Proton CEO Li Chunrong has revealed that the automaker will be developing high-tech cars and new energy vehicles soon, following the launch of the Automotive Hi-Tech Valley (AHTV) at Tanjung Malim. The comment was made on his personal Facebook page.

New energy vehicles (NEVs) is an umbrella term for electrified vehicles, namely plug-in hybrid, full electric and fuel cell vehicles. That’s right, Proton will be developing its own NEVs soon, and at the same time has plans to further expand its export presence.

Recently, a Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) research article revealed that the national automaker will first dip its feet into hybridisation before going full electric, with the first EV set to be launched in 2027. Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah also revealed that the company has a roadmap towards introducing hybrid, PHEVs and EVs,

We’ve known that mild hybrid Protons have been on the radar for some time, as the company showcased a 1.5 litre TGDi engine with a 48-volt belt-driven starter generator (BSG) at its Centre of Excellence (COE).

To recap, the AHTV is a “high impact major project” that puts focus on new technologies and systems in the automotive industry. This centres around electrification, artificial intelligence, autonomous tech and advanced connectivity. DRB-Hicom’s vision is for this area to be an automotive industry hub for the ASEAN region.

“This is to ensure that Malaysia’s automotive industry continues to be on par, if not more advanced, than in neighbouring countries. With the right systems, infrastructure and stakeholder support in place, AHTV will be well positioned to attract investments from industry players in the region, spurring the growth and capability of the local automotive industry,” it said in a statement.

The AHTV initiative is expected to create around 370,000 new job opportunities. Today, the area surrounding Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant measures roughly 4,000 acres, with most of it already occupied by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, existing vendors, commercial premises and residential properties. The additional land will be for AHTV, which includes plans for a research university.