Proton plans to release electric vehicles by 2027

National car maker, Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd (Proton) is working to strengthen its electric vehicle (EV) capabilities and plans to produce its own EV by 2027, said its Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Roslan Abdullah.

Roslan explained that Proton has discussed with potential partners to start the business because it cannot rush into doing so without understanding the sales and marketing techniques of the vehicle.

Proton’s EV roadmap has been in the works for the past 10 years but has stalled due to market demand and current technology.

“So, the next five years (until 2027) will give us enough time to determine which technology is the most easily accepted, easy to maintain and affordable for us and the users,” he told reporters after a panel discussion at the Invest Malaysia Series 2 event. titled ‘The Road to EV’ here on Wednesday.

Before developing its own EV, Roslan said, Proton will gain more experience through cooperation with Smart Automobile Co Ltd as Proton’s new distributor in Malaysia and Thailand.

“This collaboration with Smart Automobile and the distribution of smart cars will teach us (Proton) how to assemble EVs in the country including giving us experience and knowledge on the assembly process,” he said.

Smart Automobile is a joint venture established by Mercedes-Benz AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd.

When asked about the challenges faced by new energy vehicles (NEVs) in penetrating the Malaysian market, Roslan said, the solution required stronger support from the government, better industry readiness and a shift in customer interest towards EVs.

He said EV sales increased to 3.4 percent or 13,800 units year to date, with hybrid EVs more popular than battery-powered EVs.

“There are major challenges that need to be overcome, time and collective effort.

“These challenges include Malaysia not having many affordable EV cars, consumer acceptance is still slow, lack of clarity in the development of EV charging infrastructure, talent development in the EV segment as well as lack of investment in related technology,” he said.

Roslan said more development and support for the EV industry is needed to move forward.

“This includes research and development programs, investment in supply chain, technology and the provision of better EV infrastructure,” he said. – Named

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