According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the government agency in Singapore responsible for overseeing roads, public and rapid transit, and private vehicles, the Tesla Model S, an electric car, is a high-polluting vehicle.
The LTA deemed the Model S to fall into their “C3” tax band, with emissions of 251-270 g/km of CO2. The C3 band carries with it a surcharge of $15,000 in Singapore Dollars ($10,883 in USD). This is the second highest emissions category, a group which includes the Land Rover Freelander (sold as the LR2 in North America) and the Lexus RX. Those two vehicles are SUVs, which are typically considered much less “environmentally-friendly” than a full-electric sedan. In addition, numerous diesel-powered cars, including a diesel-engined Volkswagen Touran, are grouped in the bands which give the owner a rebate.
A spokesman for the LTA said that the emissions figure was calculated based on a Model S’ hourly consumption of electricity, which they calculated as 444 Wh/km. They also said that this is the first Model S tested for emissions in the country. The owner, Joe Nguyen, stated that “I don’t get it, there are no emissions…these are not specs that I have seen on Tesla’s website, or anywhere else for that matter.”
Nguyen was trying to get his car registered under the A2 band, which would have merited a rebate of 15,000 SGD. That group includes multiple diesels, including the Volvo V40 and Citroen C4. Diesel-powered vehicles from a number of manufacturers have been at the center of investigations in several of countries, due to violations of local emissions statutes.