Proton has inked a deal with Detroit Electric Holdings (DEH) that will see a raft of Pure Electric Cars (PEV) hit the market in the coming years.
DEH wiill couple its own electric drive systems with Proton platforms to market the enviro-friendly vehicles across the globe.
The Proton Persona and Gen2 have been selected as the basis with assembly of the completed vehicles to take place at Proton's Tanjung Malim plant.
Syed Zainal, Proton managing director, explained how the deal portrays Protons ability to adapt to a rapidly changing market:
"As a manufacturer, we have to think differently from others and start venturing into new areas where there is potential for growth,"
For DEH, the agreement will allow the company to bring its technology to market faster. Detroit Electric's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Albert Lam, had this to say:
"We chose Proton because of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, commitment to research and development, cost efficiency, and stable, high quality workforce."
"We are proud to be able to integrate our electric drive systems upon one of the best cars out of Asia. Our customers around the world will enjoy the level of quality and comfort offered by Proton, an award-winning manufacturer",
DEH plan to sell more than 270,000 Pure Electric Vehicles in Europe, UK, China and the United States by 2013.
Pricing will range from USD $23,000 (AUD $32,300) to USD $26,000 (AUD $36,400) for the city model and USD $28,000 (AUD $39,200) to USD 33,000 (AUD $46,200) for the extended range model.
While DEH gains a platform, Proton gains the right to sell the PEV as a Proton badged vehicle in the Asean market and possible various countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Proton will now begin evaluating the electric drive system for which DEH will bare all warranty and liability responsibilities in the finished product. Proton in turn will handle all issues relating to the vehicle itself.
DEH is also charged with the task of homologation of the PEV for use in European and US markets with scheduled release slated for the second quarter of 2010.
At the heart of the project is DEH's patented Magnetic Flux Motor Technology and Motor Controller Program.
At present, pre-production vehicles are capable of 180km (112 miles) on a single charge for the city model and 320km (200 miles) for the extended range model.
DEH has further plans beyond basic commuter transport with planned product ranges including high performance sports cars and more luxurious models.
Albert Lam paints a very appealing picture for the future of the PEV industry and the DEH range:
"Our vehicles will be reliable, meet all quality and safety requirements and quite simply outperform internal combustion engine vehicles of the same class, they will be affordable as we look at the competitive market and come without the polluting carbon emissions,"
Electric vehicles have often been touted as the most promising of the environmentally friendly options available.
Agreements such as this will see the technology and public adoption expanding rapidly which is good for consumers and the environment alike.
We'll bring you more information on Proton/DEH PEV range as work continues so stay tuned.