LWK Automotive Green Technologies Sdn Bhd introduced the world's first multi-purpose rescue vehicle (MRV) in Jalan Kapar, Klang last week.
Invented by Dr Low Wai Koon, the MRV project - which was initiated with a government grant of RM2.2 million - took nine years to be completed with a production cost of RM600,000 per vehicle.
Unlike conventional rescue vehicles that are made to assist during a particular disaster, the MRV is capable of carrying out rescue missions through the aftermaths of any natural disaster, be it a fire, flood or even an earthquake.
Featuring a waterproof transmission system and fuel tank, the manufacturer claims that the vehicle can wade through six feet under water with its engine running as long as there is fuel.
It also has a 630psi pump to suck and spray water, functioning just like a fire rescue vehicle. With enough room to evacuate 15 people at one time, the MRV is fitted with an electric generator capable of producing 20kW of electricity.
Powered by a four-wheel drive system, the MRV can be driven through rough terrains and move easily through mud as well as rocky surfaces. This was evident through the live demonstration done at the launch event.
Weighing 2.6 tonnes, the MRV has an approach angle of 45 degrees, and has a towing capacity of over 40 tonnes, thanks to the 9,000Nm of maximum torque.
Despite being so powerful, the MRV is powered only by a 2.0L diesel engine, mated with a hydraulic powered drive system, incorporating a normal combustion engine with a hydraulic system.
Since the engine displacement is low for a vehicle of its capacity, fuel consumption and carbon emission have also been kept at low levels.
According to LWK Automotive Green Technologies CEO Tan Sri Robert Phang, the MRV is targetted towards agencies like the Defence Ministry, the National Security Council, the police as well as Mercy Malaysia and the Red Crescent Society.
"We have received many enquiries from Thailand, Brunei, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. However, our main aim is to market the MRV locally first," he said.
"I would also like to urge the government to provide us with the platform to make the MRV successful, both locally and internationally, as it will be pointless to have a Malaysian-made product selling well everywhere but here."