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More on the Tesla initiative by Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) – the government has given the green light to allow the duty-free importation of 100 units of Tesla Model S, the New Straits Times reports.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a visit to Tesla Motor’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, where he toured the facility for about an hour and was briefed by the automaker’s vice-president, Diarmuid O’ Connell. He also test drove the Model X.

The PM said the duty exemption for the EVs was part of the government’s efforts to promote electric vehicles (EV) and cut carbon emissions. “These cars have zero-emission, and we want to create a more sustainable environment, so we would like to promote such cars in Malaysia,” he told reporters.

“Malaysia has decided to promote electric vehicles under a special programme where the government will allow imports of 100 units of Model S, premium electric sedans,” he added.

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Najib said that the 100 units will be duty-exempted. Government officials who were present at the event said Tesla may restrict the purchase to government-linked companies, which continues to fall in line with that mentioned from the start of the initiative last year.

In May 2015, GreenTech revealed its plans for the programme, which originally set out to bring in 120 Model S units (later revised to 110 units), consisting of a mix of all-wheel drive 70D and rear-wheel drive 85 variants.

The Teslas will be available only through a leasing scheme, and will be offered on a two-year leasing period to government-linked companies (GLC) for use as official cars, so the general public won’t be able to get their hands on one.

The intent of all this is to allow influential parties the means to better understand the merits of EVs by sampling the technology for themselves, and is meant to aid GreenTech Malaysia’s push to expand the EV scope in the country through its Electric Mobility Blueprint.

We had reported that the leasing programme is sanctioned by Tesla, which is not keen to have its cars sold in direct fashion in Malaysia – 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 the tech with policy makers.

GreenTech Malaysia already has two Model S 85 units registered and running in the country – we’ve covered them in great detail through an initial preview and subsequently, through an exclusive road test.

A quick recap on the S 85’s specs – 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.

Last month, GreenTech took one of its two S 85s on a road trip up north to Kedah – the journey, from its office in Bangi up to Kulim, was made on a single charge, as was the return leg. For a more complete view of the Tesla S 85, read our first drive report.

GALLERY: Tesla Model S 85