Tesla owner faces heavy emissions fine

A Tesla Model S. Source: Wikimedia 

An owner of a Tesla Model S electric car in Singapore is facing a fine for high carbon dioxide emissions.

Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, has announced that he is in discussions with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to resolve the issue.

Joe Nguyen paid around US$51,000 for the electric Model S to be shipped from Hong Kong to Singapore and was expecting a rebate under Singapore’s Carbon Emissions Vehicle Scheme (CEVS).

However, he was fined S$15,000, (US$10,930) after his electric car underwent mandatory emissions testing by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA).

The LTA explained that the Model S was tested under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) standards which found the car consumed 444-watt hours of energy per kilometre.

“As for all electric vehicles, a grid emission factor of 0.5g 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,” said an LTA spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the agency had other electric cars tested in the past which had received a rebate from the authorities but this was the first time the agency had tested a Tesla.

Initially, Nguyen had to get his car legalised to use in Singapore, which took about two months.

Tesla said Nguyen’s Model S had energy consumption of 181-watt hours per kilometre when it was manufactured in 2014. The firm said CO2 emissions in gas cars were much higher compared to the Model S.

“In Singapore, electricity generation releases roughly 0.5kg CO2/kWh. Based on energy consumption in Model S of 181WH/km, this results in 90g CO2/km. Driving an equivalent gas-powered car like the Mercedes S-Class S 500 results in emissions of approximately 200g CO2/km,” Tesla said in a statement.

The California-based company is in communication with the LTA to resolve the problems with the test results. Tesla said it hoped the issue would be resolved soon.