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Tesla owners in the US are eligible for various incentives for purchasing an electric vehicle. It's quite the opposite situation in Singapore, however, as one local recently found out.
Joe Nguyen has spent the past several months trying to import the Tesla Model S he purchased in Hong Kong to his home country. Nguyen anticipating receiving a rebate of S$15,000 (~$11,000) as the car has no exhaust pipe and thus, no emissions. Instead, he was hit with a fine of S$15,000 courtesy of the nation's Carbon Emissions Vehicle Scheme (CEVS).
A spokesperson for the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) told Channel NewsAsia that the Model S in question was tested under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) R101 standards. That test determined that the Tesla vehicle used 444 watt-hours per kilometer driven.
The LTA spokesperson provided the publication with the following explanation.
"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."
Or in other words, they're factoring upstream emissions – the environmental impact of producing the electricity to power the car – into the equation. Autoblog also points out that the top-of-the-line Tesla Model S P90D is rated to consume around 210 watt-hours per kilometer driven.