Tesla Motors unveils the new lower-priced Model 3 sedan at the Tesla Motors design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. Pic: AP

Malaysia: Grab partners with GreenTech to offer rides in Tesla all-electric car

MALAYSIAN Grab users got the chance to experience riding in Tesla’s fully-electric Model S 85 as the ride-hailing company partnered with the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) to highlight the presence of electric vehicles in the country.

Over the weekend, Grab offered the RM15 rides to a riders in specific locations. The partnership with GreenTech comes as the country’s minister for energy and green technology announced that the country’s budget for 2017 will encourage the use of electric vehicles.

Quoted by local news site Free Malaysia Today, Maximus Ongkili told reporters on Sunday: “The use of electric vehicles has yet to be expanded as we need to promote infrastructure such as charging stations.” He added that the Finance, Transport, and International Trade and Industry ministries will be involved in the effort.

SEE ALSO: Veolia’s Emmi Kaipio: Encourage eco-friendly attitudes through sharing economy

Earlier this year, GreenTech’s CEO Ahmad Hadri Haris told Channel News Asia that the Malaysian government’s partnership with Tesla was also part of the automotive company’s plans to establish itself in the country.

He said it was “a matter of time” until Tesla sets up its own operations in Malaysia – until then, promotions such as this one with Grab is their best bet to get people into their cars and onto the road.

Haris said of the partnership with Grab: “In support of the government’s vision to develop sustainable transportation for the country, GreenTech Malaysia has been promoting and raising awareness about the role of EVs to key decision makers and the general public.”

“In this regard, we are pleased that Grab, the leading ride-hailing platform in the region, is on board with us to support our EV moment.”

Grab country head Jaygan Fu said: “This is a huge milestone for us to be able to partner with GreenTech Malaysia and support their efforts to enhance awareness on the feasibility and benefits of EV.”

The Malaysian government wants to have 100,000 EVs in the country by 2020, along with 2,000 electric buses and 100,000 motorcycles.