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Adam Minter

Tesla Unplugged: In Singapore, It’s Just Another Unwelcome Car

The tiny country has restricted private car ownership since the 1970s. It’s not changing for Elon Musk.

A transportation lifestyle that Singapore’s government loves more than the (expensive) open road.

A transportation lifestyle that Singapore’s government loves more than the (expensive) open road.

Photographer: Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group/Getty

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Around the world, Tesla Inc. is a welcome symbol of what can happen when high-tech meets the global need for sustainable, electrified transportation. Everywhere, that is, except Singapore.

Last week, in an interview with Bloomberg News, Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore's minister for water and environment resources, dismissed the company and its founder, Elon Musk, outright. “What Elon Musk wants to produce is a lifestyle,” Zulkifli said. “We are not interested in a lifestyle. We are interested in proper solutions that will address climate problems.”