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Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak testing out the Tesla Model S electric car outside the Parliament house today. NST pix by Sairien Nafis

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has received a proposal from Malaysia Green Technology Corp (Greentech) to introduce electric cars manufactured by US-based Tesla Motors to Malaysia.

This is in-line with the government's aim to promote the usage of energy-efficient and electric vehicles.

Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili said the effort will promote Malaysia as a centre of excellence for electric vehicle technology as well as make Malaysia the main service centre for such vehicles in the Asean region.

At the moment, Greentech Malaysia has brought in two Tesla Model S’ for research and development purposes.

"Malaysia would benefit as a electric vehicle development hub in the Asean region while allowing other electric vehicle models to be brought into Malaysia," he said after the Green Technology and Climate Change Council meeting yesterday.

The meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the Parliament building.

After the meeting, Najib test drove the car from Parliament building to PWTC.

The research and development for electric cars was one of the three proposals brought to the council.

The other two proposals were for the government to set up a RM400 million Green Equity Financing Fund and to invest in green technology start-up firms from next year onwards.

Ongkili said the fund and the structure would be approved by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and managed by Malaysia Venture Capital Management Bhd (MAVCAP).

"The fund is to invest in eligible green technology companies which are still in the early stage and also on expansion stage," he told reporters.

Ongkili said the fund is to assist green technology entrepreneurs to overcome challenges and secure financing from banking institutions as some of them had insufficient capital and security.

"Discussions will be held with the Finance Ministry on the implementation mechanism soon," the minister added.

The third proposal is by Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd to implement a Carbon Neutral Airport Project.

Ongkili said the council had agreed to the airport operator's idea to replace its vehicles with electric vehicles in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Klia2.

"KLIA and Klia2 will be the first two airports to use electric vehicles in the Asean region.

"The council supports the proposal and the ministry will fully cooperate to realise MAHB's initiative especially in preparing infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations in KLIA and klia2," he added.

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