‘Think bigger with Tesla’
> Analysts advocate idea of country exploring electric cars with carmaker
PETALING JAYA: Two analysts have said Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should explore modules of carmaker Tesla if the plan for a new national car is to be realised.
On Monday, Mahathir expressed interest in a new national car project with partners in the region that were able to produce quality and marketable cars.
While the idea may not be well received by some Malaysians, two analysts said Mahathir’s proposal should be welcomed, but cautioned that the country should move away from producing conventional cars like it did with Proton.
Economist Prof Barjoyai Bardai said Malaysia should explore new opportunities in the automotive industry by capitalising on its experience in producing cars, and the expertise of other countries in the region.
“I think we are very fortunate to have over 30 years’ experience in car production. But now, we need to think bigger. We can be producing electric cars only, like Tesla.
“Of course, there is the challenge of cost and production. But if we can find the technology to produce good batteries for the cars at a cheaper price then that would be welcomed.”
Malaysian Future Foundation founder Mohd Radzi Abd Latif said the idea for another national car should also not be seen as purely a commercial venture, and that it has to be viewed from the perspective of science and technology.
He said there were many innovative and technological options for commercial car manufacturing ventures, such as driverless cars and electric-powered vehicles.
“Tesla founder Elon Musk even sent a Tesla car into space to prove its durability and now talks about producing flying cars. He dares to dream. What about us?
“We are still debating whether we should have another national car. Let’s regard the national car project as a breakthrough venture that aims to revitalise our economic growth focused on a scientific and technological innovation-based industry,” he said.
Radzi Barjoyai Bardai