Electric Feeling On the Street; (just charge and zoom..)
While India's automaker Tata Motors's plan of building the world's cheapest car (called the Nano at $2,200 per model) has succinctly drove itslef into an Indian ditch --the plant has been halted due to protests by angry farmers whose land would be sacrificed without adequate compensation of space and money.
Its Asian automobile maker counterpart, Malaysia's Proton Bhd is planning to produce a no-gas-guzzler electric cars for the road in colloboration with American's Detroit Electric to be used on the road as early as the end of this year.
Detroit Electric Chairmain, Albert Lam has chosen Malaysia to be the local car producer Prtoton Holdings Bhd to adopt the company's electric car technologies. Oh joy to the planet?
If all goes well, electric cars will be a common sight on the road (eventhough you can't tell the difference unless the boot of the car was opened for some curious inpection). The car best selling point is that it uses zero petrol but runs totally on electric is touted to be cost saving and environmentally friendly with zero emission.
Problems with Malaysians is that the eco-friendly is alright but what's more important is the price of fuel, the less one spend on the petrol the more idyllic the item sounds.
Detroit Electric and Proton Bhd are looking into producing 2 models of compact cars, a subcompact and a spiffy sports model. And the design is not that bad either, looking like a sporty bumblebee with shiny titanium gills than anything else...
However appealing the car to Greenpeace groupies as well as the idea of cutting back our desperate dependency on petrol for fuel, the downside of the project as I see it is the time to fully recharge the car as well as the lack of places to do it.
Electric Detroit said that the car battery could be charged to only 80% capacity in 8 hours, usin normal house power outlet while a special fast charges could cut down the time in 30 minutes.
Erk, for someone who even forgets to charge her cellphones, I have my doubts with remembering to recharge "my" electric car to face those oh-crucial-moments. Like the 5 hours Kuala Lumpur torrential-rain traffic jams.
Well, perhaps the speed-o-meter benefits could counter the downside where the car is estimated in being able to zoom away up to 300km per charge around 220kph with an incredible life span of 300,000 km.
Electric motor and battery technologies have been around for more than 100 years but it is only now has the technology progressed to such a level that they were economically viable for mass commercialisation eventhough the full effects of electrical cars on the environment are still under study.
Indian cheap cars or Malaysian "environmentally" friendly cars?
I don't know, many are still in denial of the environmental status of our planet. I have a feeling that the former would win considering that price plays a more important factor in our decision making no matter how educated or well informed we are of earth's critical health status.
But time could prove me wrong. Er,sockets anyone?
(More on Proton-Detroit Electric battery car news here)
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia