Green no more?

This article was in our main newspaper today: Green cars are no longer sold in Singapore due to poor sales and lack of sufficient rebates (subject to special order for certain models).
After staying with my grand aunt and grand uncle when I was in California this May, I got to sit in a Toyota Prius 2004 which was nothing but impressive. It was a hybrid car, so you didn’t have to charge the batteries, and it was pretty fuel-efficient. It was also amazingly quiet at red lights – you’d think the engine was turned off. Relying on the extra battery in the car, it would switch to fuel-burning mode only when you wanted to go fast.
It also had a clear computer screen where you could view your options and navigate your way using built-in street maps. You could even see a graphical illustration of which parts of the car were being used at the time.
Might I also add that the Prius was equipped with Bluetooth technology, so if you were listening to music on your stereo and your Bluetooth mobile phone were to ring, the music would pipe down and you could listen to the other person talking to you through your stereo speakers?
The Prius was also smart enough to emulate the signals from your garage gate controller. Moreoever, if you had the car key in your pocket, the car would detect your presence and if you placed your hand on the door handle, it would open. However, if you were to walk away and someone else were to try to open the door, it would be locked (this was fascinating though a little confusing at times!).
Briefly speaking: in our little ‘technological hub’ of a Garden City, there will be no more green cars in Singapore. Brilliant, isn’t it?
I certainly hope this new blitz of publicity – better late than never – will convince the Government to rethink how it implements its policies. I for one was planning to switch to a Prius, but simply could not afford one. Considering how much I’ve earned (which isn’t much), and given that one-fifth of my salary each month goes into a Central Provident fund, I calculate that I won’t be able to afford a green car for several more years.
I’d think many Singaporeans my age would go for a cheaper, smaller, less fuel-efficient car. Many of us would be busy scrimping up enough money to get married and register for a Housing Development Board flat – who would cough up another S$40,000 or so to save the environment?
On the other end of the spectrum, I’d think that older, wealthier Singaporeans would still prefer flashing their Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs or Lexus(es) about town. For a bit more money, they get so much more power, a bit more leg space, and a status symbol to boot. Why not?
Either way, it doesn’t make sense to most of us to buy a green car.
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