The Geely Geometry EX3 is the perfect first EV for Proton and we're hoping we see it on our roads sooner rather than later.
The recent 2022 budget announcement, which proposed a completely tax-free incentive for EV cars, has really got every automotive manufacturer in Malaysia jumping.
Proton is no exception to this, and it seems that they have very quickly laid out a roadmap towards introducing hybrid, plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles though information of what that entails is still not publicly available.
Picked up by The Star, Proton Edar CEO Roslan Abdullah has come out and said that the electric vehicle tax incentives would help to increase the adoption rate of electric vehicles in Malaysia.
"Proton has a planned roadmap towards introducing hybrid, plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles, so perhaps this development can help push our plans forward," said the CEO.
The most recent new energy vehicle from Geely is the Geometry EX3, a vehicle that could prove to be important for Geely and those associated with the ever-growing Chinese vehicle manufacturer.
Why? Because the Geometry EX3 has been touted as one of the most affordable electric vehicles to come out of a major manufacturer. With a pre-sale estimated price from 59,700RMB (RM39k), the handsome little hatchback could potentially be the answer to Proton's mass-market battery electric vehicle.
The Geometry EX3 offers 322km of range under the NEDC cycle, thanks to a 37.23kWh battery which can be charged from 0 to 80% in less than 30 minutes with high-speed DC chargers. The vehicle is also designed with charging practicality in mind as it is readily able to charge by plugging into a regular household 220V socket.
The EX3 is equipped with a 70KW e-motor that provides 180Nm of torque and a highly efficient regenerative braking system, putting it on par with traditional gasoline vehicles in terms of performance.
The EX3 also adopts a liquid-cooled battery temperature control system, allowing the vehicle to safely charge at high speeds and operate efficiently in hot climates. The battery's internal temperature is kept at 20°C to maximize its performance in all conditions and extend battery life.
With Malaysia's affinity for sporty and handsome-looking hatchbacks, the EX3's looks further make it relevant for the Malaysian market.
Size-wise, the EX3 is 4005mm long x 1760mm wide x 1575mm high with a wheelbase of 2480mm. For comparison, the 2022 Myvi facelift is 3895mm long x 1,735mm wide x 1515 high. So yeah, it's slightly bigger than the current Myvi.
Aesthetically, the interior design was developed with young consumers in mind. Adopting a two-tone black and blue colour scheme with visually impactful fluorescent highlights, the EX3 has a stylish, clean, and sophisticated feel about it. There are also suede-like soft-touch materials throughout the interior and ergonomically designed seats to provide occupants with a comfortable ride experience.
The cockpit also features a digital 10.25" LCD instrument screen and an 8" floating central infotainment system. In addition, the EX3 comes with Geely's G-Link system providing mobile device mirroring, native QQ music, Autonavi navigation, Ximalaya radio, voice control, in-car Wi-Fi, and other intelligent applications.
Safety-wise, the Geometry EX3 includes dual airbags, reversing sensors and cameras, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System, as well as ABS + EBD.
Now that the electric vehicle part is covered, what about a hybrid? If Proton wants to semi-design their very own hybrid vehicles, they could turn to Geely's Leishan Power for the powertrain.
Geely's Leishan Power is the Chinese manufacturer's new global powertrain brand. Yes, they even have their own powertrain brand now. Leishen's products include a world-class modular hybrid powertrain platform, high-efficiency dedicated hybrid transmissions, new hybrid engines and new E-drive systems.
The headline for the Leishan powertrain brand is its ability to provide hybrid platforms (Leishen Hi-X) that include an ultra-high 43.32% thermal efficiency engine, the world's most advanced 3-speed Dedicated Hybrid Transmission (DHT), 40% reduced fuel consumption NEDC rating, and full powertrain FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) update capabilities.
Supercharged hybrid engine
The DHE1.5 (1.5TD) is a dedicated hybrid engine developed over five years and will be the world's first mass-produced supercharged direct-injection hybrid engine. This engine adopts four advanced technologies: high-pressure direct injection, a supercharger, a Miller-cycle, and a low-pressure EGR to achieve the world's highest thermal efficiency for a mass-produced engine of 43.32%. Its indicated thermal efficiency has reached 52.5% and offers the highest torque and power within its class.
3-speed hybrid transmission
DHT Pro will be the world's first mass-produced 3-speed hybrid transmission. It integrates two E-motors, transmission, and E-controllers weighing only 120kg. Moreover, with a maximum torque output of 4920 Nm (you read that right), the DHT Pro achieves an incredible 41Nm/kg torque to weight ratio.
Over the air updates
Hi-X is also the first hybrid platform capable of FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) improvements of the entire hybrid powertrain system that offers 20 intelligent driving modes. In addition, the innovative powertrain intelligent control unit (ICU) has strong data-driven learning capabilities and perfect coordination between engine, transmission, and battery.
As you can see, a lot of mech tech is up for grabs for Proton. It's just down to them on how they would like to use them. It is little wonder that Roslan and Proton could state that they have a roadmap for electrifying Proton vehicles, as the backing from Geely really does give them a lot of options, either in a direct re-badging way or the means to create their very own PHEV, EV or hybrid vehicles from the ground-up.