switch to solar or battery (power)” and be “energy-independent” in response to tweets that said the country’s economy “is reliant upon fossil fuels.”
In 2016, when the owner of a Tesla was fined S$15,000 in carbon surcharges, Mr Musk said he reached out to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
After Mr Musk made his January 2019 remark about the government of Singapore being ‘unwelcoming,’ Masagos Zulkifli, minister for environment and water resources, responded.
The Minister said, “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.” —/TISG