Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Electric vehicle drive company Detroit Electric Holdings has announced a strategic partnership with Proton Holdings Berhad to produce pure electric vehicles in the U.S., U.K., European Union and China, beginning in 2010.

Detroit Electric will integrate its patented electric drive systems into the vehicles, licensing two Proton vehicle platforms and contracting that company to assemble the electric vehicles that will be marketed under Detroit Electric’s brand. The agreement provides Detroit Electric with its first manufacturing base.

By 2012, Detroit Electric plans to sell more than 270,000 pure electric vehicles in Europe, the U.K., China and the United States. Prices are expected to range between US$23,000 and $26,000 for the city range model, and between $28,000 and $33,000 for an extended-range model. Styling changes will distinguish the Detroit Electric vehicles from Proton’s existing models.

The vehicles will be based on Detroit Electric’s patented drive system that reduces the electric motor’s size and weight. The underlying magnetic flux motor technology and lithium polymer battery technology will give city models a range of 180 km, and extended models a range of 325 km. The company’s propulsion lab and manufacturing plant is planned for Malaysia, close to Proton’s vehicle assembly facilities. By 2012, the two production plants will produce more than 400,000 electric drive systems to supply Detroit Electric’s internal demands, along with third-party OEM needs.

Proton currently produces a total of 270,000 vehicles of various models in Malaysia, and is the country’s largest investor in research and development. Detroit Electric is looking to repeat similar contract production partnerships with manufacturers in Europe and the United States.


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