Tun M gets shown around a Polestar 2 and wants Proton to make their own EV. Can Proton produce its own EV though?
Although former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed is no longer involved with Proton, he still loves the brand and wants to see it thriving, which is why he wants to see Proton produce its own electric vehicle to keep up with current times.
So when DRB-Hicom introduced the Polestar 2 to him, he did what he does best, which is to somehow link it back to Proton and wish that they could make their own EV.
On his official Facebook page, the brainchild of Proton had more than a few words to say about the Polestar 2, where he was generally impressed by the EV from Volvo and Geely Holding’s standalone electric offshoot brand.
“This morning DRB-Hicom introduced an electric car ‘Polestar 2’ to me. I understand that with a single charge it can reach up to 400KM. One charge is enough to use this car as usual.”
“In my view, in terms of design, this car is very sophisticated. This car does not have a large engine compartment, instead, it is used as a storage area. The interior design features are also neat and futuristic, where all controls and settings can be made with the touch of a ‘tablet’. There are no more switches or knobs on the dashboard like normal cars.”
“I hope that PROTON can advance this kind of project so that one-day PROTON can also release its own electric car.”
Tun Matahir also showed that he is clued up about zero-emission vehicles where he mentions that EVs are still harming the environment.
“But we have to remember that even if cars don’t pollute the air, the electricity that comes from the power station also pollutes the air. Electric cars have not yet reached the level of air pollution-free. In the end we may have to use hydrogen cars, but even then, there are other problems that need to be tested and solved. Meanwhile, to clean the climate in the city, electric cars are still an option.”
So as we can see, Tun loves the idea of zero-emission cars, but the big question is, can Proton actually build their very own? We believe they can, but it’ll need to be built from the ground up and not a rebadge for it to be successful.
We all know that Proton has become the official distributor of smart vehicles, an EV company under the joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Group and Geely Holding.
They plan to debut the smart#1 in 2023, potentially giving Malaysians another option when it comes to reasonably priced EVs. At the smart distributorship agreement signing press conference, Proton did say that they will use the smart distributorship as a stepping stone, potentially leading up to building their own EV.
Before that, we believe they will have to go through CKD assembly first to learn the processes involved in building an EV. The problem is, there’s no mention from Proton that they will be locally assembling the smart#1 in the near future, so it might be some time before we actually have a Proton EV.
The bigger question though is whether you’re willing to pay more than RM150k for a Proton EV? EVs are not cheap for now, and the ones from the Geely group are mostly pricey.
Suppose it were to happen that Proton would make their own EV by rebadging a Geely; in that case, we’re not quite sure how many people would feel about paying more than RM150k for a Proton, let alone a Proton EV.
Unless they build it from the ground up using local resources, we can pretty much see it being another Geely rebadged vehicle, which we predict would make the Proton EV pricey. Yes, Proton are going up a notch in price, but a Proton novelty vehicle for more than RM150k seems hard to market.
So far, all new vehicles from Proton seem to be rebadged Geely vehicles, so until they build their own car, we can’t really see it being as affordable as people would expect. Proton has the engineering and manufacturing capabilities to build its own car, but it doesn’t seem to be the direction it will be going in the foreseeable future.
How do you feel about Proton making their own EV? Can they do it? Will it be affordable? Let us know in the comments.