This one came up out of left field, but feast your eyes on what could possibly be Perodua’s first EV…..in a few year's time, perhaps. It’s the Daihatsu Ayla EV Concept, a fully electric city car that is supposedly fully functional.
Unveiled just outside Jakarta at the 2022 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS), it will coincidentally be sharing floor space with a similarly sized but extensively modified self-driving Proton Savvy. If you ever wanted proof that the Malaysian automotive scene is much less vibrant, you need only look here. Every year.
Created by PT Astra Daihatsu Motor on their sister version of our beloved Axia, this EV concept looks very intriguing if nothing else with its two-tone exterior with neon accents, sized-up wheels, and flush fitment, and cameras in place of wing mirrors (screens inside). There’s something undeniably Volkswagen ID.3 about it too.
Perodua Axia EV - Powertrain
Under that bonnet, there’s nothing left of the car’s internal combustion engine, which in Indonesia is either offered with the 1.0-litre 1KR-DE 3-cylinder that we’re familiar with locally or a larger 1.2-litre 3NR-VE four-cylinder unit mated to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.
Instead, there’s a collection of EV guts - inverters, capacitors, etc - that adjoin with an 80hp electric motor to drive the front wheels. Charge is stored in a 32kWh battery of some description, probably lithium-ion, within the car. Since the platform was never intended to neatly integrate such a powertrain, we can’t imagine the solution is particularly elegant but merely functional.
We’d be more than happy to deliver more information about the car’s internals to you but for the fact that its makers aren’t really forthcoming about its specifications except to share its battery capacity and electric motor output (but not torque either).
Also, a mystery is an estimate on the Alya EV’s range on a fully charged battery, but in context of a vehicle this tiny and lightweight, 32kWh is a pretty generous amount. The Hyundai Kona Electric in base e-Lite or mid-range e-Plus guise uses 39.2kWh battery that yields a 305km range on the WLTP test cycle.
32kWh Battery. Enough Juice for the Axia EV?
The MINI Cooper SE 3-door that’s sold in Malaysia boasts a lithium-ion battery with a usable charge of 28.9kWh, and though its listed range is at least 235km, it never showed us anything past 150km on its dash for projected endurance during our recent time spent with it.
What this tells us is that, given that the Ayla EV concept is sure to be much lighter than either the Hyundai or the MINI, 32kWh could theoretically take it pretty far before being depleted.
Clearly, the message here is to show what can be done. To prove it possible even within an unideal legacy vehicle platform and compact dimensions. However, it isn’t clear if there is even an outside chance that PT Astra Daihatsu Motor is interested in bringing this to market.
Don’t hold your breath, but motor shows do have a history of spawning show car models that wind up in showrooms years later, particularly with Daihatsu. In 2017 the current Rocky/Ativa was previewed in its early state as the DN Trec Concept at that year’s Tokyo Motor Show. Similarly, the DN-F Sedan Concept, also from 2017 but as GIIAS, is now widely regarded as the progenitor of the recently released D29A Toyota Yaris Ativ (Vios).