Tesla to invest in Malaysia, outlines development plans

Earlier today, American electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla formally announced its strategic expansion into the Malaysian market, doing so with the official introduction of the Tesla Model Y.

To recap, three versions of the Model Y are available, the Standard Range RWD (RM199,000), Long Range AWD (RM246,000) and Performance AWD (RM288,000). All were present at the launch event at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, and will be on display at the location until October 31. According to the company, first deliveries of the Model Y to Malaysian customers will begin sometime in early 2024.

The Model Y will be joined by another model in the near future, with the company indicating that the Model 3 will be introduced here as well. While no specific timeline was given as to when this will occur, we understand that it could be before the year is out.

Tesla to invest in Malaysia, outlines development plans

Besides its EVs, the brand also highlighted its plans to develop its business here, with core elements being the establishment an office along with Tesla Experience and service centres and the setting up of a Supercharger network, in line with that outlined under the ministry of investment, trade and industry’s (MITi) BEV Global Leaders programme.

Back in March, the company was announced as the first successful applicant of the programme, which allows it to import EVs into the country without the need for a local partner providing franchise APs.

The brand said it is set to establish its state-of-the-art head office and service centre in Cyberjaya, This will serve as the central hub for all corporate operations, marketing, training, customer support activities as well as vehicle services. The service centre will be equipped with advanced diagnostic tools and staffed with highly-trained technicians to offer prompt and reliable after-sales service to customers.

The company added that it will establish Experience centres in key metropolitan areas across the country. These centres will serve as interactive spaces for potential buyers to explore and experience the brand’s EVs first-hand and also gain insights into the benefits of electric mobility.

As for charging infrastructure, is also set to invest significantly in setting up a network of Supercharger fast-charging stations across strategic locations in Malaysia. Initially, 10 locations were identified, but as indicated at the launch, this has been expanded to 12.

The first of its Supercharger stations has already been revealed – located in the B1 basement parking area of Pavilion KL, the indoor station consists of eight V3 Superchargers, each offering up to 250 kW of DC fast charging. The units are ready, but as yet are not operational, awaiting energy commission (ST) approval.

Tesla to invest in Malaysia, outlines development plans

As such, charging rates have not been revealed as yet, although the pricing formula (including a cost penalty for idling) will follow that seen in other markets where Tesla is already present, such as Singapore. As marked on the bay flooring, the Superchargers at this location will initially only be accessible to Tesla vehicles.

According to Tesla’s regional director Isabel Fan, all this indicates the high level of intent from the brand. “As part of Tesla’s commitment to Malaysia, we have unveiled a comprehensive development plan for experience centres, service and support as well as charging infrastructure in the country, all aimed at delivering a seamless Tesla ownership experience. We’re committed and excited to help driving a zero emission and greener future for Malaysia,” she said.

Meanwhile, MITI minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said he was pleased that Tesla has chosen Malaysia as one of its destinations for their expansion in Southeast Asia. He added that the brand’s commitment to sustainable mobility is closely aligned with Malaysia’s vision for a greener future and its New Industrial Master Plan 2030’s push for net zero emissions.

Tesla to invest in Malaysia, outlines development plans

“MITI is focused on transforming our industrial and investment landscape to not only attract companies like Tesla to help enhance our domestic suppliers’ position in global value chains, but also open up new ‘greener’ economic opportunities and create higher-paying jobs for Malaysians,” he said.

“Tesla’s presence here will also help raise Malaysia’s pro-business and pro-investment credentials
on the global stage, and we look forward to welcoming more multi-national investors that share our vision of developing a more sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth for our nation,” he added.

Malaysian investment development authority (MIDA) CEO Datuk Wira Arham Abdul Rahman also lauded Tesla’s investment in the country. “Tesla’s decision to choose Malaysia as its expansion destination highlights the country’s attractiveness as an investment hub in the region. The growth of electric mobility will play a pivotal role in Malaysia’s sustainable development and we believe that Tesla will play a crucial part in this journey,” he said.

GALLERY: Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD

GALLERY: Tesla Model Y Performance AWD

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