Remember the curious sighting of a Tesla Model S in Malaysia, shown in spyshots we ran last month? It turns out there may have been a significant reason for the car’s appearance, as Tesla Motors is reportedly one of a number of car companies in talks with the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) to bring electric vehicles into the Malaysian market, according to a report by Berita Harian.

GreenTech Malaysia CEO Ahmad Hadri Haris told the Malay daily that the manufacturers, which also include BMW, Volkswagen and BYD, were interested in the proposition, especially if there were tax incentives in place as well as a ready infrastructure to support these cars.

[Translated] EV manufacturers now want to see the government’s commitment in building the market in this country through the development of infrastructure, charging stations and demand for EVs, as well as the offering of tax incentives.

“Basically, they are interested in bringing in their own EV models if there is potential here. Because of that we need import and excise duty exemptions on EVs, so that citizens in this country are able to afford electric cars and it will help build demand for these kinds of vehicles,” he said.

In a separate report, Ahmad Hadri was also quoted as saying that the government is set to reinstate duty exemptions on EVs as part of an “electric vehicle induction plan” that will be announced soon, pending cabinet approval. It was said that this was inline with efforts to stimulate the development of the country’s green technology industries.

Ahmad Hadri added that one of the main points of the plan will be to encourage motorists to own an electric vehicle. According to him, people will use EVs after prices have been more clearly delineated with the restructuring of the entire EV tax structure, in addition to the readiness of the infrastructure and basic utilities specific to the use of such vehicles.

“Through the induction plan, we will reintroduce all duty exemptions, particularly import and excise duties, as it is essential in creating a market for EVs,” he said. “On past experience, when the government introduced full duty exemptions for hybrid cars during Budget 2010, sales of hybrid cars have increased from 300 units that year to 6,000 units in 2011.

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“Currently, the total number of hybrids on the road has surpassed 30,000 units. Through these tax incentives as well as the development of the correct infrastructure and mechanisms, we are confident that the ownership of EVs will surpass that of hybrids,” he added.

On the development of infrastructure and utilities for EVs, Ahmad Hadri said the plan will set a target of building 125,000 charging stations across the country by the year 2020. As a result, he said infrastructure development has to start now in order to meet the target.

“The government has injected a RM3 million grant to help First Energy Network (FEN) build 300 EV charging stations, some of which will be in the Klang Valley and others possibly in Melaka and Johor,” he said. “They will be developed between 2015 and 2016. The target may seem like a large number, but it is inline with the target that will be set in the induction plan.”