Tesla formally begins ops in Malaysia

Powered-up: Dignitaries posing with the EV offerings of the company in Kuala Lumpur. — ONG SOON HIN/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Tesla Sdn Bhd (Tesla), the Malaysian arm of the well-known American electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Inc, officially began operations in Malaysia yesterday with the launch of its Model Y for the local market.

The company in a joint statement with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority said the expansion into the country is a direct response to the Battery Electric Vehicle Global Leaders initiative introduced by the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry.

Tesla announced that booking and purchasing of the Model Y is already available on its website since July 14, with prices ranging from RM199,000 to RM288,000, while delivery of the first Tesla unit is anticipated to be around early 2024.

The company said it would be introducing more models in the future to cater to the varying needs and preferences of Malaysians.

The company’s regional director Isabel Fan said Tesla has begun low-volume production to prove the security and viability of electric cars, with the revenue generated allowing the company to produce more affordable vehicles and eventually expand into the mass-market high-volume production.

Meanwhile, Tesla is also looking to invest significantly in setting up a vast network of fast charging and regular-charging stations across strategic locations in Malaysia, to resolve the issue of a lack of charging infrastructure in the country, thereby encouraging a higher adoption rate of EVs.

Fan revealed that Tesla’s first indoor supercharger station with a total of eight superchargers will be opened at the basement of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur soon, pending licence approval before commissioning and utilisation.

“We will also have the upcoming charging stations in Johor and Penang to make sure our customers will be able to travel from Malaysia to Singapore and Thailand,” she said at the official launch of the company’s Model Y yesterday.

According to Tesla, the Model Y comes in three trims, consisting of Model Y (rear-wheel drive), Model Y Long Range and Model Y Performance, and the mid-size SUV is a combination of range, performance, safety and technology that carries over 2,100 litres of cargo space and seating for up to five passengers.

“With ultra-responsive motors, it only takes 3.7 seconds for the Model Y to accelerate from 0 to 100km per hour, with a range of up to 533 km (WLTP) per charge.

“Model Y comes with an all-glass roof, autopilot, active safety features, and a Hepa air filtration system,” it said.

Aside from launching cars, the company is set to establish a state-of-the-art head office and service centre in Cyberjaya to serve as the central hub for all corporate operations, marketing, training, customer support activities and vehicle services.

Tesla said these premises will be equipped with advanced diagnostic tools and staffed with highly trained technicians to offer prompt and reliable after sales services to customers.

The company also announced that it will establish its experience centres in key metropolitan areas across Malaysia, where customers can explore and experience the latest EV models firsthand, while gaining insights into the benefits of electric mobility.

In line with Malaysia’s goal to promote low-carbon mobility and supporting the EV industry, Tesla customers will enjoy full import and excise duties exemption for newly registered zero-emission Tesla electric vehicles.

Customers are also eligible for 100% road tax exemption and individual income tax relief of up to RM2,500 on expenses related to EV charging facilities for the assessment year of 2023.

At the same time, companies that rent non-commercial EVs are also eligible for tax deductions on the rental amount up to RM300,000 from the year of assessment 2023 until 2025.

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