Tesla Malaysia is open for business, kicks it off with Model Y launch

KUALA LUMPUR: This is it! Tesla has officially come to town.

The electric car giant launched its Model Y SUV at the upscale Pavilion Kuala Lumpur shopping centre today, signalling its entry into Malaysia.

It was only a week ago that it declared the start of sale of the Model Y, priced from RM199,000. The car can be ordered online.  The Model 3 sedan would be launched in Malaysia later followed by other Tesla models.

Available in three variants, the Model Y is the best-selling electric SUV in the world and has 5-star safety ratings from NHTSA and Euro NCAP. It is imported from Tesla's plant in Shanghai.  The variants are RWD, Long Range and Performance priced at RM199,000, RM246,000 and RM288,000 respectively.

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Performance variant.

Being a mid-size SUV, the Model Y offers 2.1 cubic metres of cargo space, providing versatile seating and storage for up to 5 passengers with their belongings.

Depending on the variant, the Model Y can accelerate from 0 to 100kph in just 3.7 seconds, boasting a range of up to 533km (WLTP cycle). Enhanced Autopilot is an RM16,000 option, while the full works in the form of "Full Self-driving Capability" is listed as an RM32,000 option.

Tesla owners must be aware that Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability are intended for use with a fully attentive driver, who has his hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment. While these features are designed to become more capable over time, the currently enabled features do not make the vehicle autonomous in the true sense.

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RWD variant.

The Model Y will begin delivery to Malaysian customers in early 2024.

As part of Tesla's investments in Malaysia, the company has unveiled a comprehensive development plan for experience centres, service and support, as well as charging infrastructure in the country, aimed at delivering a seamless Tesla ownership experience.

An experience centre or showroom will be set up here soon, while the Tesla Malaysia head office would be based in Cyberjaya.

Tesla is also taking care of charging needs with eight Superchargers already installed in the basement of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, which are the first indoor Supercharger station in Malaysia.  They are expected to be operational soon pending licence approval before commissioning for public use.

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Tesla's plan includes opening multiple Supercharging stations at strategic locations to cover popular destinations across the country.

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz shed more light on the charging coverage by saying there would be nine other locations in Malaysia which would have Superchargers besides the ones in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

There would be three other locations in the Klang Valley namely Bukit Jalil, Petaling Jaya and Dengkil. In addition, other locations set to get Superchargers are Iskandar Puteri in Johor, Perai in Penang, Ipoh and Seremban.

Each location would have four to 12 chargers, he added.

The long-term goal is to allow seamless electric driving all the way from Singapore to Thailand, echoing the same objective by Porsche and its partner Shell in deploying DC fast charging stations across national borders.

With Tesla Supercharging, the Model Y, operating at peak efficiency of 250kW, can charge up to 120km in just 5 minutes. As the most expensive component in an electric car, the battery pack is backed by an 8-year warranty or 160,000km mileage (whichever comes first) for the base variant. The dual motor variants come with battery warranty of 8 years or 192,000km mileage (whichever comes first).

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All three variants of the Model Y would be open for public viewing and ordering at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur until Oct 31. At today's launch, only the Performance (in red) and rear-wheel drive variant (white) were unveiled to the media.

Tesla is working with Ambank and Maybank to provide EV loans to customers, while Liberty Insurance is the preferred partner for  insurance coverage.

Tesla regional director Isabel Fan declined to provide Model Y bookings received in Malaysia so far, and dismissed online reports that claimed bookings in the country had surpassed 10,000 orders.

Also present at the Model Y launch were Tesla public policy & business development lead (Malaysia & Singapore) Ahmad Hadri Haris. Guests included US ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters, Deputy Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Liew Chin Tong and the ministry's secretary-general, Datuk Seri Isham Ishak.

Tesla Model Y_July2023 (31)_Performance

In line with Malaysia's goal to promote low-carbon mobility and support the EV industry, Tesla customers will enjoy full import and excise duties exemption for newly registered zero-emission Tesla electric vehicles.

Additionally, customers can benefit from 100% road tax exemption and individual income tax relief of up to RM2,500 on expenses related to EV charging facilities for the assessment year of 2023.

Companies that rent non-commercial EVs may claim tax deduction on the rental amount up to RM300,000 from the year of assessment 2023 until 2025.

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Eight Tesla Superchargers have been installed at Basement 1 of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
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Tesla Model Y_July2023 (28)_Performance
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2023-07-20 21_18_21-Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability _ Tesla Support - Brave
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