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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dutch And Malaysian Companies To Produce Zero-Emission Autos With Detroit Electric Tech
As Originally Posted to the Denver Post

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — Malaysia's national carmaker, Proton, and a Dutch-based company signed a deal Monday to make zero-emission electric cars that they said would be more powerful than any existing model.

Proton and Detroit Electric, a startup that owns the technology, signed the collaboration agreement in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (at center in photo) to produce the sedans, initially targeted for Europe and the U.S.

"We have the audacity to bring to the people an affordable, everyday car . . . with zero emission," Detroit Electric chief executive Albert Lam said in a speech.

The four-door vehicle will roll out of Proton's factory by early next year, Lam told The Associated Press in an interview earlier.

The aim is to produce 40,000 units in the first year, ramping up to 270,000 by 2013, he said. The cars will be priced between $23,000 and $33,000, depending on the model and taxation.

General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Ford Motor Co., PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Tesla Motors are all seeking to develop electric cars amid rising consumer interest in green technologies.