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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Proton goes electric (Article from NST dated 15 September 2011)

Article from NST dated 15 September 2011

PUTRAJAYA: Proton Holdings Bhd’s global compact electric and hybrid car, Emas, could enter the market in two to three years, its chairman, Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, said.

The electric vehicle, designed by Italdesign Giugiaro and developed by Proton, was first unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show last year.

Emas, short for Eco Mobility Advance Solution, is a plug-in electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid Range Extender Electric Vehicle (REEV).

The compact car’s powertrain could include a turbocharged small engine of 1.2-litre capacity, or lower.

Proton is currently fleet-testing the Exora REEV and Saga EV to assess their potential.

The national car maker yesterday handed over five Exora REEVs and three Saga EVs to the government to be test driven. This would be the first step before mass-producing them.

The vehicles were received by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a ceremony witnessed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also Proton’s adviser.

Others who took delivery of the vehicles at the PM’s Department were Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri.

This is the first phase of fleet testing, a collaboration between Proton, the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry and International Trade and Industry Ministry.

Nadzmi said 250 electric-powered cars would be handed to the government in phases for fleet-testing by the year-end or early next year.

“We want to deliver them as fast as possible.”

Proton will get feedback from the testing, covering the technological aspects, design and performance of the vehicles.

Charging stations provided by Proton will be at the Prime Minister’s Department and the four minis tries.

The Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry, in a statement, said that a charging system for home use would be supplied to motorists who will be identified from the PM’s Department and the four ministries.

According to Dr Mahathir, Proton took three years to develop the vehicles.

“We hope that Proton will one day produce trucks and buses using this system which reduces the use of petrol by relying on batteries to power the engine.”

Read more: Proton goes electric

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