Proton, Petronas exchange MoU on EV chargers

by ANIS HAZIM / pic TMR

PROTON Holdings Bhd via its new energy vehicle subsidiary, Proton New Energy Technology Sdn Bhd (Pro-Net) and Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas)’s clean energy subsidiary Gentari Sdn Bhd are partnering to build electric vehicle (EV) chargers. 

Proton said the exchange of memorandum of understanding (MoU) will establish its presence and add to the ecosystem in the national EV and new energy vehicle (NEV) space.

“Initial plans are for the building of 20 direct currents (DC) chargers in 2023 where Pro-Net will be responsible for providing the charging location and power facilities, while Gentari will provide the charging infrastructure and operatorship solutions,” it said in a statement today.

Prior to this, Pro-Net signed a general distributorship agreement with Smart in August and announced the formation of Pro-Net in September.

Meanwhile, the national carmaker is working closely with Smart via its subsidiary to ensure its EV offerings match the usage profile of Malaysian EV buyers. 

Despite the positive collaboration with Gentari, Proton deputy CEO Roslan Abdullah noted that the group must pay equal attention to other areas of the business in order to have a comprehensive business solution.

“For instance, as a national automotive brand, Proton should spearhead the development of Malaysia’s EV ecosystem by investing in knowledge and expertise to address potential blind spots in areas where we have little experience.

“So, we are sending 16 engineers to China for six months to be trained in research and development, vehicle performance, homologation and testing with the aim of eventually developing and selling a homegrown NEV,” he said.

Roslan said this is important in supporting the government’s efforts to move Malaysia towards a knowledge-based economy and to be a regional epicentre for NEVs.

Meanwhile, Pro-Net is currently considering several options ranging from traditional outlets to urban brand experience centres as well as using online portals to sell or lease the vehicles

“Addressing the needs of EV and NEV customers in Malaysia will require the participation of many parties and collaboration between automotive industry players.

“This is especially true with regards to a charging infrastructure that addresses the needs of users throughout the country, and Pro-Net will offer customers a comprehensive charging solution,” he added.

Proton aims to create a new experience that caters to NEV customers’ needs as it foresees that they have a different set of motivating factors compared to traditional car buyers.

“Therefore, Pro-Net will actively recruit new dealers and welcome proposals for an innovative brand and transactional experience,” he further said.