smart #1 EV in Malaysia – Q3 launch on track, 20 DC chargers with Gentari, dedicated 3S centres, smart app –

Some progress updates on smart. Work has been going on behind the scenes since Proton and smart Automobile Company formalised their partnership with the signing of a general distributorship agreement last August.

Proton New Energy Technology (Pro-Net), the company formed by the national automaker to handle the sales and distribution of smart vehicles, says that it is on track to introduce the smart #1 in Malaysia this year, and ahead of schedule, by the sound of it.

At a recent update briefing, the company said that it is targeting a Q3 market debut for the electric vehicle, which is ahead of the original Q4 introduction timeline that was offered last year. It added that there would be a public preview for the car sometime in the second quarter.

Pro-Net added that it has been actively expanding its talent pool in preparation of upcoming marketing campaign, building up office space as well as establishing an all-new, multi-level sales and service network for the upcoming car.

It said that the process of recruiting new premium dealers throughout Peninsular Malaysia is underway, concentrating its initial efforts in the northern, central and southern region. The network will feature specially-designed, dedicated smart space and smart 3S centres to better serve owners.

On the charging infrastructure front, it said that plans outlined for the setting up of 20 DC chargers in 2023 together with Gentari also remains on track. Under the partnership, Pro-Net will provide the charging location and power facilities while Gentari will be responsible for providing the charging infrastructure and operator-related solutions.

Still along those lines, the company added that it was also looking into expanding the scope of charging solutions available to its customers. These include one-stop home charging solutions to increasing the number of available charging stations under its umbrella nationwide by 2025. It said its first charging station will be installed at Proton COE, while smart dealers’ outlets will also have charging stations to serve the needs of smart owners.

In terms of product related developments, the company revealed that it will redefine some aspects of the electronics in the smart #1 bound for our market, in terms of remote control functions and integrating the infotainment system, completing this process before the car is launched. While it did not state so, the presence of an Android Auto Desktop Head Unit (DHU) mention in one of the product slides indicates that some form of localisation to the infotainment system is on the cards.

Development is also ongoing for the smart App, which Pro-Net says will provide a seamless 360 digital journey for all smart car owners with a host of connected services, ranging from in-car navigation to the setting up of service appointments. The app will also include a comprehensive charging map, outlining the locations of chargers.

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