Following Proton’s success in increasing its yearly sales and yearly exports, the local carmaker has now laid out its plans for the electric future that lies ahead. Proton’s key strategies include becoming an electric vehicle (EV) right-hand drive (RHD) hub, and the first step towards reaching this goal would be to introduce Proton mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs) first.
Nicely coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Proton this year, the company will soon introduce an MHEV Proton X90. Its mild hybrid system consists of a 1.5-litre TGDI engine and an electric motor, and the drive system makes a combined output of 190 hp and 300 Nm. You can read more on the upcoming Proton SUV here.
Not presented with a specific timeline, Proton has split its new energy vehicle (NEV) plan into three phases. The first phase is “EV Pioneering”, the second phase is “EV growth”, and the third phase is “EV RHD Hub”. For the Proton brand itself, the NEV roadmap starts with MHEVs in phase 1, followed by BEVs and MHEVs in phases 2 and 3.
While phase 1 serves to penetrate the EV market and strengthen market awareness, phase 2 interestingly lists “Local EV Production” besides “Ecosystem development” and “Accelerate EV adoption”. To reach local EV production, Proton will have to first build its talent pool and charging infrastructure. For both purposes, Proton has begun sending its staff for NEV training and working with Gentari to build the necessary infrastructure.
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In a different slide, Proton shared a glimpse of its upcoming models, depicting several covered cars for its “mid-term growth plan” and “EV strategic execution”. What can be seen are two cars under the mid-term growth plan.
One of them represents the upcoming Proton X90 while the other is possibly hinting at a new sedan. It was however mentioned by the Proton Deputy CEO, Roslan Abdullah, that the images are not representative of the actual number of cars they will be releasing and that there “may be more” than shown. “Home-Grown NEVs” are also shown in the slide, hinting at a fully electric model with the local emblem.
As for its EV program implementation, Proton is currently on-track, having inked a distributorship deal with Smart for the Smart #1, establishing its new subsidiary PRO-NET, and sending its staff to China for NEV training. Looking forward, Proton aims to spearhead the NEV ecosystem development in Malaysia. The company will help to make the Ministry of Environments’ “Low Carbon Mobility Blueprint” a reality, which includes making EVs contribute to 9% of cars by 2025 and 15% of cars by 2030.
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