Let’s start with some prices. Looking at Honda Malaysia:
RM162.8k for a 1.3l hybrid Civic.
RM 113.8k for a 1.8s normal Civic.
Apparently, a hybrid is a CBU (completely built up unit), fully imported, which has a higher tax then the CKU (completely knocked down), assembled in Malaysia, normal Civic, in addition to whatever actual cost difference between the two.
Now, in the current regime of crude oil prices north of USD100, why doesn’t Proton get onto the bandwagon, and start developing hybrid cars? Once you get over the capital cost of purchasing a hybrid (and make no mistake, there will be a premium), then we can start reaping the benefits of better fuel efficiency, less smog in Kuala Lumpur’s daily traffic jams, and goodwill from having the national car manufacturer heading green. And possibly think of reducing Malaysia’s oil subsidy.
A look at Proton’s press releases reveals:
‘EVE HYBRID’ TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATOR SHOWCASES RETRO-INTEGRATION OF HYBRID SOLUTIONS (06/03/2007)
GEN2 GETS A FACELIFT AND NEW ENGINE (03/03/2008)
So, Proton could have implemented hybrid technology probably by this year, but we have yet to see any commercial models, of which the latest launch was in April 2008. Why is that, I ask? Anyone have any info?