MITI's BEV Global Leaders program that allows Tesla franchise APs – what does Malaysia get in return? – paultan.org
Yesterday we reported that Tesla was going to set up a sales, service and charging network presence in Malaysia, as announced by MITI minister Tengku Zafrul. He mentioned that Tesla Malaysia’s entry was made possible by MITI’s BEV Global Leaders program. But what exactly is this BEV Global Leaders program? We found some details on MITI’s website.
The BEV Global Leaders program is called “Peneraju Global Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)” in Bahasa Malaysia on the MITI website. As you know, Malaysia’s current National Automotive Policy only allows companies with bumiputera shareholding to hold franchise APs. This is why Mercedes-Benz Malaysia has to get APs from Naza and Mazda has to get APs from Prima Merdu.
However, many EV-exclusive carmakers work on a direct to consumer, no dealer, no partner business model. Tesla is one such company. It is strict on this policy, and it has even managed to build a Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai, China without a local partner, making it the first wholly foreign-owned plant in China.
Thus with the existing NAP policy for Franchise APs, Tesla would never be able to enter the Malaysian market without a partner for franchise APs because it simply would not qualify to obtain franchise APs to import its own cars.
This is where the Peneraju Global BEV program comes in. It allows successful applicants to receive franchise APs. According to Tengku Zafrul, Tesla is the first successful applicant of this program.
According to the requirements we found on MITI’s website, the cars imported into Malaysia have to be battery electric vehicles (no hybrids) and they also have to be SAEJ3016 Certified Level 2 Autonomous.
There are also other requirements, to be executed within 3 years of approval. The company must set up an office, sales and service centers in Malaysia. The company must also install at least 50 units of DC fast chargers with minimum charging power of 180 kW, and at least 30% (15 units) of these chargers must be open for the public to use, allowing usage by electric cars from other brands.
The company must also hire and develop the skillsets of at least 100 Malaysians. The total workforce of the company must be at least 80% Malaysian. The company must train at least 5 students from higher education institutions through industrial internship.
The company must also cooperate with at least 10 higher education or TVET centres for knowledge transfer on BEVs/BMW/EV chargers or other related technologies. It must also cooperate with at least 10 local companies and use local contractors for local charging networks.
This program currently runs from now up to 31 December 2025. After that, I suppose applicants to this program such as Tesla will have to renegotiate with the government on the status of their Franchise APs.
So what do you think of this program? Is it a fair deal for Malaysia?
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