Remember the online furore that broke out after many knew of the penalty for electric cars in Singapore last year?
In case you need to refresh your memory , here’s an open letter by Joe Nguyen that will give you a gist of what the uproar was all about. Unlike other countries that rewarded her citizens with rebates in the purchase of an electric car, Nguyen was taxed for buying a vehicle more environmentally friendly than the others on the road.
Solar roof can be ordered for almost any country. Deployment this year in the US and overseas next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2017
Now that Tesla has recently revealed that its energy-saving solar panels will be released in almost any country, will history repeat itself here?
Out of the four planned styles the company has unveiled to the public, Tesla is releasing two styles of the glass tiles — “black glass smooth” and “textured” versions first. The company also has two other styles – one curved, reddish “Tuscan” style and another resembling slate rock tiles slated to come in early 2018.
While the rooftop shingles on Tesla solar roof tiles seem to be identical with traditional high-end roofing products, there are solar cells embedded underneath a glass surface. They may look just like any other shingles but these solar roofs permit light to pass through from above onto a standard flat solar cell.
Tesla has also started taking in pre-orders for its solar roof tiles, and with it there is warranty for the lifetime of your house or infinity – whichever comes first.
All of this sounds pretty attractive, doesn’t it?
Indeed does it sound enticing to pre-order this life-altering product but it may be a different ballgame here. Given what went down with Joe Nguyen registering the first Tesla Model S electric car in Singapore, it could be counterintuitive to think that one is entitled to rebates and tax cuts for utilising a technology deemed to be more environmentally friendly.
Why do we say so?
Likened to the Tesla electric car in Nguyen’s case, the solar roof tiles would also be helping the owner to save much energy. Yet, one might run the risk of being presumptuous for Nguyen had to pay an Electric Vehicle Fine of $15, 000 as opposed to receiving an emissions rebate as outlined here.
The rationale for the fine was that VICOM had measured the efficiency of the car to be at 444 Wh/km, whereas the US EPA officially rated it at 237.5Wh/km. Despite Nguyen appealing to the LTA Head of Inspections stating the aforementioned and that VICOM does not have the know-how or equipment to properly test the car, his request was denied. Nonetheless, he went ahead with registering the vehicle.
While it may sound incredulous that one is being fined for having a Tesla car in Singapore, it would be more prudent to ascertain the rules and regulations. After all, alternative-energy products may be held by a different yardstick here, as apparently seen from the disparate treatments electric cars are subjected to in Hong Kong, US and Europe.
Perhaps before making that purchase on the solar roof tiles, it’s still best to check with our local authorities if you’re averse to the idea of getting a shock of your life.