So Tesla’s Model 3 is up for pre-orders. It’s also off to a great start, securing 135,000 on it’s first day, despite having a waiting time of at least 1 additional year.


Elon Musk even took the opportunity to declare that the Model 3 would ship to Singapore after LTA declared a additional $15,000 tax on the earlier Tesla S model for not being green enough. We guess he must have been very confident after his phone call with Lee Hsien Loong.


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So the question is, are electric cars green or not?

Well, from our basic understanding of science and what not, maybe not in Singapore.

A 2013 study by the Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that the carbon emissions on electric cars is almost twice that of a normal petrol car. This means that even before it’s first drive, the electric car would have already produced 30,000 pounds of carbon emission, twice the amount of petrol cars.

Blame this on the lithium batteries that are used in most electric cars. It’s literally a carbon bitch to manufacture. To make matters worse, these batteries hold limited charge and have a lifecycle of about 5 years!

The crux of the problem lies in the fact that Singapore’s energy grid is powered by coal and fossil burning power plants. Unlike in the US, where the grid can be powered by solar, water or wind energy, recharging your electric car here will cost about 15 ounces of 425 grams of carbon-dioxide for every 80,000 kilometres driven.

Can electric cars ever be green?

Probably in a couple of decades. When Singapore moves towards cleaner types of energy and improvements in battery technology is made.

In the meantime,  I suppose have to continue relying on car-free Sundays and carpooling arrangements.