LTA should stand firm on Tesla case

I urge the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to stand firm while under pressure from car manufacturer Tesla Motors ("LTA reviewing Tesla case"; yesterday).

A car that is supposed to consume 181 watt-hour/km turns out to actually consume 444.

Kudos to the LTA for doing its own investigations.

I know most countries give generous tax breaks on Tesla cars, but there have also been many people in the United States who question if it is really fair for the government to subsidise rich people's toys and conspicuous consumption. It is not Singapore's policy to provide government "welfare" to billionaires.

Tesla's business model does not merit tax breaks, considering Singapore's car-lite endeavour ("Carmaker eyeing S'pore re-entry"; yesterday).

Tesla is not the solution to Singapore's traffic issues ("Right move to tax 'performance' cars" by Mr Sum Kam Weng ; Wednesday).

Who needs a car here that can go 210kmh (the top speed of the Model S) when the maximum speed limit here is 90kmh?

Many surveys in Norway and Germany have concluded that over their entire lifespan, from production to decommissioning, most electric vehicles pollute more than ordinary family cars running on petrol or diesel.

That is if the power is generated from fossil fuels, as is the case in Singapore.

The ideal car for city driving has already been invented: It is the small hybrid car, such as the Toyota Prius C, that does not draw power from the grid but instead recycles energy collected while decelerating.

Morten Strange

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 12, 2016, with the headline 'LTA should stand firm on Tesla case'. Print Edition | Subscribe