3/11/2016

More Questions on LTA’s Wrongful Tesla Decision

Mystery Deepens in Singapore’s War on the Tesla All-Electric Vehicle

More questions emerged even as the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) attempted to explain further its decision to impose a S$15,000 carbon tax surcharge on a Tesla pure electric vehicle (EV) which emits no CO2 from its non-existent exhaust. 

The LTA claimed to have relied on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) R101 standards. UNECE told a Singapore news agency that Singapore is not one of the contracting parties to the 1958 Agreement which ratifies the harmonisation of vehicle regulations.  In any case, the UNECE R101 standards do not have any provisions to measure non-existent carbon emission of all-electric vehicle like the Tesla Model S.   

The news agency quoted Mr Jean Rodriguez the UNECE Information Chief that the “LTA appears to have applied UNECE R101 correctly when assessing the carbon emission of a used Tesla Model S recently”.  Yet, the only R101 protocol pertaining to pure electric vehicles only specifies the way to measure the energy consumption of the vehicle or “tank-to-wheel”.  The alleged statement by Chief Rodrigeuz would thus “appear” disingenuous since it is inconsistent with the capability of his R101 Standards.


It is however unknown whether VICOM, the Singapore vehicle inspection company, has been assessed to have the necessary equipment and has actually been certified by UNECE to conduct the R101 tests so as to make the relevant valid computations.

Chief Rodrigeuz also further pointed out that Singapore LTA appears to be the only national regulator to have included power grid emission into the evaluation of electric vehicles’ (EVs) carbon footprint.  What this means is that the LTA had acted arbitrarily when factoring in the power grid emission without scientific support from any international authoritative test or quality standards.

From the determination of electric energy consumption to the attribution of carbon emissions by the Tesla EV would require the LTA to adopt a series of assumptions not hitherto supported by any international protocol or quality standards. The results are understandably dubious and questionable.  For example, the LTA claimed to have calculated that the electric energy consumption of the imported used Tesla car to be 444Wh/km, and translated that to the equivalent of 222g/km of CO2 after factoring a grid emission factor of 0.5 CO2/Wh.

Actually, the official Singapore’s Grid Emission Factor is about 0.43g CO2/Wh not 0.5 g.  And the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had recommended electric energy consumption of almost half of 444Wh/km for city driving.

Now we know a little more how LTA determined and subjected the Tesla EV to the resultant C3 S$15,000 carbon tax surcharge band under its Singapore's Carbon Emission-based Vehicle (CEV) Scheme, thus placing the Tesla all-Electric Vehicle with non-EV car models like the Mazda 8, Land Rover Freelander, Lexus RX270 and Maserati Ghibli. 

In other words, the LTA has deemed the Tesla Model S pure electric vehicle to be as polluting as the other fossil-fuel vehicle addicts.

Seriously, LTA? This would of course make Singapore a laughing stock in the world of sustainable energy and sustainable electric mobility. 

This incident with the Tesla EV severely tested the capability of our fossil-fuel based authorities and the limits of fossil-fuel vehicle regulations.  We are found seriously wanting and in need of fundamental change in our mindsets, policies and practices.

In the final analysis, the LTA has actually made a decision error in the Tesla EV case.  It failed to apply and follow its own definition and policy.  The LTA has already defined carbon emissions explicitly in its CEV Scheme as “the release of carbon dioxide from the use of a vehicle” and it “measures … the weight of carbon dioxide (CO2) released for every kilometre that the vehicle is driven”.   

It is thus disingenuous to compound its error by confusing sustainability-minded motorists with references to irrelevant and non-universal variables and factors.   Singapore’s reputation as a leader and active warrior against climate change by making fossil fuel history has been damaged by this incident.  Let’s restore our reputation for political leadership and hard-headed decision-making.

11 comments:

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Mike, CO2 is like shit. One can shit in the toilet or in the public.

CO2 is produced when fuel is converted into electricity by burning coal, oil or gas etc. When this process takes place, CO2 is the by product, like shit. A petrol car shit on the roads. An electric car left its shit at the power station. Both shit and how much shit is produced depends on the efficiency of the car, petrol or electric.

Electric cars also produced CO2 indirectly, at the power station. The manufacturers of electric cars should come clean and not to perpetuate a myth to mislead by saying electric car did not produce CO2. Technically it did, or it didn't, not on the roads.

They still leave behind a big carbon footprint.

Michael Heng PBM said...

LTA conflates its own decision error by spinning the power plant argument and quoting the UN standard which Singapore is not even a signatory.
LTA's own CEV document measures CO2 emission from the car exhaust:
See pg 1, footnote (1):
http://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=8aa03b88-409f-4852-b2df-09077e101468

That's why, I have proposed using solar and urban wind power as the source to charge an 100% EV population:
http://miko-wisdom.blogspot.com/2015/10/singapore-combats-climate-change-future.html

Anyway, shits on the road is LTA's business ie Ministry for Transport; and shits at the power station is NEA's purview ie Ministry for the Environment. WHY is LTA arguing on behalf of the MEnv? Not very smart ...

Anonymous said...

redbean is one of a rare breed of Singaporeans who understands the issues.

In comparing electric cars with petrol or diesel vehicles;
you must compare the entire carbon footprint of the vehicle and its components.
- from its manufacture to its final disposal

But having said this;
I will still say that LTA is wrong.
But I will not say why.
Why should I teach these LTA Millionaireas for free?

Isn't it better to let the LTA Millionaires be exposed and subjected to global scrutiny?
If the LTA Millionaires are really that good, they can ownself defend ownself.
Just like Singaporeans ownself have to defend ownself.

Let the elite Millionaires get a taste of "You die is your business".

Anonymous said...

The rich is complaining the lost of 5 cents.
Y a w n.

Veritas said...

Michael Heng is a disgrace to EEE. The diesel engine efficiency is 54% and natural gas plant is 35%.

Also there a transmission loss and voltage transformation loss.

Singapore being at equator has no wind. We have sun but solar need large space. PAP already want 10% of energy be from sun.

PAP is clever and this EV is more toxic than combustion engine.

Too many more arts/business school type of people in industries and NGO and they are entirely illogical asshole. They are anti development.

Anonymous said...


Veritas, you are engineer? Where you buy degree?
Must be kidding! What nonsense you said!
Shaddup ...!

Anonymous said...

Mayb a coe for releasing co2 is needed

Anonymous said...

Each human being releases more CO2 than the Tesla;
so every baby should pay a carbon tax surcharge?
At birth and every year ...!
Ya, to be fair and consistent, right?

Anonymous said...

Eh, eh, this is a very dangerous suggestion. In this cuntry, it can happen you know?

Anonymous said...

Making babies emits more co2 then 1 baby.

Anonymous said...


Did you just fart?
That's MORE CO2 than the Tesla ...!