Tesla officially entered the Malaysian market after hosting a launch event at Pavilion KL, a high-end shopping mall located in Kuala Lumpur. This is the latest Right Hand Drive market after the UK, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand.
The event showcased all Tesla Model Y variants for the first time, including the Rear Wheel Drive, Long Range, and Performance. The public can view and experience these eco-friendly EVs until October 31st. Tesla began accepting online orders a week ago starting at RM199,000 and will begin delivery in early 2024.
At the same time, Tesla announced it will open the first Supercharging Station location in Malaysia right under the mall at basement parking level B1. At launch, it will have a total of eight V3 Superchargers with CCS2 connectors operating at an efficiency of 250 kW, allowing the Model Y to be charged up with 75 miles (120 kilometers) of range in five minutes.
Tesla has plans to open multiple Supercharging stations at strategic locations to cover popular destinations across the country. Around 10 locations can be spotted on the charging map. Target opening dates are still to be confirmed with a large number being located within Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia is one of the few locations where Tesla is a latecomer to the party. Many strong EV competitors entered this market quite some time ago. These include Audi, BMW, BYD, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Porsche, Smart (soon to launch), Volvo, and many more to come, including the homegrown brand Proton (partnering with Geely).
Some local enthusiasts and early adopters have been spotted driving Tesla EVs by importing the vehicles using private channels, while some Singaporeans posted online photos of cross-border road trips driving throughout the country. Tesla's competitive pricing and advanced tech could be an advantage that may be attractive to local buyers and offer Tesla a chance to gain a leading title for market shares.
Time will tell if Tesla will be a success, but one thing is certain: its rapid expansion of Supercharging stations will be tough to compete with, just like what we've seen in other global markets. The simple plug-and-play charging experience is an advantage for the firm.
According to the Minister of International Trade and Industry, Tesla is required to complete 50 Superchargers within three years and 30 percent of them must be open to other brands as part of the approval to allow the establishment of Tesla in the country. Earlier in the year, figures showed Malaysia had 900 charging points and it was expected to provide up to 4,000 charging points by the end of 2023.
Onwards, the country's roadmap for EV charging stations is targeting around 10,000 stations by 2025, which will be comprised of 1,000 DC units and 9,000 AC units. Similar to Europe, Tesla owners from Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, once a sufficient number of Supercharging locations are completed, should be able to do a road trip between all three countries without worrying about range anxiety.
Will this new market addition for Tesla's growth help keep its stock price at the recent high or gain a foothold above $300? Or for many anticipated Model S and Model X fans, will this new Right Hand Drive market generate enough demand for Elon to reconsider relaunching the RHD models so that Malaysia and many RHD markets can once again have access to the full Tesla lineup?