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Singapore Slaps Tesla Model S Owner With $11,000 Fine For High CO2 Emissions: Here's Why

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A Tesla Model S owner in Singapore was slapped with a fine for high CO2 emissions. Elon Musk, the co-founder and CEO of Tesla, has discussed the issue with Singapore's prime minister.

Joe Nguyen paid about $51,000 for the Model S and got the electric car from Hong Kong to Singapore. Nguyen was expecting a rebate under Singapore's Carbon Emissions Vehicle Scheme (CEVS). However, he got a shock when he was fined S$15,000, about $11,000, after his Model S underwent mandatory emissions testing by Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA).

A spokesperson for the LTA explained that the Model S in question was tested under the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) R101 standards. The test result of the electric car suggests that the vehicle consumed 444 watt hours of energy per kilometer.

"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 222 g/km, which is in the CEVS surcharge band," says the LTA spokesperson.

The spokesperson suggests that the agency has tested other electric cars in the past and those vehicles received rebate from the government. However, this is the first time that the agency had tested a Tesla electric vehicle.

Tesla has been swift to address the confusion. The company says that Nguyen's Model S left the factory in 2014 with energy consumption rated at 181 watt hours per kilometer. Tesla suggests that CO2 emissions in gas cars are much higher when compared to the Model S.

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

The company is having discussions with the LTA to better understand the issues related to the test results. Tesla is hoping that the situation will be sorted out soon. Hopefully, Nguyen will not have to pay the fine imposed on his Model S.

Musk is also aware of the problem and has confirmed via a tweet that he is discussing the issue with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Photo: Shal Farley | Flickr

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