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What next after the Proton electric car?

I want to ask readers of this blog and also those in power this question: Why do we want to promote electric car technology?

 women-in-electric-car.jpg

Is it because we are Star Wars/Star trek fans and like the electric sounding buzz from their transport pods?

Is it because we think electric cars are cool?

Or maybe because we think electric cars will save the planet?

Perhaps because we are jsut caught up in the future-tech hype but do not really know why electric cars are important?

It’s great that Proton has the foresight to partner with Detroit Electric for the production of noiseless cars but that joint-venture will die a slow death if the country is unclear why electric-drive technology is important, why it MAY be one of the solution for the future of transportation.

The truth is we do not really know which way things will move in the future. What most scientists agree is that fossil fuel is a finite resource so we will ahve to find an alternative energy source.

The most abundant element in nature is Hydrogen, it fuels the universe. The sun runs on hydrogen and so do all the stars.

So scientists are saying the the future is hydrogen.

So how are we going to power our world on this light and highly flammable gas?

Well, one could burn it inside a normal internal combustion engine like petrol. Companies like BMW are hedging their future with this option.

You can also run the gas through a series of special membranes in a fuel cell and generate electricity to drive motors for a car. Mercedes-Benz and GM are looking at this possibility with Ballard Technologies.

In the second option, the primary drive of the car is electric and the motor can be supplied with current in many different ways – fuel cells, batteries, wireless transmission, or maybe we will see a future where our roads are magnetised to interact as linear induction motors with vehicles running over it.

The future is far from clear so ti is just as well that we start understanding the eelctric drive technology a little better because it is one of the major possibility junction for the future.

In the meantime we, as a country needs and energy policy and by that we need a set of goals and a roadmap on how to get there.

We need the Government to work out the national energy needs for the next 10, 20, 50 or even 100 years and once we figure out how much we need, then the experts need to agree where the energy is going to come from.

Finally we need a roadmap onhow to achieve those goals.

Many countries are now looking at a long range goal that is totally free of fossil fuel. In the medium term many developed economies want to achieve significant reduction in their fossil fuel reliance.

Since we all know that oil is going to run dry one day, it is every Government’s responsibility to predict when it is going to happen and how we are going to prepare ourselves before things become critical.

We need to know now whether the country should focus on solar energy, wind power, wave power, hydroelectric, nuclear technology or maybe we want to just rely on magic.

At the same time we need to actively promote energy efficient technologies and sadly we do not see this happening in any serious or concerted effort outside of Northern Europe, Japan and California.

While we congratulate Proton, we must push our Government to formulate a national energy policy to make sure that we are not caught out.

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8 Responses to “What next after the Proton electric car?”

  1. Hybrid_Theory Says:

    Rather than Proton buzzing about electric vehicles , they better pay attention in developing more sensible hybrid vehicle (electric+petrol). Hybrid vehicles has been market proven, most popular are Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid. Electric cars are still tens of years to go. I’ve seen in the internet which proton had been developing Hybrid system for Gen-2 prototype but sadly was introduced in UK, not in Malaysia. Why Proton??? Are Malaysians people dumb enough to accept that kind of technology???

    For Proton R&D, please don’t be too ambitious because in the end of the day, you all will suffer a myriad of loss. Early development of electric cars is good planning but don’t la tell people around that you are so great to develop such system until you are really confidence with it. A half cook technology means a piece of junk, believe me!!

    I’m a patriot to my country and I don’t want Proton (as one of the Malaysian car makers) to screw-up, again!!!

    Proton better upgrade the design on their cars as well as quality and reliability, of course. It is very hideous to see those square-shaped cars like Waja, or old-fashioned looking Perdana, or odd-looking Savvy. Good improvements has been made, though in Persona and Saga BLM.

  2. beck Says:

    Electric cars are good for the environment, and though we do often get caught up in the hype of their futuristic looks, they do actually serve a legitimate purpose. Once cars are powered by electricity, the actual source opens up to different possibilities. Electric charging stations could be powered by solar power, wind power, hydro-power, among many others.

  3. Hybrid_Theory Says:

    Yes, but developing such battery to contain a reasonable amount of energy and ultra-efficient electric engine are still years to go. Maybe some of you watching too much of I-Robot movie, where this Will Smith is driving an electric vehicle made by Audi.

    There is one company, which is successfully develop an all-electric sports car, with a lot of unfortunate drawbacks.
    1) The car battery is almost as heavy as the main electric engine (due to store electrical energy).
    2) The car battery also made of ultra-high capacity of Lithium Polymer cells, which currently the most expensive type of battery around.
    3) The car body is made of carbon fibre, it need to be lightweight (of course) but very expensive.
    4) Fully charged battery only lasts to about 500km or so.

    I still admit that electric vehicles are good to environment and electrical energy can be generated virtually by any source, be it non-renewable or renewable resources. It is possible to drive an electric vehicles but a reasonable time & resources need to be invested before such technology can be manifested.

    For Proton, I am actually supporting your effort to develop such vehicles but this time make it really good, quality and reliability. I would like to see Malaysian car makers outperform the Europeans, Americans even Japanese car makers in developing such vehicle technology. Most importantly, be it a cost effective, user friendly, safe, affordable and low cost maintenance.

    And for the sake our Mother Earth, electric vehicles can eventually cools “her” down from global warming, provided the electrical sources are those from renewable sources, which are environmentally friendly, such as beck says… solar, wind or hydro (but hydro is environmental damaging actually). Using the renewable resources, actually “recycling” the Earth’s energy, without anymore of them, like what we have did for hundreds of years by burning fossil fuels (thermodynamic equilibrium – energy cannot be created not destroyed).

  4. The Thinker Says:

    It is good proton develop a car using an electric energy, but i hope this effort will continuous and not stuck in the middle like others technology in Malaysia.

  5. Dil Says:

    Hey hey guys, have you watched ‘Who killed the electric car?’ ? I highly recommend watching it.

    After watching this movie, I am convinced that the electric car is/was a reality and is/was not just a mere dream or ‘angan-angan mat jenin’.. the reason why I said ‘is/was’ is because GM came out with the EV1 car, but soon after destroyed all of them due due to them not being complying with business objectives…… http://www.ev1.org/

    Historically, Hybrid theory, electric cars have been around for 100 years. It’s the underdog of the auto industry becos it does not bode well with the oil industry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_car#History

    It’s not that the electric car has tens of more years to go, but it’s a question of whether us consumers are ready and willing to accept this change… and changing long time habits is a oh so hard thing for us humans to do…

    Now, for you inventors,engineers,managers and owners of PROTON, be brave and bring us the electric car already! Your children will thank you if you do this soon enough. :)

  6. Housefly Says:

    A few reasons why elecric cars are preferred instead of conventional combustion engine cars.

    1. Electric engines do not have the enormous heat waste, which the combustion engine has. Only about 5 % of energy used in combustion engine cars provide propulsion, whereas electric engines has a much higher effeciency.

    2. Electricity can be produced by environmentally sustainable sources such as wind mills, sun cells, sea wave mills etc. – and be stored in batteries to use when needed. The power sources (sun, wind, waves) are infinite, whereas fossil fuels (petrol, gas, oil, coal etc.) are limited.

  7. xmizanx Says:

    Introducing wireless EV making it run out from oil imports – Seoul
    Soon, they hope that they can apply it with all buses and taxis in their country to “green cars” by 2020. If true, they can reduce its oil imports by 35 billion barrels per year and can save about $3 billion. That is huge amount of money. Of course they do is just for their citizen, not put a burden on citizen with fuel subsidies and other not relevance income tax payment.

    http://www.clockwheelblog.com/?p=1077

  8. kepa Says:

    Next is HIRIKO the city car developed by Smart cities goup at MIT that will be manufactured in the Basque Country
    http://www.hiriko.com

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