ItalDesign-Giugiargo Proton Emas – Click above for high-res image gallery
Back in February, Malaysian automaker Proton, which owns the British sports car builder Lotus, displayed a hybrid concept vehicle at the Geneva Motor Show. The propulsion system for that prototype model was designed by Lotus and employed a Volt-like series hybrid setup that utilized a range-extending 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine. Additionally, Proton's MPV Evora makes use of a hybrid powertrain. However, the Malaysian automaker sees gas-electric vehicles as a transition technology that will pave the way for battery-powered autos.
The Malaysian national news agency, Bernama, reports that Proton is exploring the possibility of launching an electric vehicle (EV) soon. The report draws from words uttered by Proton corporate planning general manager Dr. Badrulhisham Mohd Ghazali, who stated:
A hybrid engine has limitations as it is only suitable for cars with medium-capacity and uses a lithium-ion battery, making the cost expensive and life span shorter than a petrol engine. So, the answer for a car is one that is fully electric
Okay, so Ghazali's words don't necessarily indicate that Proton is developing an EV, but his remark does seem to suggest that the Malaysian automaker deems the battery-powered auto as the type of vehicle that it expects to launch in the near future.
Photos by Noah Joseph / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.