Under the agreement Proton will license the use of its Persona and Gen2 to Detroit Electric to build its Pure Electric Vehicles (PEV) for the global market. The electric cars will be built in Proton's Tanjung Malim plant in Malaysia.
According to Proton managing director, Syed Zainal, the agreement is an achievement for Proton and shows that the company can adapt to the current challenging economic climate.
"As a manufacturer, we have to think differently from others and start venturing into new areas where there is potential for growth," said Mr Zainal.
Detroit Electric's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Albert Lam, said the agreement with Proton will allow Detroit Electric to fast track a full line of innovative, practical and affordable PEVs for the global market.
"We chose Proton because of its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, commitment to research and development, cost efficiency, and stable, high quality workforce," said Mr Lam.
By 2013, Detroit Electric plans to sell more than 270,000 PEVs in Europe, UK, China and the United States. The vehicles will be priced between USD$23,000 and USD$26,000 for the city range model and between USD$28,000 and USD$33,000 for the extended range model.
Styling changes will distinguish Detroit Electric's vehicles from Proton's existing line-up.
For Proton, the arrangement will also see the company given the right to sell the PEV under the Proton brand in the Asian market and potentially in the markets of member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Today's agreement also kick starts the test and validation program where Proton will evaluate Detroit Electric's electric drive system for PEV. Detroit Electric will assume all warranty and liabilities for the PEV and its unique, patented electric drive train systems. Proton will warrant the vehicle's build and standard components.
The strength of Detroit Electric's vehicle plan is its patented Magnetic Flux Motor Technology and Motor Controller Program. The technology, currently in pre-production prototypes, allows the PEV to achieve a range of 180km on a single charge for the city model and 320km for the extended range model.
Since inception, Proton has produced more than 3 million vehicles of various models in Malaysia. It has also edged out a host of international brands when its popular Persona was named Malaysia's Best Model of the Year in the 2008 Frost & Sullivan ASEAN Automotive Awards.
"We are proud to be able to integrate our electric drive systems upon one of the best cars out of Asia. Our customers around the world will enjoy the level of quality and comfort offered by Proton, an award-winning manufacturer", said Mr Lam. "Our vehicles will be reliable, meet all quality and safety requirements and quite simply outperform internal combustion engine vehicles of the same class, they will be affordable as we look at the competitive market and come without the polluting carbon emissions."
Detroit Electric Holdings is one of the leaders of the electric car revolution. The company manufactures efficient and environmentally friendly, high performance, long-range electric vehicles and drive-systems to the global marketplace.
The company also owns the intellectual property for the Motor Controller Program. Since its launch, Detroit Electric has been dedicated to developing new technologies and establishing strategic partnerships that leverage existing capacities in the marketplace.