According to reports the Malaysian government will allow 100 Tesla vehicles to enter the country duty free in an effort to boost adoption of electric vehicles.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the move following a visit to Tesla headquarters in Palo Alto, California. The premier made a visit to the electric carmaker and batter company as part of a drive to promote electric vehicles in Malaysia and reduce carbon emissions, writes Ajalil Hamid for NST.
Malaysia to import 100 Tesla vehicles following PM visit
“We want to create a more sustainable environment. Tesla is a leader in electric vehicles and they have achieved many milestones with the Model S,” Razak told reporters.
“Malaysia has decided to promote electric vehicles under a special program where the government will allow imports of 100 units of Model S, premium electric sedans. These cars have zero-emission,” the Prime Minister continued. “We would like to promote such cars in Malaysia.”
At the moment it seems that Tesla may restrict purchases to companies linked to the Malaysian government, although the fine details of the deal are yet to be finalized.
GreenTech Malaysia stands to benefit from initiative
The initiative was first announced by GreenTech in May 2015, and will involve a mixture of all-wheel drive 70D and rear-wheel drive 85 Model S variants. It seems as though the cars will be offered on two-year leases to government-linked companies, so Malaysian consumers won’t be able to drive one.
It seems likely that the aim is to introduce influential agencies to electric vehicle technology so that they can better understand its benefits by using it themselves. As such the initiative could help GreenTech Malaysia bring electric vehicles to a wider market in the country.
There are already two Model S 85 vehicles operating in Malaysia, thanks to GreenTech. The company is doing its best to raise awareness of the benefits of electric vehicles, and this latest scheme will help it to do so.
Tesla is thought to have agreed to the deal due to the potential for creating a new market. CEO Elon Musk has repeatedly expressed his desire to make electric vehicles a regular part of the transport landscape around the world.