Proton confirms own-brand NEV under new subsidiary Pro-Net – mild hybrid coming soon, full EV to follow?


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Earlier today, Proton announced the formation of a subsidiary – Proton New Energy Technology (Pro-Net) – to “spearhead sales and distributorship for smart vehicles and its own future new energy vehicle offerings”.

Now, we already know about Proton being the distributor for smart in Malaysia and Thailand (general distributorship agreement between both parties were signed last month, first model will be the smart #1 in Q4 2023) so it’s the “own future new energy vehicle offerings” part that caught the eye.

First of all, new energy vehicles (NEV) is a China term for electrified vehicles, which includes mild hybrids and plug-in hybrids, as well as full EVs, which are also called battery electric vehicles (BEV). The NEV umbrella term is not to be confused with EVs – it’s way more general.

Pro-Net management. From L-R: Sua Chek Hoong, Zhang Qiang and Salawati Mohd Yusoff

Essentially, the line that describes Pro-Net’s reason to exist also confirms that Proton will have its own NEV in the future. This electrification journey for the Malaysian brand is likely to start with mild hybrids, before PHEVs and eventually EVs come into the picture. Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah touched on this electrification roadmap late last year.

The first step is set to be the mildest of hybrids, a regular engine coupled with a 48-volt belt-driven starter generator (BSG). Late last year, Proton showcased a 1.5 litre TGDi engine with a BSG at its Centre of Excellence (COE) showroom.

This 1.5T + BSG unit is serving in the Geely Azkarra (Boyue Pro) and Okavango (Haoyue) in the Philippines and produces 190 PS and 300 Nm. We’re also set to get the big seven-seater (likely to be called Proton X90), and the mild hybrid engine could very well debut along with that car. Next year perhaps? More on Proton’s journey with the 1.5L TGDi so far, and its future plans.

The Geely Haoyue (base for the ‘Proton X90’) and Boyue Pro have the 1.5L MHEV engine in the Philippines

As for PHEVs and EVs, there are no shortage of donor cars for Proton to build on. Geely’s domestic range – from the X6-style Xingyue SUV coupe to the Jiaji MPV – typically have both MHEV and PHEV options, and there’s also the Geometry range of affordable full EVs.

Click on the links for more on Pro-Net and the 1.5 TGDi + BSG mild hybrid engine.

GALLERY: Proton 1.5 TGDi + BSG mild hybrid engine preview

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