Promote Hybrid Cars for Malaysia?

June 14, 2008

In a past article, I pondered when Malaysia would start promoting the use of hybrid vehicles, both on supporting the green movement, and on reducing fuel consumption cost. I suppose that back in the RM1.92/liter era, the savings on money did not seem to pan out.

Welcome to the RM2.70/l era (and increasing). Now, how does that hybrid engine look to you? Is it more sexier (and sensible)  engineering?

At the moment, there is a rush to install LNG converters, as the price of LNG has not gone up yet, but believe me it will. The converters costs between RM2k to RM3.5k.

The articles here and here discuss some efforts in promoting hybrid cars in Malaysia. Proton’s last public venture into the field was the EVE hybrid.

Be a geek, love the engineering, go hybrid.

 


Proton Malaysia – why no hybrid car?

March 28, 2008

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?