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It appears that Tesla’s expansion to the South East Asian market may be taking shape – the American EV maker is reportedly in talks with the country’s largest electric utility company Meralco for a possible joint venture in the field of batteries, according to Manila Bulletin.

The sole power supplier to the central Metro Manila region, Meralco is known to have been chasing a business deal with Tesla. “It’s a potential business partnership on small storage, that’s what we’re pushing hard now,” said senior vice president Alfredo S Panlilio. “We just had a teleconference last week, we just agreed that they [Tesla executives] come over and have a visit.”

It’s yet to be determined what the focus of this meeting, expected either this month or in the next quarter, will be, but it will likely be a “free-flowing exchange” in terms of battery technology. “Normally, we come up with an agenda, but we don’t even have that yet. These are options,” Panlilio said

Whatever the venture may be, it is likely to be centred around Tesla’s energy storage products, such as the Powerpack commercial and Powerwall home battery systems – which can collect electricity from solar panels and store it for emergency purposes – instead of its electric vehicles. However, Panlilio did add that the partnership will help Meralco be prepared for a widespread adoption of EVs.


“We just have to be ahead of adoption, for example, if EV rollout finally comes on mass scale, Meralco should be ready – even with the charging stations,” he said. “We’ve been espousing about it for two years already, but it depends on the government also on what are the policies for EVs and how can you massively have more e-jeepneys [electric jeepneys]…there are still a lot of things that must be done.”

The deal could also aid the company towards its goal of an affordable deployment of solar panels in Filipino homes, integrating energy storage products such as Powerwall to create a reliable power supply source for the end-user. Panlilio did add, however, that challenges regarding policies and regulations still need to be solved before such a business plan could become a reality.

Malaysia’s partnership with Tesla is of a different nature – the government has recently agreed to waive import and excise duties on 100 units of the Model S that will be brought in by the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia). The cars are to be leased to government-linked companies (GLCs) to raise awareness of EVs and the tech among policy makers, and won’t be sold directly to the public.

GreenTech Malaysia already has two units of the Model S 85 in Malaysia, and you can read our exclusive review of the electric sedan here.

GALLERY: Tesla Model S in Malaysia