Representing Proton’s third foray into electrified vehicles, the Iriz EV comes after the Saga EV and Exora REEV, which were received by the Government for testing but were never sold to the public. It also makes up one of two new Malaysian-made electric vehicles (EVs) that are said be launched by 2017 with “incredible” price tags that fall below the RM100,000 mark.
This was announced by Mohamad Madani Sahari, CEO of the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) at the recent 2015 Kuala Lumpur Automechanika fair almost a year ago in October.
Back to the Proton Iriz EV, and the first thing to note is the similarity in looks to the standard Iriz on sale now. That isn’t surprising as we were told during a special preview of the all-new Proton Iriz prior to its launch in September 2014, we were officially told that the car’s platform was made to accommodate EV/ hybrid systems from the get-go.
And the hybrid powertrain in this prototype consists of a permanent magnet AC synchronous electric motor offering 116kW or 155hp and a whopping 360Nm of torque. Power is sourced from a 39.6 kWh battery pack developed by Korean company LG, which is underfloor-mounted.
The battery can be charged to full from 40% in just 15 minutes with the use of fast charger. A public charger as those found in certain parking lots will accomplish the same in four hours, while a run of the mill three-pin plug does so in a lengthy seven hours.
Performance-wise, we were told the EV sprints to 100 km/h from a standstill in just nine seconds and is limited to a top speed of 150 km/h, running on a single 7.23 ratio single-speed transmission. What’s more impressive is the range the Iriz EV can accomplish with a claimed New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) of around 300km.
Of course, the fitment of a battery back means the Iriz now packs on a bit of weight, now standing at 1,380kg. That makes it 195kg heavier than the top-of-the-line Iriz 1.6 Premium but you won’t notice the heft either on the inside that remains almost stock save for the Prius-like gear lever and new digital instrument for keeping track of the vehicle’s speed, charge state, and other info. Rear seating space is left unchanged and you still get a spare tyre in the boot.
Does the prospect of a local electric vehicle entice you to purchase one? With a suggested price tag of below RM100k, it certainly undercuts the current offering of electric vehicles in Malaysia, which includes the Nissan Leaf (RM180k) and price-upon-application (POA) Mitsubishi i-MiEV.