Greentech has imported 17 Teslas since 2015.

KUALA LUMPUR: AT a presentation by Greentech Malaysia earlier this week, chief executive officer Ahmad Hadri Haris revealed the programme to promote green technology this year.

He also gave a little insight into why electric car manufacturers like Tesla have yet to set foot in Malaysia. 

Greentech has imported 17 Teslas since 2015, leasing them to government agencies and companies to promote EVs. They plan to bring in a total of 100 Teslas altogether.

Greentech is not an official distributor of Tesla vehicles.

Ahmad Hadri said Malaysia needed to create the right environment so that manufacturers of EVs and hybrids could thrive.

“Tesla asked us three questions. First of all, whether there is preferential treatment for EVs. Secondly, do we have the ecosystem, and thirdly, does green technology have good visibility and awareness among the public,” said Ahmad Hadri.

He added that while the last two criteria had been addressed in some form or other, the first was the most challenging.

To date, the Malaysian government has given no firm indication whether hybrid and EV incentives will go on beyond 2017.

Local distributors of automobiles face an uphill challenge in convincing their respective principals on the viability of introducing such models here.

In the automobile world, this uncertainty is a showstopper for future model introductions.

If the government is serious about introducing electric cars and other more efficient and cleaner forms of mobility, it has to move fast.

Around the world, governments are working hard to reduce emissions from vehicles.

Germany has set an official deadline in 2030 to become the first country to ban gas-powered cars. The Norwegians and the Dutch are working towards achieving the same goal.

Even India recently confirmed that it was evaluating such a scheme.

If Malaysia doesn’t want to get left behind, it has to start thinking deep and hard about its plan for the future.

(Part 2 next Sunday, March 26)

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