Tesla S 85 Greentech 1

In May, we reported that the Tesla brand was finally coming to Malaysia via official channels, with formal introduction slated for the later half of the year. Since then, there have been rumours that the plan has been dropped or stalled, but we can tell you that it’s happening, with the first of the vehicles set to arrive very soon.

Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) has informed paultan.org that it took delivery of the first two Tesla vehicles from Tesla Motors Hong Kong earlier in the week.

On hand to receive the cars, both Model S 85 versions, was GreenTech Malaysia VP Mohamed Azrin Mohamed Ali. The cars – which were ordered in August – are on their way in, and will arrive in the country sometime in the next week or so.

Tesla S 85 Greentech 2

GreenTech Malaysia’s CEO, Ahmad Hadri Haris, also provided updates on the programme involving the cars. The business model, he explains, has changed somewhat – some cars were initially targeted to be provided to ministers for their use, but this idea has since been shelved.

What hasn’t changed is how they will be made available – as we reported earlier, the vehicles can only be obtained from the non-profit organisation, which operates under the ambit of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water (KeTTHA), through a leasing scheme. They will be offered on a two-year leasing period to government-linked companies (GLC) – the general public won’t be able to get their hands on one.

The thought behind the initiative continues on too, the idea being to allow influential parties the means to better understand the merits of electric vehicles (EVs) by sampling the technology for themselves. The programme also falls in line with GreenTech Malaysia’s push to bring to the forefront its Electric Mobility Blueprint, which aims to get the EV movement going in a big way here.

tesla model s 02

The leasing programme is sanctioned by Tesla Motors, which is not keen to have its cars sold in direct fashion here – the automaker is agreeable to the running of the initiative on the understanding that the cars are to be used for increasing awareness of EVs and their tech amongst policy makers.

The total number of vehicles has also been revised. Originally, the plan was to bring in 120 units, a mix of the 329 hp, all-wheel drive Model 70D, which has an operating range of 386 km, and Model S 85, the rear-wheel drive version of the type, with the larger proportion of cars being made up of the 70D.

Now, the number has been trimmed to 110, the reduction a result of the poor forex rate brought about by the Ringgit’s performance against the greenback in the past few months.

Some notes about the two S 85s that are coming in. The Midnight Silver and Red multi-coat examples are the last two units to be equipped with the optional executive seats, which revises the rear bench to a twin-occupant-only row, as Tesla doesn’t provide the option for the car any more.

The base 362 hp variant is equipped with an 85 kWh battery, which offers up to 426 km of travel on a single charge. As standard, it comes with a single 10 kW charger, a mobile connector with a 240 volt outlet as well as a SAE J1772 public charging adaptor.

The two cars are specified with Smart Air Suspension, Premium Interior and Lighting, Autopilot Convenience features and even a SubZero Weather Package. The last may sound rather silly given our climate, but there’s a reason for its inclusion – the pack comes together with the executive seats, and cannot be separated.

Meanwhile, Autopilot Convenience brings along with it traffic-aware cruise control, lane keeping with automatic steering, self-parking and automatic high/low beam headlights. Elsewhere, the interior features black leather seats, Piano Black decor accents and white Alcantara headliner.

Safety kit includes eight airbags (head, knee and pelvis airbags in the front, plus two side curtain airbags), parking sensors, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

We’ll have more info and photos of the Tesla S 85s when they arrive, so stay tuned.