Proton’s Exora electrifies in London green race


 LONDON: Proton’s Exora range-extended electric vehicle (REEV) created history when it defended its title as the “most energy-efficient multipurpose vehicle” at the 2011 Future Car Challenge.

More accolades came in the form of it being declared joint-winner with the 2012 Toyota Prius plug-in petrol hybrid as the “best overall range extended electric vehicle”.

Racing into the future: Proton’s Exora range-extended electric vehicle successfully defended its title as the most energyefficient multipurpose vehicle at the 2011 Future Car Challenge in London on Saturday.

The results came after an exciting 92km “race” on Saturday when 70 vehicles, more than half of them running on electricity, were flagged off from Brighton, at the southern tip of England.

The challenge was organised by Britain’s Royal Automobile Society, but the race was not about finishing first.

Rather, the Future Car Challenge (FCC) was created by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) to see who could use the least amount of energy to cover the distance.

However, participants had to complete the challenge within 3.5 hours. An onboard data-logger measures the actual amount of current draw before, during and after the race to determine the actual amount of electricity used.

The FCC was RAC’s initiative to promote the adoption of green vehicles by offering a platform to demonstrate the potential of clean-energy cars.

A total of 17 categories were created for a wide variety of low-emission vehicles such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids, range-extended hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles.

Other than the Exora REEV, Proton also entered a Persona REEV, and a fully-electric Saga.

The Exora REEV and the Persona REEV are powered by a 70kW motor that is backed up by a small petrol engine that kicks in solely to recharge the lithium ion battery packs put together by Frazer-Nash Research Limited, Proton’s technical partner in its electric vehicle development.

When the Exora REEV was declared best extended range electric vehicle (E-REV) at last year’s inaugural challenge, it surprised the entire field, including Proton itself.

“We were much more confident this year,” explained Datuk Zainuddin Che Din, Proton’s project director for green technology development.

Proton group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir said: “I am overjoyed, to say the least.”

Frazer-Nash’s director for regional operations Gordon Dixon said the win validated his company’s faith in EVs as the platform for the future.

Proton said the vehicles would be in production by 2013.

View the complete list of entries here.

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