autoevolution

Singapore: Elon Musk Is Selling a Lifestyle, Not a Solution to Climate Change

If you buy a Tesla, you’re not really helping the planet but rather giving into marketing that sells you a certain lifestyle. At least, that’s how Singapore’s Minister for Environment and Water Resources sees it.
Singapore says Elon Musk is selling a lifestyle, not a viable solution to tackle climate change 15 photos
Tesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually RestrainedTesla Model S by Prior Design Is Unusually Restrained
In a conversation with Bloomberg, Masagos Zulkifli addressed Elon Musk’s claims back in January that Singapore was too slow in adopting electric vehicles because the “government is unwelcome.” Zulkifli says the issue with EVs is that they don’t present the most efficient means of decarbonizing transport – unlike public transport.

Because of the minerals needed to make the batteries for EVs and the still unregulated ways in which they are disposed, electric vehicles are not a sustainable solution to fight climate change. Moreover, with Teslas, Musk is only selling a lifestyle.

“What Elon Musk wants to produce is a lifestyle,” Zulkifli tells the publication. “We are not interested in a lifestyle. We are interested in proper solutions that will address climate problems.”

Proper solutions means prioritizing public transport so that, by 2040, traveling the entire country by bus, train or subway would take less than 45 minutes. At the opposite pole is the adoption of electric vehicles in a country where 85 percent of the 6 million population say they wouldn’t buy one such car because there are no charging points and were parking space is still a major issue.

Singapore’s first charging station was inaugurated just this month, with plans for more to follow in October. But even that would not be enough – not in a context in which the country is facing serious consequences of climate change, like rising sea levels, heavy rainfall and hotter temperatures.

“Just choosing a parking spot is already problematic,”
Zulkifli adds. “And now you want to say who gets the charging point. We do not have the solution yet.”

A recent report by cross-party Members of Parliament urged the British government to think beyond electric vehicles as a means to lessen the impact on the environment. The report didn’t single out Tesla, but it did say pretty much the same, just in different words: replacing gasoline cars with electric versions doesn’t lead to decarbozing transport.

The only way in which emissions can be reduced is to forget about personalized car ownership, and to think more of using public transport and bicycles, and just basic… walking.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories