Tesla will make Malaysia’s EV ecosystem more competitive – Tengku Zafrul
23 Jul 2023
The opening of Tesla Inc’s first charging station in Malaysia will make the local automotive ecosystem more competitive and help signal to the global market that the country is serious about developing its electric vehicle (EV) industry, said Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz
Tengku Zafrul said that given that the EV industry is relatively new to Malaysia, many investors, both local and foreign, are still waiting for the ‘certainties’ in the market before making any investment decision.
He believed that the opening of Tesla’s charging station would help instil confidence among EV investors who are not only keen to invest in the charging facilities but also take part in the entire supply chain.
“We are, in a way, liberalising the industry, and we have to push. We want to make sure the regulations are clear.
“They also want to know how fast the cars are coming in. So for the people investing in (the) charging (stations), they want to see us opening up also. Tesla is setting a good example by installing the charging stations first,” he told Bernama.
On Wednesday, July 19, Tengku Zafrul launched Tesla’s supercharging station at Pavilion in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, the giant car maker’s first EV charging station in the country, who planned to build a minimum of 50 charging stations nationwide.
The minister said nine charging station locations had been identified, including in Bukit Jalil, Petaling Jaya and Dengkil, while outside of Klang Valley would be at Ipoh, Perak; Perai, Pulau Pinang; Seremban, Negeri Sembilan; and Iskandar Puteri, Johor, while the other two would be announced soon.
He said that at the initial stage, the locations of the charging stations would be focused on the big cities but not only limited to shopping malls as Tesla also planned to have outdoor charging stations.
Creating an economic spillover
Tengku Zafrul said many Malaysian companies are involved in the supply chain of building Tesla’s charging station, which is in line with the government’s hope of creating a significant spillover effect towards the people and the economy as a whole.
“Malaysia has a strong electrical and electronics (E&E) ecosystem that was built over the last 50 years, especially in the semiconductor business, which is a key component in making EV cars.
“It is good to see Malaysian companies supporting not just Tesla but the whole industry,” he said, reiterating that the government is committed to speeding up the approvals for infrastructure development to match the world-class standard of three months.
Commenting on the equilibrium in the local EV market, Tengku Zafrul said that as the number of EV charging stations in the county shows an uptrend, the demand and supply of EV cars would follow suit.
“Therefore, the charging facility investors can breakeven faster,” he pointed out.
Quoting a survey by charging facility companies, Tengku Zafrul said the breakeven on investing in charging stations, based on the current environment, could be two to three years.
The government aimed to have 10,000 EV charging stations nationwide by 2025, comprising 9,000 units of alternating current (AC) type and 1,000 units of direct current (DC) type.
To date, over 1,000 EV charging stations have been installed.
Tengku Zafrul further said that mass electrification of the automotive sector and Malaysia’s manufacturing industry fits in well with the environmental, social, and governance net-zero agenda of Malaysia and the region.
Malaysia is targeting to have 15 per cent of total industry volume (TIV) contributed by EV and hybrid vehicles by 2030 and 38 per cent of TIV by 2040.