After leaving the Singapore market in early 2011, American electric car manufacturer Tesla has gotten the approval to start selling its cars here once again.
In order to gear up for the relaunch, Tesla’s Singapore sales portal has gone ‘live’ and prices of the cars can now be viewed.
According to the site, Tesla Model 3 Performance, which is a high-powered version of the Model 3 and can hit 100kmh in 3.3 seconds, will be sold at an estimated price of just under S$155,000 before the Certificate of Entitlement (COE).
On the other hand, the less powerful Model 3 Standard Range, which hits 100kmh in 5.6 seconds, will retail for around S$113,000 before COE.
Observers noted that Tesla’s pricing is likely to welcome sales, given that at current COE rates, the Model 3 Standard Range is probably going to be cheaper than a Toyota Camry but with better value money.
Current Tesla owner Adrian Peh told The Straits Times (ST) that the competitive pricing “will help Singapore move faster towards a full electric vehicle (EV) environment”.
The chief executive of a financial advisory added, “Mercedes, BMW, Audi and even possibly the higher-end Japanese cars will be hit really hard.”
If that’s not all, taxi companies are also considering Teslas, ST reported. One of Singapore’s main four cab operators, Trans-Cab and Premier said that they would consider adding the American electric car to their fleet.
Responding on Tesla’s pricing, Singapore University of Social Sciences transport economist Walter Theseira said to ST that “the Singapore car market has some of the highest gross margins in the world.”
He continued, “The Land Transport Authority figures show that the difference between the published retail price and the vehicle cost, inclusive of all taxes and OMV (Open Market Value), is routinely in the tens of thousands of dollars for many higher-end brands.
“Tesla’s pricing appears to be extremely competitive and a vehicle with similar OMV from an established authorised luxury dealer would probably be priced several tens of thousands more.
“Whether this will lead to authorised dealers reducing margins, or whether Tesla will realise that it has no need to price so aggressively to gain a foothold, remains to be seen.”
Tesla first entered the Singapore market in mid-2010, before quickly leaving in early 2011 after it failed to secure green tax breaks.
However, in March 2016, the American carmaker told ST that it planned to return to the Republic. Following that, the company’s chief executive Elon Musk replied to a tweet stating that Singapore was not supportive of electric cars and unwelcoming of Tesla.
In February 2020, the Government announced new measures to encourage the adoption of cleaner vehicles, which include the Electric Vehicle Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) and implementing more electric charging points.
This was then followed by Tesla posting Singapore-based job openings on LinkedIn. According to the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, Tesla Motors Singapore Holdings hired a Singaporean as company secretary last July.
In January this year, the company included Singapore in its global network of high-speed chargers.
As of end of last year, LTA statistic showed that there are 41 Tesla cars in Singapore and they are all parallel imports.
They are among 1,217 electric cars on the road, which makes up roughly 0.2 percent of the car population in Singapore.