Buying a Tesla will get you green kudos in plenty of places but not Singapore, where the carbon emissions surcharge slapped on a Tesla has caught the attention of the auto-maker's founder Elon Musk.
Joe Nguyen imported a used Tesla Model S P85 from Hong Kong in July 2015, hoping to have the first Tesla vehicle to hit Singapore's roads. Little did he know he was at the start of a seven-month regulatory ordeal, at the end of which he'd pay a 15,000 Singapore dollar ($10,850) carbon emissions surcharge on a vehicle that does not even have a tailpipe.
VICOM, a private vehicle inspection provider that tested the Tesla for Singapore's transport authority, found that Nguyen's 2014 Model S had an equivalent CO2 emission of 222g per kilometer. The emissions were calculated using a "grid emissions factor" that puts a value on the emissions created by energy use - in the Tesla's case, when it converts electricity into power.
Nguyen, who is vice president of an Internet analytics firm, was outraged that an electric vehicle attracted an emissions surcharge.
"Give me a surcharge for my high use of electricity in my utilities bill, but don't take my money for the wrong reasons," Nguyen told CNBC in an interview.