As Tesla accelerates its global expansion, a recent battery manufacturing agreement with Malaysia signals a unique breakthrough. The pact, coupled with the establishment of a regional headquarters, promises to turbocharge Southeast Asia's electric vehicle battery sector as the country eyes a prominent spot in the global EV battery supply chain.
The Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim's exclusive CNBC interview sheds light on the nation's ambitious Battery Electric Vehicle Global Leaders initiative, Tesla's strategic foothold in the region, and the exemption from import tariffs and equity ownership requirements that underscore the deal.
As the race to electrify transportation gains momentum, Malaysia's forward-thinking approach may propel it into a pivotal role within the EV landscape.
“This is not new. There has been exceptions … given for digital transformation, for IT-related activities or investments,” the prime minister said. “We have done that in the past — very selective. So the issue isn't just Elon Musk, which I think is much required in this country to give this confidence and the participation of our players.”
Anwar revealed that while other EV companies haven't expressed interest in establishing battery production in the country, he remains optimistic about the potential. Meanwhile, negotiations between Tesla and Indonesia continue, with hopes of mutual gains for both nations.