Could this be the first sign for Proton to perhaps be launching an plug-in vehicle soon?
In what could be a prelude to some very electrifying news indeed, Proton has recently announced that it has introduced a 100 kWh DC fast charger at their their Centre of Excellence (CoE) headquarters along the KESAS highway. The first to be erected at the Malaysian automaker’s home base, this dynamic charging station has been installed in collaboration in collaboration with Gentari Sdn Bhd.
Conveniently positioned at the customer parking area of the Proton Crystal showroom, the Malaysian automaker touts for this new fast charger to offer greater accessibility to all EV users, regardless of brand. Though for those hoping for an all-electric Proton to take advantage of this brand new facility instead, it is with a heavy heart to report that any chance of a Proton EV is likely only to be in the far future.
Interestingly enough however, Proton Deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah did let slip for there to be more hybrid Protons in the coming years. It nevertheless remains to be seen whether these electrified models will be a mild hybrid alá the recently revealed X90, or given this newly introduced charging station, feature a fuel filler AND a plug socket.
Having said that, it is just worth clarifying that there is actually an EV that will soon be making an appearance in Proton showrooms. But don’t expect to see any roaring lion badges on it, as in a rather convoluted deal, Proton’s EV subsidiary PRO-NET is currently (partly) in charge of the local distribution of the newly-launched Smart #1 e-crossover.
Funny enough too, a Proton Exora might soon come to the rescue of any stricken EV owner who has run out of charge. That is as in a collaboration between Gentari Green Mobility Sdn Bhd, Proton Global Services and other partners, a mobile EV charging solution has been developed using the aforementioned MPV. Three units of proof-of-concept mobile chargers are currently being tested, with each of these chargers capable of providing up to 30 kW of charging power. Ongoing user studies are also in progress to assess the demand for this innovative concept.
PRO-NET is further collaborating with Gentari to install fast chargers at several Proton dealerships. Five additional Gentari DC chargers are set to be installed by the end of 2023 as part of the first phase of the program, with a target of twenty dealerships.
“With our imminent entry into Malaysia’s EV market via smart Malaysia just around the corner, the time is right for PROTON to take another step into this rapidly growing segment. We are grateful to have a dynamic partner like Gentari, who have installed the first on-site DC charger at our headquarters and look forward to more such collaborations in the future within our dealer network,” said Roslan Abdullah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, PROTON.
“We are thrilled to take the next step in our strategic partnership with Proton with the launch of a network of charging facilities to support Proton’s imminent entry into Malaysia’s EV market. Together with Proton, a like-minded national carmaker, our combined efforts can further accelerate the green mobility movement, setting Malaysia on the right path in its energy transition journey. Stay tuned for more initiatives coming out of this strong partnership,” said Shah Yang Razalli, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gentari and Chief Executive Officer, Gentari Green Mobility.