Proton is reportedly close to inking a US$330m deal with Detroit Electric to mass produce pure electric vehicles (EV) using Proton’s vehicle platforms.

The Edge newspaper reported that AmResearch said on March 27, quoting its own sources, the deal would involve the licensing of Proton’s Persona platform.

Proton would be involved in manufacturing the platforms and assembling the EV vehicles, it said.

Design and sales would be undertaken by Detroit Electric.

AmResearch said this would be Proton’s second attempt to produce an electric car after a failed venture with UMW to produce an electric powered Wira in 1994.

“Detroit is targeting to produce 40,000 units of the EV a year – to be badged under Detroit’s brand – with target markets in the US and Europe,” it said in its research note.

The research house said the new venture would require little investment by Proton as it involved an existing platform, while production facilities and space were readily available at Proton’s Tanjung Malim plant.