Asia is moving fast into Electric Cars mass market stage. With population of almost 4 billion in the region, de-facto world manufacturing base and millions crossing the line from poverty into consumption age - Asia represents the most fertile grounds for the Next Big Thing and transformational technology of 21st century.
Companies from China, Japan, Korea and now Malaysia are very busy putting new EV models on the roads, building battery production facilities and securing Lithium and REE supply all over the world.
Proton was announcing its intentions for Electric Cars quite a few times already and it is very important to see that they will materialise in the nearest future.
"KUALA LUMPUR - National car maker Proton yesterday showcased its first environment-friendly electric concept car, which can travel as far as 160km using a 15kW battery.
Dubbed "E Saga", the concept car is the result of a collaboration between Proton and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) under the electric-vehicle flagship project, which was initiated in January.
"The project will strengthen the relationship between the (automotive) industry and universities," Proton research engineer Md Ridzuan Md Yusof said.
He spoke after the launching of International Conference on Sustainable Mobility 2010 here yesterday, where former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was given a briefing on the car.
Ridzuan said Proton had yet to decide whether or not to roll out the E Saga car for the mass market later.
Using the latest Proton Saga model, a team consisting of 10 engineers and technicians from Proton's research department and 10 lecturers, postgraduate students and technicians from the power electronics and drives research group at UTM converted a petrol-based Saga into a fully electric-powered car.
The project, led by Associate Professor Dr Nik Rumzi Nik Idris, from the energy research alliance of UTM, was one of the programmes spearheaded by Proton.
The project was under the supervision of Dr Mohd Azman Zainul Abidin, from UTM's Advanced Sustainable Transport Research Alliance, also attached to Proton's main production plant in Shah Alam.
Ridzuan said Proton would roll out its first fuel-efficient hybrid car by 2012 to promote green technology.
"The hybrid car will use two power sources -- a conventional engine and solar energy. The car can run on solar energy but when there is no sunlight, the petrol engine will provide the power."
He said the car would use light-emitting diodes (LED) due to their power-saving attributes and low heat emission. "It is a green car that can save up to 70 to 80 per cent power. It will also be light."
The hybrid car will also include a telematic system - an emergency service to warn other vehicles using the same system of any danger.
"If a driver notices that there is something amiss in a car in front, he or she can directly tell the driver the exact problem without having to honk," Ridzuan said."