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The world's first all-electric GT championship has been announced – with the Tesla Model S P85+ earmarked as the race's standard package.
According to Motorsport.com, the Electric GT World Series hopes to become "the first 100 per cent zero emissions GT championship". Organisers are bidding to have ten teams, each entering two cars, to fill the grid come the inaugural season in 2017.
Seven races are planned, with events taking place in Europe, the US and Asia and on current Formula 1 circuits – the Catalunya circuit in Barcelona receives a specific mention in the announcement.
Tesla's Model S P85+ will get the ball rolling, offering 310kw of power alongside 601Nm of torque. As such, it's good for 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and the powertrains won't be altered at all. In fact, the 85kWh version used in the Model S P85+ is significantly more powerful than the 28kWh units currently used in Formula E.
Change is afoot elsewhere, though. The Model Ss set to race in the series will receive all the motorsport trimmings, including weight reduction, new brakes, tyres, aerodynamic packages and wings, trick suspension setups and improved cooling so the batteries can deal with the stresses of motor racing.
Tesla's car is just the starting point. The series will become open to any manufacturer.
According to The Verge, the races should prove to be a big boost for car-makers with vested interests in electric vehicles.
"Formula E has run just 15 races, but the series is already proving that people around the world are interested in the idea of all-electric motorsports," it says. The electric GT series could take the idea one step further, as the cars would be based on production versions already familiar to consumers – it's the "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" mentality.
The series is sure to be intriguing – especially for Tesla owners and those who wish to take their cars to track days are sure to pay extra attention, says Jalopnik.
Tesla Model S car owner fined for high emissions
In the UK, people who buy a new Tesla Model S can expect a government grant of £5,000 towards the price.
It would appear to be quite the opposite in Singapore.
Singapore's Land Transport Authority recently hit the city state's first Model S owner with a fine of S$15,000 (£7,500) for excessive emissions and ranked the all-electric saloon in the dirtiest, highest-polluting category of vehicles than can be driven on the roads.
Reported by Channel News Asia and picked up by US magazine Road & Track, Tesla fan Joe Nguyen had spent months trying to legally import a Model S bought in Hong Kong into Singapore, expecting to receive a government grant worth around £7,500 once the car was with him.
Instead, he was fined the same amount.
The car is the first Tesla in the country and so is the first to be tested by the transport authority, who concluded that it consumes as much as 444 watt-hours per kilometre driven – the equivalent of a petrol car producing 222g/km CO2, putting it on par with a Range Rover SDV8.
The argument is over upstream emissions, and based on the principle that electric cars are only as clean as the electricity grids they run off, although the Singapore office's calculations are a long way off the consumption figures Tesla claims.
Autoblog points out that the range-topping Tesla Model S P90D, with a 90kWh battery, uses about 210 watt-hours per kilometre, so there's a deal of confusion surrounding the arithmetic used in Singapore to arrive at a figure twice that amount.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk took to Twitter to confirm the situation hasn't gone unnoticed.
@Astro_Valdric @TeslaMotors We spoke earlier today and he said he would investigate the situation.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 4, 2016
The company subsequently issued a statement in which it insisted that "an electric car like the Model S has almost three times lower CO2 per km than an equivalent gas [i.e. petrol]-powered car", even when electricity generation is taken into account - and that emissions would fall further as Singapore turned towards wind and solar power.
Tesla said it was having "cooperative discussions" with the authorities. "Based on the positive nature of those discussions," it said, "we are confident that this situation will be resolved soon."