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A Singapore government official has criticized Tesla and its chief executive Elon Musk for offering a lifestyle choice rather than a solution to the challenges climate change presents, Bloomberg reports.
In an interview with the new agency, the city state’s minister for the environment and water resources, Masagos Zulkifli, said "What Elon Musk wants to produce is a lifestyle. We are not interested in a lifestyle. We are interested in proper solutions that will address climate problems."
Singapore, which is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels resulting from the melting of the ice caps, has prioritized its fight with climate change but it has bet mostly on promoting public transport over personal vehicles, including, apparently, EVs.
Yet EVs are not out of the question as a means of reducing the city state’s carbon footprint, according to Masagos. They would just be a difficult solution to implement as the vast majority of Singaporeans live in densely populated urban areas. This, according to the minister, poses a serious challenge for developing a charging network for EVs.
"Just choosing a parking spot is already problematic," Masagos told Bloomberg. "And now you want to say who gets the charging point. We do not have the solution yet."
Even so, Shell recently opened its first EV charging point at a fuel station in Singapore. Fuel stations are the obvious choice for charging points, at least initially. The supermajor plans to add another nine charging points at its fuel station locations across Singapore.
The lack of enthusiasm about Tesla in Singapore was duly noted by Elon Musk earlier this year. The company’s CEO said in January, in response to a tweet, that Singapore had been “unwelcoming” on the topic of electric vehicles.
Singapore has a strict vehicle policy due to its small size and emissions. Car ownership permits are a limited number and are won through a bidding process. This means they could end up costing tens of thousands of dollars. In this environment, mass transit is naturally the preferred alternative to personal vehicles.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.