Firm promises speedy electric car

A Dutch-based company said it plans to produce affordable electric cars that are much more powerful than existing models and have zero emissions.

The chief executive of Detroit Electric, Albert Lam, announced his firm is in negotiations with Malaysia's national auto maker, Proton, to produce the car.

"We believe in affordable electric vehicles for the public. That is our dream ... to find innovative ways to counter global warming," he said.

Mr Lam was speaking at a news conference before journalists test drove a number of cars fitted with the Detroit Electric technology.

Mr Lam said the car, which will be in production by the end of 2009, uses lithium ion batteries and a motor developed in-house.

"When people tell you it is not practical, that it runs at a slow speed and you can't charge it, that is not 1," he said.

Reports about the car claim that it can go from zero to 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph) in less than five seconds - comparable to petrol-powered sports cars.

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