Proton mulls developing hydrogen-powered cars

KOTA KINABALU: Proton is looking at developing hydrogen-powered vehicles, says its deputy chief executive officer Roslan Abdullah.

First, however, he said it would need to consider the fuel cell technology, availability and investment needed, as well as public response.

“We will evaluate how hydrogen will benefit us,” he said after introducing Proton’s latest S70 model to Sabah today

While hydrogen-fuelled cars will benefit the nation and the people, he said, the government has a pivotal role in drawing up policies that encourage consumers to use such vehicles, as well as electric vehicles (EV).

He said governments in some developed countries provided incentives such as free parking for EV drivers.

“For owners of vehicles that run on fossil fuels, they can go to petrol stations to refuel within five minutes and (travel 100km) ... but this contributes to bad carbon emissions,” Roslan said.

Hydrogen is stored in tanks like this in a fuel cell vehicle.
Hydrogen is stored in tanks like this in a fuel cell vehicle.

“On the other hand, EV drivers need to plan properly (as they need) to recharge cars for a longer period to travel a similar distance.

“That is why we need to educate people on the benefits and convenience of EVs,” he said.

In April, Roslan said Proton may introduce EVs suitable for Malaysian consumers as early as 2025 from 2027, as initially projected.

He said Proton was identifying suitable EV models that are more affordable and practical.

On the S70, Roslan said Proton had sold more than 3,000 units nationwide since its launch in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 28.

He added that it targets sales of between 2,000 and 3,000 S70 units monthly and hopes some 10% of this figure will come from Sabah.
Autos Proton