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Local touch to cars of the future

on 02 Disember 2009.

KUCHING: A Universiti Malaysia Sarawak automotive design lecturer's electric motorcycle/car hybrid has been shortlisted for this year's Anugerah Pereka Bentuk Malaysia (Malaysian Design Award).

Senior lecturer Dr Saiful Bahari Mohd Yusoff said he designed the Auto Motor to beat traffic jams.

The driver of the the three-wheeled two-seater steers it like a motorcycle while the passenger sits in an enclosed sidecar. It has a top speed of 90kph and a battery life of six to eight hours.

To ensure that his Auto Motor has a Malaysian touch, the door panels, floorboards and dashboard are made of recycled sago waste, found in abundance in Sarawak.

He gave the media a sneak peak of a 1:3 scale model of the vehicle at the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts. But he said it would be difficult to commercialise his invention.

"It's too expensive to build a full-sized model. This small-scale model to submit to the competition cost RM10,000 to build," he said.

On the other hand, his student, Rosina Mitik, believes that her 4-seater electric car for trendy young executives will pass the model stage.

The made-in-Unimas 1:3 scale model, called Compact EV, cost the 21-year-old four months and RM2,000 to build.

All six students involved in the project came up with interesting concepts, said Saiful.

"The students had to design a green car that addresses all the environmental concerns like carbon emission and sustainability," Saiful explained.

One came up with a car for tourists and another, an electric car for students.

"They produced significant work, equal to a final-year student's even though they were just starting out. They are outstandingly good," said Saiful.

Deputy dean Khaiul Aidil Azlin Abdul Rahman said although electric car research in Malaysia is a decade behind countries like Japan, he believed Unimas could produce a commercially-viable concept car within three to four years.

"The basic research is already there. What we in Unimas are trying to do is to get more local content into electric cars," he said.

 

Reference: New Strait Times Online

 

Arkib Berita

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia Telephone: +60 82581000/+60 82581388, Fax: +60 82 665 088, Email: corporate@unimas.my
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