Tesla Malaysia

  • Tesla Model Y RWD “ready stock” inventory get 0.78% hire purchase interest rate promo in Malaysia

    Tesla Model Y RWD “ready stock” inventory get 0.78% hire purchase interest rate promo in Malaysia

    After getting a RM8k price cut last month, Tesla Malaysia has upped its offer for the Tesla Model Y RWD by offering a 0.78% interest rate hire purchase promo. This only applies for “ready stock” inventory which means you must take one of the cars listed on the inventory page, and not for custom spec orders.

    Other than buying one of the ready stock cars, to qualify for the 0.78% interest you must pay a 20% downpayment and go for a 60 month (5 year) loan. Based on a quick calculation with our car loan calculator, this should result in a monthly payment of around RM2,645.

    This 0.78% promo expires June 30 2024 or while ready stocks last.

    The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive does 513 km on a full charge and despite having just one rear motor it is no slouch – the 100 km/h sprint can be done in 6.9 seconds.

    We’ve driven the base Tesla Model Y SR RWD in Malaysia – check out our quick first impressions by watching the video below! You have to ignore the pricing in the video as it was recorded before the recent price cut in April 2024.

  • 2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance in Malaysia – 460 hp, 0-100 km/h in 3.1 secs, 528 km range, from RM244k

    2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance in Malaysia – 460 hp, 0-100 km/h in 3.1 secs, 528 km range, from RM244k

    Less than a month after its reveal, the new Tesla Model 3 Performance has now made its Malaysian debut at the Tesla Experience Centre Cyberjaya. This more athletic version of the facelifted Highland model represents something of a bargain, priced from just RM243,700 on-the-road without insurance (RM242,000 nett, plus a RM1,000 order fee, a RM500 delivery and admin fee, and a RM200 number plate fee).

    For that, you get an uprated dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain that produces 460 hp. That’s somewhat down on the US, where the Model 3 Performance is available with up to 510 hp, reportedly due to a larger 82 kWh Panasonic battery (versus the smaller 79 kWh LG pack we allegedly get).

    2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance in Malaysia – 460 hp, 0-100 km/h in 3.1 secs, 528 km range, from RM244k

    Still, that’s enough for it to get from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.1 seconds – with a one-foot rollout subtracted, of course, as is typical of Tesla. Top speed is rated at 261 km/h, while its WLTP-rated range is quoted at 528 km, versus 513 km for the rear-wheel-drive model and 629 km for the AWD Long Range.

    To harness the extra, um, performance, the Model 3 Performance now comes with adaptive dampers for the first time, along with new springs, bushings and anti-roll bars, lowering the ride height by 10 mm. This works in concert with the latest Track Mode V3 that features all-new calibration for the motors and dampers, plus a drift mode and the ability to adjust the stability control intervention and the torque split between the front and rear wheels (now labeled Understeer to Oversteer).

    2024 Tesla Model 3 Performance in Malaysia – 460 hp, 0-100 km/h in 3.1 secs, 528 km range, from RM244k

    Visually, the Model 3 Performance is as per the Highland model with its slimmer headlights and C-shaped taillights. However, you now get new bumpers to help differentiate it from the cooking models, incorporating air curtain inlets and a new splitter at the front, along with a subtle rear diffuser.

    This is in addition to the usual Performance tweaks such as the all-black exterior trim and a carbon fibre rear lip spoiler. You also receive larger brakes with red callipers to ensure that the car is able to stop just as fast as it can accelerate, hidden behind 20-inch “Warp” forged black alloy wheels wrapped in staggered Pirelli P Zero Elect tyres that measure 235/35R20 at the front and 275/30R20 at the rear.

    Inside, the Performance is enhanced with carbon fibre trim, alloy pedals and new, heavily-bolstered sports seats with integrated headrests and no rear pockets – these feature a new hyperspace “Performance” graphic also seen on the new rear badge. Beyond that, the car is identical to the regular Highland, coming with a new three-spoke steering wheel, no indicator and wiper stalks, a 15-inch infotainment touchscreen and an eight-inch rear touchscreen.

    This being a Tesla, there are a range of costly options, including paint – anything other than the standard Pearl White costs between RM5,000 to an eye-watering RM11,000 for the new Ultra Red, while a white interior is an additional RM5,000. There’s also the RM16,000 Enhanced Autopilot package and the infamous (and currently non-functional) RM32,000 Full Self Driving pack.

  • Tesla Cybertruck in Malaysia – stainless steel pick-up EV on display in showrooms in May, not for sale

    Tesla Cybertruck in Malaysia – stainless steel pick-up EV on display in showrooms in May, not for sale

    Having made its ASEAN debut in Thailand over the weekend, the Tesla Cybertruck has now made its appearance in Malaysia, fittingly at the Tesla Experience Centre Cyberjaya. This massive stainless steel electric pick-up truck is in the midst of its Asian tour that has already visited China, Hong Kong and Japan, and it will be on display at Tesla’s showrooms in Cyberjaya and Pavilion Damansara Heights in May.

    Not that you should hold your breath for it ever to be sold here in the foreseeable future – the Cybertruck is enormous, one size larger than the already sizeable one-tonne trucks like the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton. It also hasn’t been converted to right-hand drive.

    The Cybertruck has made waves thanks to its extremely angular wedge design, formed by tough stainless steel panels (dubiously claimed to be “bulletproof”) that continues to drop jaws five years after it was first shown. At the front, you’ll find a full-width light bar (the actual headlights are mounted low down in the bumper) and a short bonnet that leads into the flat windscreen and its giant single wiper.

    Tesla Cybertruck in Malaysia – stainless steel pick-up EV on display in showrooms in May, not for sale

    From its peak at the top of the windscreen, the roofline then slopes dramatically down into the rear deck, which features a powered roller tonneau cover that completely obscures rearward visibility when it’s up. Other notable cues include the completely flat sides, squared-off overfenders, full-width taillights and a complete lack of door handles – you instead press a button on the B- and C-pillars to get in.

    The alloy wheels measure 20 inches in diameter and are wrapped in 285/65-section Goodyear Wrangler Territory RT tyres that have been custom-made to fit the distinctive black aero covers. An issue with these covers caused them to rub against the tyre and cause excessive wear; it’s unclear whether they have been fixed.

    It’s hard to overstate just how huge the Cybertruck is. Measuring 5,683 mm long, 2,032 mm wide and 1,796 mm tall, it’s 358 mm longer and 132 mm wider than a Hilux, while its humongous 3,635 mm wheelbase is 550 mm (!) longer. To give you a sense of perspective, the Tesla is over 130mm longer than a Rolls-Royce Ghost. It’s also very heavy, with a kerb weight ranging between 3,009 and 3,129 kg.

    Open the tailgate and you’ll find a huge bed that measures 1,852 mm long and 1,295 mm wide, allowing you to fit 4×8 feet construction materials with the tailgate down and up to 1,591 litres of cargo with the tailgate up. Together with 91 litres of underfloor storage, a 200 litre front boot and fold-up rear cushions (that alone free up an additional 1,533 litres) and you have an overall cargo capacity of 3,421 litres – including 1,888 litres of lockable storage.

    Inside, you’ll find Tesla’s typical minimalist interior with an almost yoke-like steering wheel (yes, with integrated indicator and wiper controls and no stalks), a floating centre console and not much else. The centre touchscreen now measures a massive 18.5 inches across, while a second 9.4-inch touchscreen at the back sits between the two front seats.

    There’a also the usual Tesla features, including twin wireless chargers, a HEPA air filter that enables a “bioweapon defence mode,” a large glass roof and a 15-speaker sound system with twin subwoofers. Tesla is also finally offering a vehicle-to-load (V2L) function through 120- and 240-volt sockets in the bed, outputting up to 11.5kW of power.

    Under the stainless steel “exoskeleton”, you’ll find an “ultra-strong” steel alloy structure claimed to offer greater stiffness than the carbon fibre McLaren P1. You also get acoustic “armour” glass said to be able to withstand a 70 mph (113 km/h) baseball fired at it – equivalent to Class 4 hail, the company says.

    There are three variants available, starting with the base rear-wheel-drive model can get from zero to 100 km/h in just 6.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 180 km/h.

    Stepping up to the all-wheel-drive model (which this Foundation Series is) adds a front motor that pushes power to 600 hp (441 kW), slashing the century sprint time to 4.3 seconds. Torque is claimed to be an insane 10,080 Nm, although that figure is at the wheels, multiplied by the ratio of the single-speed transmission. The actual figure, divided by a ratio of 15.02:1, is 671 Nm.

    Tesla Cybertruck in Malaysia – stainless steel pick-up EV on display in showrooms in May, not for sale

    But the one you’ll really want is the triple-motor Cyberbeast, which pushes out a stratospheric 840 hp (630 kW) and gets to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds (with the rollout subtracted, as is typical for Tesla these days), on its way to a top speed of 209 km/h. Wheel torque is bumped up to 13,959 Nm, or 929 Nm at the motors.

    Range is quoted at 402 km for the RWD model, 547 km with AWD and 515 km for the Cyberbeast. Payload capacity is 1,134 kg for the dual-motor model and 1,030 kg for the Cyberbeast, while towing capacity is rated at 4,990 kg.

    The Cybertruck is also the first Tesla to feature an 800-volt architecture that should allow for higher sustained charging speeds at DC fast chargers (including Tesla’s Superchargers). It’s also the first production vehicle to come with a 48-volt electrical architecture, allowing for lower amperage and thus thinner wires.

    Other features include steer-by-wire (which reduces the amount of turns lock-to-lock, finally making sense of the small steering wheel), rear-wheel steering (up to ten degrees) and air suspension that provides 305 mm of ground clearance in Normal mode and up to 443 mm in the off-road Extract mode.

    Despite making its appearance here, the truck isn’t likely to be sold outside of North America and probably won’t be converted to RHD, due to a number of factors. These include the difficulty in getting the “ultra-strong” stainless steel exterior panels and razor-sharp front end to pass global pedestrian protection legislation, as well as the arduous task of ramping up production just to meet demand in the US.

    Then there’s the fact that the Cybertruck won’t fit the relatively tiny roads and parking spaces outside of its home country. But what do you think – would you buy a Cybertruck as is if it were sold in Malaysia? Sound off in the comments below.

  • Largest Tesla Approved Body Shop in Malaysia – Hap Seng Body & Paint Centre in Shah Alam

    Largest Tesla Approved Body Shop in Malaysia – Hap Seng Body & Paint Centre in Shah Alam

    We recently checked out the largest Tesla Approved Body Shop in Malaysia, the Hap Seng Body & Paint Centre in Shah Alam. You may associate the Hap Seng group with Mercedes-Benz, but the facility is actually an approved service provider for several high-end brands – not only Mercedes and the renewed smart brand but also Porsche, Aston Martin and Bentley. You can even restore classic cars here.

    Tesla is in great company, then, and this facility is one of only two Tesla Approved Body Shops in the country, the other being SR EV Automotive on Jalan Chan Sow Lin in Kuala Lumpur. Here, you can bring your Tesla Model 3 or Model Y for any kind of accident repair, be it minor or major.

    The extent of procedures this facility can perform is vast and includes body panel replacements and painting. Most repairs shouldn’t take too long, either, as Tesla Malaysia carries ready stock for common parts such as head- and taillights, bumpers and wheels. Once the repairs are completed, the car is placed in a brightly-lit inspection booth to make sure there are no defects in the paint or body panels.

    Being a Tesla Approved Body Shop, the Hap Seng Body & Paint Centre is fully compliant with Tesla’s repair protocols. This includes the setting up of a “Quarantine Area” outside of the building to disconnect and discharge the battery before any work is performed. And yes, the centre will take in your Tesla even if it’s a grey import – no discrimination here.

    Largest Tesla Approved Body Shop in Malaysia – Hap Seng Body & Paint Centre in Shah Alam

    At the facility, we saw several Tesla Model 3s with various accident damage – surprising given how new the Highland is, not so when you realise how fast these things can go. Of course, short of a full write-off, there’s not much this place can’t do, and the completed cars that were parked outside looked practically brand new, as to be expected.

    Need a repair on your own Tesla? The Hap Seng Body & Paint Centre is located at Block 13, Hap Seng Industrial Park, No. 12, Persiaran Perusahaan, Seksyen 23, 40300 Shah Alam, Selangor. Call 03-5543 1369 or send a WhatsApp text for more information.

  • Tesla Supercharger now in Penang at Sunway Carnival, Seberang Perai – 4 DC chargers, RM1.25/kWh

    Tesla Supercharger now in Penang at Sunway Carnival, Seberang Perai – 4 DC chargers, RM1.25/kWh

    The number of Tesla Supercharger stations in Malaysia has now grown to eight with the opening of a new location in Sunway Carnival, Seberang Perai in Penang. The mall on the mainland side joins the 12 Destination Chargers located at The Ship Campus in Batu Kawan and All Seasons Place on the island in George Town.

    The facility features four V3 DC fast chargers, bringing the total amount of Superchargers in Malaysia to 40, while the Destination Chargers now stand at 61 chargers in ten locations. The outdoor car park the Superchargers are located in is open 24 hours a day and costs RM5 per hour to park from 9am to 2am.

    As with other Superchargers, it costs RM1.25 per kWh to plug up your Tesla there, with an idle fee of RM4 per minute when the Supercharger station is 100% occupied to prevent hogging. All Superchargers and Destination Chargers – the latter being free to use until further notice – operate using Tesla’s seamless “plug-in, charge and go” system, meaning that users simply have to input their payment method into their Tesla app; charging will commence automatically once they plug up a charger to their car.

    The Sunway Carnival Supercharger station is the first of five new charging locations coming to Malaysia in the second quarter of the year. The others will be a Supercharger in Kuantan, as well as two charging stations in Kuala Lumpur and one in Putrajaya.

  • Tesla Model Y gets new Quicksilver colour option in Malaysia – RM7,500; palette now includes six colours

    Tesla Model Y gets new Quicksilver colour option in Malaysia – RM7,500; palette now includes six colours

    Tesla Malaysia has updated the colour options for the Tesla Model Y again, this time adding a new Quicksilver hue. This joins the existing Pearl White Multi-Coat, Deep Blue Metallic, Solid Black, Stealth Grey and Ultra Red, the last two of which were introduced recently.

    With the addition of Quicksilver, there are now six colours available for the Model Y. That’s one more than the Model 3, which doesn’t get Quicksilver but otherwise shares the same colours with its SUV stablemate.

    While Pearl White Multi-Coat is included with the purchase price, every other colour for the Model Y is a cost option. For the new Quicksilver, it’ll cost you an extra RM7,500, which is the same amount you’ll be paying if you want Stealth Grey.

    As for the rest of the colours, Deep Blue Metallic and Solid Black cost RM5,000, while the most expensive hue is Ultra Red at RM11,000. These colours can be ordered with any variant of the Model Y, be it the base Rear-Wheel Drive (RM199,000), Long Range (RM246,000) or Performance (RM288,000).

  • Tesla Superchargers in Malaysia – 5 new locations in KL, Putrajaya, Penang and Kuantan, from Q2 2024

    Tesla Superchargers in Malaysia – 5 new locations in KL, Putrajaya, Penang and Kuantan, from Q2 2024

    During today’s launch of Tesla’s new Supercharger station in Gamuda Cove – the largest in Southeast Asia – the company also outlined its plan to further expand its network of electric vehicle chargers in Malaysia. There are a total of five DC Supercharger and AC Destination Charger stations that will be opened starting in the second quarter of this year.

    These include two new locations in Kuala Lumpur, one in Putrajaya, one in Seberang Perai in Penang and one in Kuantan. Tesla did not specify which ones will be Superchargers, but a source has confirmed that those in Perai and Kuantan will (naturally) be the DC fast chargers.

    Tesla Superchargers in Malaysia – 5 new locations in KL, Putrajaya, Penang and Kuantan, from Q2 2024

    Currently, Tesla’s charging network consists of seven Supercharger stations (with 36 chargers) and nine Destination Chargers (with 55 chargers). All of them operate using Tesla’s seamless “plug-in, charge and go” system, meaning that users simply have to input their payment method into their Tesla app; charging will commence automatically once they plug up a charger to their car.

    Charging at a Supercharger costs RM1.25 per kWh, with an idle fee of RM4 per minute when the Supercharging station is 100% occupied, to prevent hogging. Meanwhile, the destination chargers are free to use for Tesla owners, until further notice.

  • Tesla Model Y colour choices updated in Malaysia – new Ultra Red and Stealth Grey paint

    Left: Red Multi-Coat, Right: Ultra Red

    Left: Midnight Silver Metallic, Right: Stealth Grey

    Tesla Malaysia has updated the colour choices available for the Tesla Model Y in Malaysia. You can check it out at the Tesla Model Y Malaysian market configurator.

    Red Multi-Coat which used to be a RM10,000 option has been replaced by Ultra Red which is slightly more expensive, now a RM11,000 option. Midnight Silver Metallic which used to be a RM5,000 option has been replaced by a darker Stealth Grey colour, which is now more expensive at RM7,500.

    Ultra Red and Stealth Grey are the same red and grey colours available on the Model 3 Highland.

    The other colours – white, black and blue remain the same, with white being the default and black and blue remaining priced at RM5,000.

  • Tesla Destination Chargers now in Penang, at The Ship Campus and All Seasons Place – 12 AC chargers

    Tesla Destination Chargers now in Penang, at The Ship Campus and All Seasons Place – 12 AC chargers

    Tesla Malaysia has announced the expansion of the Tesla charging network to Penang with the introduction of two destination charging stations on the island, these being located at The Ship Campus, Batu Kawan and All Seasons Place at Lebuhraya Thean Aik in Air Itam.

    The Ship Campus destination charging station has a total of eight AC chargers, located at the outdoor car park area outside the main entrance. As for the All Seasons Place destination charging station, four AC chargers are available, located at Level G parking. The chargers at both locations are accessible to Tesla EVs throughout the entire day.

    Tesla Destination Chargers now in Penang, at The Ship Campus and All Seasons Place – 12 AC chargers

    The two new locations means that there are now six Supercharging stations (Pavilion KL; Pavilion Bukit Jalil, Sunway Pyramid; Iskandar Puteri in Johor; Freeport A’Famosa in Melaka and Tesla HQ in Cyberjaya) and eight destination charging stations in Malaysia.

    In total, the company now has 30 DC Superchargers and 37 AC chargers in operation at these locations. The company added that it will continue to develop its charging infrastructure in Penang and expand its charging coverage in the country.

  • 2024 Tesla Model Y updates in Malaysia – privacy glass, full double glazing, HW4, no parcel shelf

    2024 Tesla Model Y updates in Malaysia – privacy glass, full double glazing, HW4, no parcel shelf

    A couple of weeks ago, we got a hold of the keys (or rather, the card) to the Tesla Model Y Performance, the first time we’ve seen the electric SUV in the final form that Malaysian customers will get. During our time with it, we noticed several details that were not present on either the launch cars or the Standard Range model we briefly drove.

    The most noticeable change was the addition of privacy glass, the rear side windows and windscreen being considerably darker than the rest of the windows. This seems to be linked to an unfortunate change for 2024 – the deletion of the rear parcel shelf, which would otherwise hide your belongings from prying eyes.

    This is a strange omission, as the parcel shelf was only added to Model Y production last year. Tesla’s rationale is that with the privacy glass, the rear windscreen is dark enough that passers by will not be able to see what’s in the boot without actually peering through the glass.

    2024 Tesla Model Y updates in Malaysia – privacy glass, full double glazing, HW4, no parcel shelf

    Double-glazed rear side windows were first seen on the Model 3 Highland

    Also related to the glass is the inclusion of full double glazing for the side windows, not just for the front; this was first introduced on the Model 3 “Highland” facelift last year and makes for less wind noise. Last but not least, the Model Y we drove sported the latest “Hardware 4” cameras for the Autopilot semi-autonomous driving feature.

    These can be picked out through the slightly larger camera modules on the front fenders and the tailgate, along with the distinctive red-tinted lenses. These provide higher-resolution imagery visible on the surround view monitor as well as a more true-to-life white balance, with less of the yellow tint seen on the 2023 cars. Unfortunately, the hardware change has also apparently resulted in the halving of RAM to 8 GB and storage to 128 GB, presumably to save costs.

    We should point out that the car we drove lack the updates introduced in China in October, which added some of the detail interior changes of the Model 3 Highland. These include visible, customisable ambient lighting and fabric instead of wood decor.

    The 2024 Model Y gets the latest Hardware 4 cameras but lacks a rear parcel shelf

    The updates tide the Model Y over for a fourth consecutive year without any major changes. It was widely anticipated that the SUV will be getting a facelift for 2024 – codenamed Project Juniper – following in the footsteps of the Model 3’s Project Highland revamp, but Tesla has already instructed dealers to communicate to customers that there will be no such refresh this year.

    Otherwise, the Model Y Performance is the same as before, capable of getting from zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, hitting a top speed of 250 km/h and achieving a range of 514 km on the WLTP cycle. Performance-specific upgrades include 21-inch “Überturbine” wheels, a carbon fibre rear spoiler, bigger brakes and lowered suspension. It’s priced at RM289,700 excluding on-the-road registration fees, RM89,000 more than the base Standard Range.

    If you ordered the Model Y, you’ll have to wait a bit more to get your hands on your new car. Deliveries are only due to start in April, having been delayed from the Q1 timeline provided at the launch.

  • Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    By and large, buying a new car is a simple enough affair, with virtually all the matters of process being handled by someone else once you’ve decided you rather fancy that fresh metal and have put a down-payment for it. Of course, there’s always a modicum of involvement on your part along the way, but for the most the entire run is usually painless and sweat-free, the aspects predictable right down to final delivery.

    So when a carmaker decides to go the direct route and have you handle all the things a salesman usually would, all in the interest of cost savings to buyers, so it goes, it really can’t be that tough, right? Well, unless you’re familiar with the workings, it can be, as seen from a number of social media posts from Malaysian Tesla buyers during the initial delivery period for the Model 3 Highland, highlighting among other things the chase for paperwork and visit/s to JPJ to the futility of calling Tesla delivery assistants for clarification.

    While the noise has quietened a fair bit on those channels, the buying process itself remains constant, and so we decided to find out what’s involved in the DIY route and what early Highland buyers, having run that gauntlet, thought about the overall experience and how different it is to other brands in terms of interaction and the assorted elements (insurance transfer, JPJ no plate, car loan, etc), with the idea of giving those who are eyeing a Tesla purchase down the line an inkling of what to expect and prepare for.

    We tried reaching out privately to a couple of owners, but they didn’t respond. Then, by chance, I got a WhatsApp message from my friend Barry Lim, who wanted to ask about the BYD Seal. It turned out he had bought a Model 3 Highland, and had taken delivery of it a couple of days after the first deliveries of the car began. Seeing as he was in that early mix, I asked him to provide notes about the buying process to be fleshed out into a story.

    Barry, being Barry, decided not to stick to the brief and opted to go one better, providing the following long-form piece – which has only been given minor edits for house-style and brevity – below. In it, he not only details the buying experience and things to look out for, but also the reasons as to why he decided to go green and went for a Tesla, even going so far as to volunteer an opinion on the EV vs ICE debate. We’ll let him take centre stage from here.

    Pre-purchase, or why I bought a Tesla

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    First off, here’s my buyer profile:

    • Pre-middle-age male, married, two school going kids
    • Klang Valley-based upper middle-class landed house
    • Fortunate history of nice past and current cars (mostly non-Japanese), but this is my first BEV

    My two constant areas of interest in life have always been cars and tech. EVs are an amalgamation of both, with Teslas especially being so, having been described as “a gadget that so happens to take the shape of a car.”

    I’ve toyed with the idea of an EV for many years, especially since the missus has been onboard the environmental express for a long time, i.e., the vegetarian, cycle and walk everywhere type. However, the lack of EV access and choice because of the non-conducive Malaysian car industry put the plan onto the back of a snail all this while. That was until the previous government mooted the EV incentives a couple of years ago, which changed the market dynamics to the benefit of the ‘EV-ready consumer’.

    Fact is, EVs are more expensive to manufacture compared to ICE. It is also a much newer segment with much smaller economies of scale as compared to the incumbent option. This simply means that not only are the bill of materials (concentrated on the batteries) more costly, there is also less volume from customer demand, and shorter production lifespans.

    This final point is often missed by many: as EV technologies (batteries, motors, platforms) are newer, sitting on the early non-mature/nascent part of the ‘technology adoption curve’, not only are there (relatively) less customers to spread the development cost, there’s also less time for the technology to be ‘market competitive’ before the ‘next best technology’ comes around or gets discovered. I’ll come back to this point again later.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    Moving on, even as the government EV incentive plans came into being, the major manufacturers still decided they wanted healthier margins despite being able given a decent period of tax-free status for their fully-imported EV models. A personal example I will highlight (the Korean brands are another good example) is the MINI Cooper SE that I was keen on. It was an early-entry model with an attractive ‘pre tax-free’ price of RM225k. Tax-free pricing was announced initially at RM184k, but very quickly revised upwards to just below RM200k.

    This gave EV ready customers like me a feeling of being taken for a ride despite government incentives, and that there was little to be gained as an early adopter in Malaysia. Together with my recent realisation that buying a two to three-year old second-hand car isn’t as difficult and risky as it used to be, I thought I’d hold off on an EV purchase and aim for a tasty ‘posher’ used Mercedes-Benz EQE/Audi Q8 e-tron/Porsche Taycan once those hit the second-hand market.

    Heck, my bet was almost sure-proof in my head as the general Malaysian car-buying public is very much risk-adverse and always bikin tak serupa cakap (exhibit A: “I will definitely buy a manual version of XXX if they offered it here”).

    This prudent strategy fell apart upon the announcement of Tesla’s entry into Malaysia. At first, the expectation was that their core models like the Y and 3 would likely be priced to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQB/BMW iX3 and Mercedes-Benz EQA/Hyundai Ioniq 5 respectively. After all, the Chinese entrants were already pushing closer to the RM200k figure than the RM100k end. But Tesla Malaysia got to work very quickly.

    When it first announced the Model Y priced from RM199k (which we initially booked), and then the updated facelift Model 3 Highland at RM189k, we didn’t have to think long and hard about putting the RM1k (non-refundable and not part of the car price) booking fee. This was done on the very first day the Model 3 Highland was announced for Malaysia, which was September 1, 2023.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    The Model 3 Highland that I ordered was a Long Range version (RM218k), with a blue exterior (and standard black interior) adding RM5k to that. Additionally, I opted for the Enhanced Auto Pilot (EAP), which added a further RM16k, making the purchase price RM239k.

    Pre-delivery, otherwise known as waiting

    From readings of Tesla’s marketing model overseas, it wasn’t much of surprise to me that many of the steps and process of buying a new car with it would be very much different from the experience of buying a new car with practically any other brand in Malaysia. The required milestones are the same i.e., book, get your hire-purchase loan, insurance NCD transferred, registration with JPJ (and plate number ‘interchange’ in our case) and delivery/pick-up.

    However, unlike dealing with just one sales agent (and maybe one banker), here you may not even have a SA at all (such as our case because we booked online – for those that booked a Tesla in person, the SA’s job ends upon taking your order).

    For most of the first month, there was nothing to be done and no known updates to our purchase besides the earlier announced ‘year-end’ delivery promise. We too did not do anything, and indeed I did not even make any real attempt to dispose of the wife’s current car, which the Model 3 was to replace.

    Some time in October (month two), we were contacted by what Tesla calls a delivery agent, or DA in short. The DA’s job is supposed to help ‘guide’ the buyer through the necessary steps and process until the car actually gets delivered to him/her.

    So, step one was to get the bank loan approved. If you don’t have your own banker, Tesla Malaysia will offer you contact numbers for you to reach out to. Its panels are Maybank and Ambank, I believe. We went with Maybank through another referral contact (from a Tesla group setup by some early buyers – we called ourselves Tesla MIM for so-called ‘Made in Malaysia,’ and yes, we know it’s not made in Malaysia).

    Once the loan came through, there was again radio silence and the only notable activity I did the rest of October was to go check-out the physical car for the first time in their newly-launched HQ in Cyberjaya. No test drives were available, but that was fine as we had already experienced the old pre-facelift Model 3 as a holiday rental for almost a month a year prior overseas, and there were proxy test drive videos by Hafriz Shah to keep things going. Oh, congratulations on the recent nuptials, Hafriz!

    In early November (month three), we were contacted by the DA that our actual car had been allocated to us in the system. This was immediately reflected in the Tesla app with an assigned VIN number (you get an account on the app upon making the booking). With the VIN, we were then supposed to proceed with the remaining steps.

    Now, since in our case we wanted to keep the number from the old car and have it transferred to the new Tesla, this process (by JPJ) called “interchange” added a complexity that isn’t there for buyers that opt for new numbers.

    The interchange process requires that an old plate number (i.e., used on any existing vehicle) be immediately transferred to the new vehicle and cannot be kept ‘floating’ for any period. As the Tesla had not arrived (represented by a K1 form issued by Kastam upon arrival of the actual car into the country), we could not do that as yet.

    Also to be kept in mind that at the same time, the old car must be then issued a ‘new number’ during the interchange process i.e., any old car (already registered with JPJ before) cannot have an ‘old number’ assigned to it – either the car or the number has to be new or unregistered per JPJ, which some say is to protect the used-car AP business model.

    So, despite our loan and insurance (issued without a plate number attached) all ready and done up (not without its own drama, as even the banks are not entirely sure about Tesla Malaysia’s processes), the key steps of (1) interchange, and (2) registering of the actual car was dramatically left till the morning of our assigned delivery date, in this case December 1, 2023.

    JPJ is where I want to be, not

    Basically, we needed to bring two forms to JPJ: (1) the B2 form issued by Puspakom upon inspection of old car for interchange purposes, and (2) the K1 form issued by Kastam upon arrival of the Tesla at a Malaysian port. Tesla Malaysia could not get us the K1 form until the early morning on Friday, December 1, the same day we were supposed to collect our car at 2.45pm.

    With some work already scheduled for that Friday morning, we could only get to a JPJ just before it closed its morning session for Friday prayers. We were literally the last customer to be transacted before the JPJ office grilles were shut!

    With the newly-issued JPJ registration grant for the Tesla in our hands, we went back home, picked up the kids, got into a Grab car and made our way to Tesla Cyberjaya for our assigned collection slot.

    Actual delivery

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    The Tesla delivery process was also one that was very different from our past experiences picking up a brand new ride, especially in one key aspect: customers were assigned into batches and practically collected their respective cars together. Things might have changed since the initial period, but here’s what customers who took deliveries of their cars early on experienced.

    First, you arrive and get ushered to the registration table (much like when you arrive for say, a conference) where you pick out your name from a long list on a printed xls table. Second, you are then told to huddle together in the waiting area behind said registration table, with a water cooler and self-service coffee machine, which looked out-of-service when we were there.

    Third, you then get huddled into a briefing room (the size of perhaps a typical apartment’s master bedroom) with a Chinese (by heritage) guy speaking in a real – as opposed to television – American accent (to remind us that Tesla is an American brand?) about the basics of Tesla ownership and operations of the car e.g., swiping on the centre screen for drive, reverse, as well as buttons on the steering instead of a signal stalk. The BMW owners in the room didn’t seem to care about this, for some reason.

    Finally, for the moment of truth, you are ushered in a group to the adjacent delivery hall (large enough for three to four cars concurrently in there), which opens up through a single ramp to the car park area outside the building.

    We were then quite randomly put into a sequence to get our keycards – marked by the respective registration number – and had the option to (A) go find your car on the parking lot, get in, drive off, or (B) do A but then wait for a slot to drive your car into the delivery hall, put on the large red ribbon and take pictures, then drive off. Our family decided to do option B just for the heck of it in order to get the picture you see here.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    Pro Tip: As this is your one and only chance to use its ‘delivery supercharger’ for free, consider plugging in for a quick top-up before you leave the parking lot as all the cars we noticed on the day had approximately 60% or so of charge only. Not an issue, but if you’re not in a hurry, then why not get some extra electric juice into your car for free?

    So, after exactly three months from booking (in our case), we were driving home as one of the very first owners of the Tesla Model 3 Highland in the world. Is it really a big deal? As ‘just another car’, maybe not. But as an EV, it apparently is a ‘big deal’. Why? Read my summation below.

    Post-delivery thoughts

    Globally, Tesla has somehow (not something I personally understand) built an almost fanatical fan-base. In some ways, it can be likened to the Apple brand that is part aspirational, part nonsensical. Is it because of Elon Musk? Despite popular belief, Elon did not start Tesla. He just had money to invest it in, fire the two actual founders, make himself chairman and CEO, and arguably make the Tesla ‘vision’ a reality. So, is Tesla what it is because of Elon? Because of the real risk of being hunted by Tesla’s fanboys, I will not state my position publicly.

    Are we enjoying the Model 3 Highland as a product? That’s an easy yes! Compared to the pre-facelifted Model 3, this is a product that has matured in very measurable ways, beneficial to buyers. As mentioned earlier, we had the Model 3 as a rental for a decent enough period, clocking in some good road-tripping miles in it. The biggest gripes were the harsh ride, especially in the rear seats, worse than average noise levels, and a not very attractive exterior design. The facelift fixes all the above, and yes, I like the updated looks very much.

    Is there anything that makes Tesla the default go-to EV brand of choice, at least for now? Yes, only one. The Supercharger network. This very nice value proposition really makes the brand stand out, not just for consumers, but on a wider scale as an ‘ecosystem builder’ at an industry level. With its own charging network, Tesla as a company has to put effort (and money) into not just its cars and the necessary supplier network of partner firms, but also R&D into charging and its technical protocols, deal with energy suppliers and land-owners as well as manage the operations across all locations.

    Proof that it has succeeded here is that in other markets where Tesla has been operating for years now, the Tesla superchargers are known to be highly reliable with easier availability than other public chargers that presumably are the main business of their respective operators with a wider addressable market of many more EV brands. However, is this a deal breaker for other EVs? I think not.

    To EV, or not to EV?

    As to the on-going “EV vs non-EV” debate of today, my response is this (for now, until I think of something more brilliant): will you ever refill your ICE car at a public petrol station if you had your own petrol station at home with RON 95 at approximately half the price per litre?

    You see, as long as you fit the criteria of landed-living (which many Malaysians do, and others can too as long as they are willing to either move a little further from the city or buy older landed properties instead of only considering new developments) and ideally have another ICE car in the household for the occasional balik kampung trips, you have the perfect use-case of an EV consumer.

    Ignoring the upfront purchase price, which is tax-free for now despite costing more than the equivalent-sized ICE option, the operating cost of an EV is approximately half for every kilometre travelled in the Malaysian context (not expected to change much even as petrol prices become unsubsidised, as TNB pricing is also expected to rise).

    Factor in the total cost-of-ownership where there are little to no scheduled servicing intervals (no major oil changes), negligible wear-and-tear components besides tyres and wipers, and lastly the higher energy conversion efficiencies of electric motors compared to dinosaur-juiced engines, and the EV proposition starts to become a viable alternative.

    Buying a Tesla in Malaysia: no SA, self-service bank loan, JPJ/no plate – we get detailed owner experience

    In fact, I would like to emphasise the word “alternative.” EVs will not replace ICEs any time soon. Likely not in our lifetime. Even in mature economies where new ICE models will be banned in about a decade’s time, existing ICE vehicles will continue to run for the next decade or two. That means 30 more years in places like western Europe and maybe North America. In other economies of Asia, Africa and South America, let’s perhaps add another two more decades to that. So that’s 50 years of arguing if you still want to adopt a hard position on the EV vs non-EV debate, no? Quite tiring, if you ask me.

    Instead, accept that EVs are just another track of vehicles to give us consumers more options. Both have their pros and cons and respective use-cases e.g., if you do outstation trips very often, an EV most certainly cannot be your (main) car of choice. Are Teslas for that matter perfect? Not at all.

    In my own experience and opinion (yours may vary depending on your point of comparison), the much-hyped Tesla Autopilot (remember that we opted for the EAP add-on too) is more hype than substance, at this juncture performing worse than that on my other current car, and there’s also the deletion of the ubiquitous ultrasonic sensors to rely exclusively on the so-called ‘Tesla-vision’ and the unnecessary stalkless driving experience to contend with.

    Aside from these minor niggles and the teething issues of the purchase process, our ride in the EV bandwagon so far has been a good one. Is it for everyone? Nope. Is it good for the environment? Notice I didn’t bring up that topic at all, but if you must discuss it, remember that EV development is at best two decades old versus a century for ICE development, so think about the implications of that for a moment.

  • Tesla Model 3 Highland pre-configured available inventory now listed on Tesla Malaysia website

    Tesla Model 3 Highland pre-configured available inventory now listed on Tesla Malaysia website

    Tesla Malaysia now has a page listing available pre-configured brand new available inventory of Tesla Model 3 Highland on its website.

    We did a quick check and there are 16 cars available at time of publishing, ranging from a white RWD with no ticked options priced at RM189k all the way up to a blue LR with upgraded Nova wheels, white interior for RM235,500. You can click here to view the full inventory.

    If you want your own specs with all the most expensive available options checked, you can still do so as a custom configuration order. At this time that would be an Ultra Red Model 3 LR model with Nova wheels and white interior, a config which isn’t listed as being in stock.

    How fast can you get these cars registered upon ordering one? Best you enquire with Tesla as we don’t actually know if these cars are physically here yet – they might be a list of unbooked cars on the next shipment on the way from Shanghai to Malaysia.

  • Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – first units of RWD, Long Range EVs delivered to customers

    Tesla Model 3 Highland facelift in Malaysia – first units of RWD, Long Range EVs delivered to customers

    Deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift have commenced in Malaysia today, and customers have started taking delivery of their new vehicles at Tesla Malaysia’s Cyberjaya headquarters with more deliveries to come in the course of the day.

    Thus far, around 20 customers have collected their new EVs this morning, and more deliveries will take place this afternoon, with a total of around 100 customers expected to take delivery of their cars today.

    Tesla Malaysia has also launched Premium Connectivity for this market through the Tesla mobile app, for data-enabled features including music and media streaming, live traffic visualisation and more, and is priced at RM35.99 per month. This is offered on a free trial basis for the first 30 days upon taking delivery.

    The Premium Connectivity service is tied to the Tesla app, and for Tesla vehicles bought through non-official channels, this will be priced according to the market where the vehicle was first registered. For example, if the parallel-imported Tesla vehicle was first sold in the United Kingdom, pricing for Premium Connectivity will be quoted in pounds sterling.

    Click to enlarge

    Customers who purchase their vehicles from Tesla Malaysia will also be invited to join Tesla Owners Club Malaysia, which brings members privileges from Tesla partners, in addition to getting connected with existing members of the Tesla community, says Tesla Malaysia.

    Owners of the new Model 3 in Malaysia presently have access to four Supercharger locations and six destination charging locations. A new batch of chargers will be brought online in the coming months across several states, says Tesla Malaysia.

    The Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’ facelift takes up to 250 kW of DC charging in Long Range AWD guise, offering up to 629 km of range on the WLTP cycle, while the base RWD supports up to 170 kW of DC charging with up to 513 km of range (WLTP). With the Supercharger V3, the Model 3 can be recharged to gain 282 km of range in just 15 minute, according to Tesla Malaysia.

  • Trailer loads of the Tesla Model 3 Highland arrive at Tesla Cyberjaya – deliveries to start very soon?

    Trailer loads of the Tesla Model 3 Highland arrive at Tesla Cyberjaya – deliveries to start very soon?

    A trailer load of the Tesla Model 3 Highland has been spotted arriving at Tesla Centre Cyberjaya, signifying that we can expect customer deliveries very soon, as early as next week. Photos of the Model 3 being transported on a trailer as well as parked at the Cyberjaya parking lot were posted on X (formerly known as Twitter) by user @jxun yesterday.

    Tesla’s Cyberjaya HQ, which was completed in just two months, is a central hub for all corporate operations, marketing, training and customer support activities. Deliveries of customer units will take place at the Cyberjaya facility. The facility also has eight Supercharger stations and 12 Wall Connector chargers, although at the moment these are for internal use only and not for public.

    The Model 3 facelift is offered in Malaysia in two variants, the Standard Range rear-wheel-drive priced from RM189,000, and the Long Range all-wheel-drive priced from RM218,000. Learn more about the Model 3 by watching our review.

  • Tesla Destination Chargers now at Sunway Putra Mall and Pavilion Damansara Heights shopping centres

    Tesla Destination Chargers now at Sunway Putra Mall and Pavilion Damansara Heights shopping centres

    Tesla Malaysia has announced the opening of two destination charging stations in KL. There are a total of 11 new AC chargers, and they are at Pavilion Damansara Heights and Sunway Putra Mall.

    We’ve showed you the chargers at Pavilion Damansara Heights – the latest Pavilion mall in Pusat Bandar Damansara that houses a Tesla showroom – before, and they are at Level B1. Meanwhile, the Sunway Putra Mall chargers are located at Level B2 Zone C11. These chargers are for Tesla EVs. Other Sunway and Pavilion malls also have Tesla chargers.

    Last week, Tesla Malaysia has announced the opening of a Tesla Supercharging station at Freeport A’Famosa Outlet. The new Tesla-only charging site in Melaka includes four 250 kW V3 Superchargers and one Destination Charger.

    This is the fourth station in Malaysia’s Supercharging network after Tesla’s Cyberjaya HQ, Pavilion KL, Iskandar Puteri (Johor) and Sunway Pyramid, and there’s now a total of 20 Superchargers in the country.


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Last Updated May 16, 2024