First, there was a testing process to get the car legalized in Singapore that took a couple of months. Then, instead of receiving a S$15,000 ($10,880) rebate under Singapore's Carbon Emissions Vehicle Scheme (CEVS), Nguyen was actually hit with a fine for that amount after the car underwent mandatory " emissions" testing by the country's Land Transport Authority (LTA) and it was determined that the Model S was not environmentally friendly.
The issue is so-called "upstream" emissions and the Model S was judged to use enough electricity to be judged as a polluter. We're still trying to figure out the math, but, suffice to say, Model S was estimated to use 444 watt-hours per kilometer driven. Given that the top-of-the-line Tesla Model S has a 90 kilowatt-hour capacity and can provide about 270 miles on a full charge, it uses – according to official US specs – about 210 watt-hours per kilometer. We're a little bit confused by the arithmetic Singapore is using here and the reason for calculating upstream emissions for a plug-in vehicle, unless the regulators do the same for gas-powered cars. A pro-EV Member of Singapore's Parliament, Ong Teng Koon, told the Straits Times that, "From the government's perspective, this is a rare carbon emissions reduction policy where the abatement cost would be voluntarily borne by consumers... rather than being paid for by the government."
Elon Musk wonders what's happening, too. The Tesla chief was already in good standing with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who toured California's Silicon Valley last month and took a "brief but exhilarating" ride in a Tesla Model S P90D, according to Straits Times. In a March 4 Tweet, Musk said that he and the prime minister "spoke earlier today and he said he would investigate the situation." A Tesla representative didn't respond to a follow-up request for comment from AutoblogGreen, but we'll update this post if we hear back.