Detroit Electric JV with Proton Holdings
Here are some news closer to home…my home. As of 30th March 2009, Detroit Electric Holdings Ltd and Proton Holdings Berhad has announced a strategic partnership to mass produce [tag-tec]Pure Electric Vehicles[/tag-tec]. Here’s some history lesson for us.
Detroit Electric was the first company the manufacturer electric car back in the early 1900. The company went bankrupt back during the stock market crash in 1930s.
Recently, the company was resurrected by Mr Albert Lam, the current company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
Proton is the first and the largest passenger car manufacturer in Malaysia. It was incorporated back in 1983 with much of the automobile technology from Mitsubishi Motors.
The first car that I own was a Proton Saga. It is a 1.3 liter front wheel drive vehicle. The car was pretty excellent because most of the components were from Japan.
After a few years, Proton started to make the parts locally and thereon, its quality dropped substantially. Nonetheless, it is still one of the cheapest car available in Malaysia. I currently drive a Proton Satria Neo 1.6 liter.
It is very interesting to know Proton is betting most of its future on pure electric car. In the last couple of years, we have seen the company falling from grace after its market shares were eaten up by Malaysia second car manufacturing company, Perodua.
It will be interesting to see the development of electric car for the masses. The current challenge is the lack of funding in the market. Detroit Electric JV with Proton may find it hard to roll out their electric vehicle (EV) without hundred of millions in capital investment.
The bigger challenge is the lack of infrastructure to support the EV such as electric charging stations. To solve that issue, we may have to look for Better Place.