Proton Electric Car Archive

  • Proton Iriz EV – 300 km electric car on display at IGEM

    Proton Iriz EV 2

    Following a glimpse of the Proton Iriz EV prototype in South Korea last October, we now have the first pictures and initial specs of the local carmaker’s very own electric vehicle. The Proton Iriz EV is currently on display at the 2015 International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM).

    While the exterior looks familiar, the Iriz EV is a totally different car underneath. Powering the car is a permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor that puts out the equivalent of 116 kW (155 hp) and 360 Nm of torque – the motor is juiced up by an LG-developed 39.6 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. This allows for a 0-100 km/h time of less than nine seconds and a top speed of 150 km/h.

    Other details in which the spec sheet lists is a 50 kW fast charging and a 6.6 kW normal charging system. A 7.23 ratio for the single-speed transmission is also noted. According to Proton, the battery can be charged from 40% to full in just 15 minutes with a fast charger, four hours with a public charger and seven hours with a standard three-pin plug.

    While it was previously claimed that the Iriz EV had a better range than the Nissan Leaf (240 km versus 200 km touted by the latter), Proton now says that it can cover more ground than that – a NEDC cycle-based operational range of around 300 km is mentioned. An impressive figure considering that the car weighs in at 1,380 kg – 195 kg heavier than the standard Iriz 1.6 Premium CVT (1,185 kg).

    Elsewhere, the underfloor-mounted battery means that interior space has not been compromised – the car even retains its spare tyre under the boot floor. The gearknob is now a small, stumpy item that appears to have been nicked off a third-gen Toyota Prius, and there’s now a digital instrument display showing the speed, charge status, power used/regenerative braking applied and even the battery temperature.

    Back in October 2014, it was revealed by Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO, Madani Sahari, that one of the two proposed Malaysian-developed electric vehicles could be sold for under RM100k when it hits the market. If all goes according to plan, the Iriz EV could be officially introduced by the end of 2016/early 2017.

  • Proton Iriz EV prototype in Korea, developed with LG!


    Seems LG Electronics’ involvement in the future of the Proton Iriz isn’t just limited to the ADAS stereo camera and the NEXLIDE lights – MITI minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed has posted pictures of a Proton Iriz electric vehicle (EV) prototype on his Facebook page.

    Not completely far-fetched, this, since we know the Iriz’s all-new platform can has been designed to support hybrid and electric powertrains. Pictured here at LG’s R&D facility in Incheon, Seoul, the Proton Iriz EV prototype is claimed to have an all-electric range of 240 km – if that is so, it’s pretty impressive. The Nissan Leaf sold here only travels less than 200 km on a single charge.

    Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Madani Sahari revealed recently that a prototype of a locally-assembled electric vehicle will be completed by September 2015, and that it would be the result of a joint-venture between a local company and a foreign one. Was this what he meant?

    Late last year, we reported that Proton was targeting to bring its first EV to market by end-2015. Before that, Parliament was told that Proton would begin selling electric vehicles by 2014. At that stage, the national car company was collaborating with UK-based Frazer-Nash Research to develop its own EV. It has also worked previously with Detroit Electric.

    Now that we know an electric version is alive, when can we expect an Iriz hybrid?

  • Proton Preve REEV electric car prototype previewed

    Proton_Preve_REEV_ 008

    This Proton Preve REEV is on display this weekend at the Alami Proton carnival happening at the Proton headquarters in Shah Alam. It’s a range extender electric vehicle, which basically means it moves with pure electric power, but also has an engine that is used to power a generator that recharges the batteries.

    This is not the first REEV that we’ve seen from Proton. There was an Exora REEV, but that was developed with Frazer-Nash and used a rotary engine as the range extender. This one is a continuation of the range extender powertrain in the Proton EMAS Concept, which uses a Lotus “Omnivore” three-cylinder 1.2 litre engine as the range extender.

    Proton_Preve_REEV_ 006

    In the EMAS, the three-cylinder engine did 51 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and 107 Nm of torque at 2,500 rpm. It only runs at 2 RPM points – 1,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm, as its sole purpose is to recharge the batteries. The batteries of the Emas could power the car up to 50 km on a full charge, so if your travel is under 50 km, you won’t burn any fossil fuels and can run on electric power alone.

    Proton_Preve_REEV_ 024

    This system has been updated for the Preve REEV – the aluminum block engine is now 1.3 liter in size and has a supercharger, which allows it to produce more power.

    According to the Proton engineers manning the booth, the more powerful generator engine allows the Preve REEV to maintain highways speeds even when the batteries have been exhausted, as the more powerful engine can now produce enough power in real time to keep the car going at high speeds.

    It’s a prototype to test the REEV system, so the engine bay packaging hasn’t really been done to production car standards. As a result, the engine is mounted high, and the engine hood had to be modified with a bump to clear the engine. The 15.7 kWh lithium ion batteries are mounted under the floor, and the fuel tank has been moved a little to the rear to make way for this.

    You can charge the batteries via a plug-in socket on the passenger side front fender, so the range extender only kicks in if your journey exceeds the battery’s capacity. The electric motor can do 80 kW (107 horsepower) and 170 Nm of torque.

    The Preve REEV weighs 1,724 kg, but has an ECE R101 fuel consumption rating of 0.82 litres per 100 km. It only outputs 19.4 g/km of CO2 emissions on average, but if you can keep it on electric mode, it’s basically zero emissions. The 100 km/h sprint is done in 14.7 seconds.

    Visit the Alami Proton over the weekend to view the car in person.

  • Proton to come out with hybrid car by end-2014, to bring an EV into the market by the end of 2015

    saga ev

    Some news on developments on the hybrid and electric vehicle front for Proton – it was reported recently that the automaker said it’s anticipating to come out with a hybrid car by the end of 2014, and that it expects to launch an EV by end-2015.

    According to executive chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil, the company is “still on track with the hybrid project, and will complete the new technology by the end of 2014.” He added that that in the case of the EV, the prototype was ready and that the automaker was now at the testing stage to ensure it meets local specifications. No details were reported on which model the EV would be based on.

    In September 2012, Parliament was told that Proton would begin selling electric vehicles by 2014. At that stage, the national car company was collaborating with UK-based Frazer-Nash Research to develop its own EV.

    Back in 2010 and into 2011, prototypes of the Range Extender Electric Exora and UTM/Proton-developed Saga EV were heavily showcased – the duo were involved in the RAC Future Car Challenge 2011 from Brighton to London, and eight examples (five Exora REEV and three Saga EVs) were handed to the government for fleet testing trials, but things seem to have quietened since then.

    Click here to read our preview drive reports of the Exora REEV and Saga EV.

  • Proton Green Mobility Challenge 2012 – 10 Saga EVs from local universities set for Sepang challenge

    It’s called the Proton Green Mobility Challenge 2012 (PGMC 2012), and it’s set to take place this weekend at the Sepang International Circuit. The two-day event, jointly organised by Proton and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia (AIM), will see whether the challenge to develop an environmental-friendly electric vehicle from a standard fossil-fuel powered car has been met.

    Ten local universities are set to compete in the event, having transformed a regular Proton Saga into a full electric vehicle. Each car’s performance will be tested on the ability to go the furthest distance, quarter-mile acceleration, fastest time for two laps and Velocity Maximum (v-Max) in a series of challenges.

    There’s not much information on the participants, though Bernama has reported on the Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) entry. Called the Saga Malaysian Electric Transportation Rover (Saga METROTM), the car is capable of a top speed of 140 km/h and has an operating distance of over 130 km on a single charge.

    There’s also some TV coverage on UTM’s entry for the event, which is open to the public. Wonder what the project cars will introduce that something like the Saga EV, which we’ve driven in the UK, hasn’t already. We’ll be there to cover the PGMC, and will have more on it when the time comes. Stay tuned.

  • Proton electric car coming in 2014, Parliament told

    Proton will be selling electric vehicles by 2014, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed told Parliament yesterday. The national car company is currently collaborating with UK-based Frazer-Nash Research to develop its own EV.

    In a reply to Gombak MP Azmin Ali, the MITI minister said that Proton had allocated RM500 million for research and development in green technology and is expected to gain profits after commercialising EVs in 2014, The Star reported.

    The PKR man asked MITI to state the rationale of investment by Proton through Frazer-Nash, to which Mustapa replied that Proton’s R&D spend is much smaller than other car manufacturers.

    It was pointed out that GM invested about US$1.2 billion to develop its Chevrolet Volt while Nissan-Renault has allocated US$5.6 billion for the same purpose. Allegations that Proton spent some RM270 million to test 30 cars and each cost about RM9 million were untrue, Mustapa said.

    Meanwhile, Bernama reports that the government is ready to allocate RM120 million next year to Proton for the development of an EV before it can be commercialised mid-2014.

    “The government allocated RM100 million this year for Proton to develop a hybrid and electric model and will consider an allocation of RM120 million next year for research and development. All this depends on Budget 2013 which will be tabled by the Prime Minister tomorrow (today) and on Proton meeting its key performance index target,” Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

    Who is Frazer-Nash? Is their tech any good? Well, Proton/Frazer-Nash won two awards – the Most Efficient Multi-Purpose Car (Prototype) and the Best Overall Extended-Range Vehicle (E-REV) – at last year’s RAC Future Car Challenge from Brighton to London. The 64-car field included the best electric powered and alternative fuel vehicles around, from the Chevy Volt to the Nissan Leaf, so it’s no small feat. Click here to read our race report.

    We have also tasted the fruits of the collaboration and came away impressed – click to read exclusive test drives of the Saga EV and Exora REEV.

  • RAC Future Car Challenge Brighton to London: Proton wins two awards, Gordon Murray T.27 is overall winner

    We’re in London now where the RAC Future Car Challenge 2011 finished yesterday. The 64 cars, which included the best electric powered and alternative fuel green vehicles around, started the 92 km journey from Brighton to London, where the challenge ended at Pall Mall. All contestants then drove to a blocked off Regent Street, where the cars of tomorrow parked back-to-back to with the cars from the good old days.

    The vintage cars, some over 100 years old, were in town to participate in the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, and got plenty of attention from the locals and tourists alike. Even better, many of their owners were dressed to match the period in which their cars roamed the streets. A sight to behold, but also much white engine smoke to inhale!

    A gallery post on that when I return home. After a few hours to collate the results, we all gathered at the prize giving gala dinner at the RAC’s grand old building in Pall Mall. Our table, the only Asians in the room, had plenty to celebrate, after it was announced that Proton won two awards – the Most Efficient Multi-Purpose Car (Prototype) and the Best Overall Extended-Range Vehicle (E-REV). Both were courtesy of the Exora REEV. The Best E-REV award was shared with the Toyota Prius Plug In Hybrid.

    The Best Overall Entry award went to the Gordon Murray Design T.27 Electric Car, which also won the Best Overall Pure EV award and the Most Energy Efficient Small Car (Prototype) title. If you don’t know, the flower shirt-loving Gordon Murray is the designer of the legendary McLaren F1 – the man drove his own creation, and you can find him in our gallery. Also spotted at the race were Damon Hill and veteran motoring hack Steve Cropley – regular Autocar readers should know the latter.

    Another big winner is the already on sale Nissan Leaf EV, which won the Most Energy Efficient Regular Car (Production) and the Best Overall Vehicle On Sale today accolades. The best ICE vehicle went to the Mini Cooper Diesel, although it didn’t have much company since most were EVs or E-REVs.

    Earlier in the day, we were at the Pall Mall finish line to greet the cars, and the Persona REEV was the first of Proton’s three entries to cross the line. Driver and lead engineer of the Malaysian assembled effort, Muhd Zulfadzli, was very happy with the drive. Their strategy worked to perfection and they arrived with 8 mins to spare. The Wankel engine kicked in for 4.5 mins after the car exhausted all its battery charge. As comparison, last year’s winning Exora had its generator running for 34 mins.

    Unfortunately, there were some problems with the data collected, and the Persona wasn’t included in last night’s results, which is a shame. It wasn’t Proton’s mistake and the team is gutted, to say the least. It will take two days to repair and “unscramble” the data, apparently, so there could yet be more good news. We’ll see.

    The Saga EV had a closer call. Driven by Noamaan Siddiqi and assisted by Datuk Zainuddin Che Din, Proton’s Green Tech Dept director, they arrived with just 2 mins to spare, and with 0% charge left. It didn’t help that they started with just 80% charge (to give the other Protons more juice) and the traffic in downtown London was busy. The Exora REEV arrived last, just in time.

    “I am overjoyed, to say the least! We were surprised with the Exora REEV victory last year as the Best E-REV Vehicle and we were determined this year not to take that victory for granted. So, for Exora REEV to come up victorious once again this year, with two more additional awards to its name is truly a remarkable achievement for Proton.

    “The fact that we are tied as the winner in the Best Overall E-REV Vehicle category with another world class automotive manufacturer speaks volume about our standards and capabilities in this field,” said Proton MD Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin of the result.

    I think that it’s very unlucky of Proton to not have won more with the Persona REEV, but the fact that the team is not entirely happy with two awards in a challenge featuring the world’s best green vehicles, shows that the company is on to something here.

    It proves the point that Datuk Zainuddin Che Din was making in an earlier briefing – green vehicles is a new and level playing ground for all (although some do have mega budgets), and with EVs, Proton and its partner Frazer Nash is up there with the best, instead of playing catch up like in the conventional car arena.

    On a different note, I also noticed that the loud noise reported in our exclusive Exora REEV test drive report from last year has been silenced. Read that one here, and our first drive of the Saga EV here.

    Well done, boys and girls! Gallery from the start and finish lines are after the jump.
    Read The Full Story ›

  • RAC Future Car Challenge Brighton to London: Proton targets three category wins, Persona REEV tipped to star

    We’re in Brighton, England, to witness the RAC Future Car Challenge from this charming seaside town to London. The race starts early tomorrow morning here, and we’ve just got back from the Hilton Metropole, the base for all participating teams. Team Proton is now charging up its three entries in the hotel carpark – the Saga EV, Exora REEV and Persona REEV.

    As a recap, this is the second year of the FCC, which runs the opposite direction of RAC’s famous Veteran Car Run, and one day before it. Last year, Proton made everyone stand up and notice when they won the “Best Range Extender EV” award with the Exora REEV. The Saga EV also participated, and was close to winning its EV category. This year, both cars that were co-developed with Fraser Nash return to the challenge, accompanied by the just completed Persona REEV.

    Proton is particularly proud of new boy Persona REEV. This is because a team of eight Malaysians modified and finished this car at Proton UK in Bristol. Shahril Nizam Abd Aziz, Group Project Leader of Proton’s Green Tech Department, tells us that the car started life as a CBU from Malaysia Proton Persona Elegance.

    They dismantled it and removed the Campro engine, gearbox and fuel tank, among other things, before fitting the electric motor and Wankel range extender from the Exora REEV. Some mods were needed to fit in the new heart, and they had to make new brackets, mountings and modified the exhaust system from the Exora. The brackets are for the battery pack and new fuel tank. It took five days to do all the above, and three more days were needed for testing. The process ended just two weeks ago.

    With a lighter and more aerodynamic body, surely the Persona REEV will do even better than last year’s winning Exora? Yes, according to Muhd Zulfadzli, Lead Engineer and Head of REEV. He said that while the Exora had its rotary generator running for 34 minutes in last year’s race, the Persona REEV didn’t need to use the range extender at all during a simulation of the 92 km race. In other words, it didn’t use a drop of fuel and ran solely in EV mode.

    So they’re expecting the best tomorrow, naturally. Zulfadzli himself will pilot the Persona REEV. All the best, girls (there are two ladies in the team) and boys! Stay tuned for updates.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Battery-powered Proton Saga EV driven


    Greetings from England! We’re here braving the wet and cold weather to witness the RAC Future Car Challenge from Brighton to London. The challenge (it’s not a race, according to organisers Royal Automobile Club of Pall Mall London) happens this Saturday in the UK, one day before the RAC’s famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.

    Just as the Veteran Car Run celebrates the great cars of yesterday, the Future Car Challenge seeks to promote, demo and challenge clean and green cars – the cars of the future. The FCC also runs the opposite direction of the veteran run, starting from the coastal town and heading to the capital city.


    This is the second year of the RAC Future Car Challenge, which seeks to find the most efficient and least energy consuming cars in different categories. National carmaker Proton, which won the “Best Range Extender EV” award last year with the Exora REEV, is entering three cars this year – Saga EV, Exora REEV and Persona Elegance REEV, the latter a newly built car with the same drivetrain as the MPV.

    These cars were developed in partnership with Frazer Nash Research Ltd, a British based R&D company specialising in electric vehicle powertrains. Earlier today, we visited FN’s headquarters in Surrey to learn more about the company and its relationship with Proton. We also got to sample the Exora REEV and Saga EV at a small test track. Having already driven the Exora REEV last year (click here to read our exclusive test drive report), I paid attention to the electric Saga.

    Continue reading the report after the jump.

  • DHL in talks with Proton regarding electric vehicles

    Two weeks ago, national carmaker Proton handed eight electric vehicles (EVs) to the government for running trials with various ministries, which included three Saga EV and five Exora REEV (Range Extender Electric Vehicle) models.

    As Proton works towards mass-production of these EVs in 2013, they have an interested fleet customer already. Global logistics provider DHL is exploring the possibility of using Proton EVs in Malaysia. DHL Asia Pacific business development VP Christopher Ong said the company has already initiated talks with Proton.

    “We are still in discussion with them and hopefully we will be able to test one of their electrical vehicles, maybe early next year,” he told the media briefing yesterday, adding that this move was in line with the company’s strategy of reducing its total carbon emissions up to 30% by 2020.

    Mr Ong hopes that the government will play a role in reducing our carbon footprint, suggesting measures such as imposing carbon tax to encourage people to reduce their CO2 emissions, as well as partnering with the industry to develop facilities for EVs such as charging stations. These would help accelerate Malaysia’s target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2020, he points out.

    Curious on how Proton’s EVs work? We’ve exclusively driven the Proton Exora REEV prototype already, click here to read the report.


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Last Updated 13 May 2021