SHAH ALAM: If Detroit Electric chairman and chief executive officer Albert Lam has his way, electric cars will be a common sight on the roads.
“If all goes well, our electric cars can start rolling out by the end of next year at an affordable price,” he said at a demonstration at Proton Holdings Bhd’s test circuit here yesterday.
Detroit Electric is now talking with Proton and two carmakers – a German and an American manufacturer – to adopt the company’s electric car technologies.
“We are looking at producing two models of compact cars, a sub-compact model and a sports model,” he said, adding that electric cars were environmentally-friendly with zero emission.
Lam showcased two Proton production cars – a Persona and a Savvy – a Lotus Elise sports car and a Daihatsu Cuore hatchback that had been converted to run on full electric power.
The Persona model was the unit driven by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at Sunday’s Merdeka Day parade.
Lam said the electric car battery could be recharged to 80% capacity in eight hours using a normal house power outlet while special fast chargers could cut the time down to 30 minutes.
The lithium ion batteries are estimated to give an operating range around 300km per charge with an effective lifespan of 300,000km.
A sports version can have a top speed of 220kph while a mid-size sedan can reach up to 190kph.
Lam said electric motor and battery technologies had been around for more than a 100 years and had progressed to such a level that they were economically viable for mass commercialisation, especially in view of high fuel prices.
Giving an example, he said a 1.6-litre petrol-powered RM60,000 Proton Persona would cost around RM80,000 if turned into an electric car.
Its lower operating cost of around three sen per kilometre would allow owners to recover the higher car price and the price could drop further if the Government gives tax breaks, said Lam.
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