KUALA LUMPUR: Back in August, Proton signed a general distributorship agreement with smart (a German electric carmaker owned by Mercedes-Benz and Geely), followed by the formation of a new subsidiary “PRONET” for new energy vehicles in September. The recent step taken by the Malaysian-born automaker to establish its presence in the national EV and NEV space is the exchange of MoU documents with Petronas’ clean energy subsidiary Gentari.
In accordance with the MOU, Pro-Net and Gentari will carry out research in the area of the local EV ecosystem, for charging locations suitability, the supply chain for EV parts, the use of renewable energy, and collaborative marketing and education.
One of the initial plans is the installation of 20 DC chargers in 2023, with Gentari providing the infrastructure and operatorship solutions and PRO-NET providing the charging location and power facilities.
The documents were exchanged during an exclusive event held at the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM). The ceremony was performed by Zhang Qiang, CEO PRO-NET, and Shah Yang Razalli, Head of Clean Energy Solutions Transition PETRONAS.
The dignitaries who graced the occasion with their presence were Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr Zaini Ujang, Secretary General, Ministry of Environment and Water, Dato’ Iskandar Bin Abdul Samad, Chairman, Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC), YM Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik, President and Group CEO Petronas, and Roslan Abdullah, Deputy CEO PROTON.
“Today’s exchange of documents with Gentari addresses one piece of PROTON’s move into the NEV market and opens opportunities to collaborate with the clean energy subsidiary of PETRONAS to contribute to the buildup of Malaysia’s charging infrastructure. However, PROTON must pay equal attention to other areas of the business if we want to have a comprehensive business solution,” said Roslan Abdullah.
The brand is closely working with smart to make sure the upcoming EVs fulfil the needs of Malaysian EV buyers. Also, to grow its knowledge base in the field of NEVs, Proton is sending engineers to China for six months to be trained in R&D, vehicle performance, homologation, and testing with the target of developing and selling homegrown NEVs.
“We also foresee NEV customers having a different set of motivating factors compared to traditional car buyers and as such, we want to create a new experience that caters to their needs. Therefore, PRO-NET will actively recruit new dealers and welcome proposals for an innovative brand and transactional experience,” added Roslan Abdullah.
Source : Zigwheels