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Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it was re-examining the case of a used electric car that was issued a $15,000 carbon surcharge.

11 Mar 2016 | Local News : Singapore



While confirming that a brand new Tesla Model S would have qualified for a "green" rebate, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it was re-examining the case of a used electric car that was issued a $15,000 carbon surcharge, reported The Straits Times.

The car - the first and only Tesla Model S here - was imported by Mr. Joe Nguyen, a 44-year old Senior Vice President with an Internet research firm.

The latest turn of events came just days after Tesla boss Elon Musk called Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after news of the Model S' seemingly anomalous surcharge reached him. The Prime Minister's Office told The Straits Times that various agencies are looking into the case.

The car was first registered in Hong Kong in 2014, and had clocked about 1,000km before it was shipped here.

The LTA said tests conducted by the Vicom Emission Test Laboratory showed the car had a power consumption of 444 watt-hour/km. After factoring in carbon dioxide emissions of 0.5g/watt-hour at the power plants, the car's emission was deemed to be 222g/km. This puts it in the $15,000 surcharge band under the Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS).

Tesla Motors has informed the LTA that the Model S's energy consumption was rated at 181 watt-hour/km when it left the Tesla factory on June 28, 2014. A brand new Model S would have qualified for a $30,000 CEVS rebate, the LTA noted.

But Mr. Nguyen's car was not new. All imported used cars have to be tested individually since their efficiency can vary, depending on "how they were maintained". The LTA said it "would not know how much the car's condition might have deteriorated" otherwise. "We cannot make exceptions as it would not be fair to other car owners," it added.

Tesla spokesman Atsuko Doi said the company is in discussions with the LTA "to ensure a proper understanding of these issues, and to make sure that they are correctly testing our customer's Model S".

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