Malaysian carmaker Proton has launched a range of eco-friendly cars, in a similar vein to Peugeot's recent BlueLion program, as well as numerous other manufactures who have undertaken similar eco-friendly schemes.

Launched in the UK, Proton will be offering an 'Ecologic' version of the GEN2 (also called the Proton Persona in other markets) mid-size car. The new model is capable of using both petrol and LPG gasoline interchangeably, with an LPG tank installed as standard. A small meter in the car displays which type of fuel is being used and how much of that fuel remains in the tank.

The engine used in the GEN2 is a 1.6L unit, outputting around 110hp (65kW). While CO2 emissions for the car have yet to be announced, the Ecologic is expected to be around 15% less polluting than the standard model.

With LPG retailing for around half the price of petrol, Proton also estimates that drivers can save up to 40% off their fuel bills.

Other eco-friendly schemes use a variety of techniques to reduce emissions and increase environmental friendliness, which Proton is seemingly ignoring. Devices such as aerodynamic aids, low-rolling-resistance tires and clean burning diesel engines have all been used by other manufacturers, as well as forethought on the environmental impact of the cars manufacture and disposal. While Proton's Ecologic range may not be as comprehensive and environmentally friendly as other manufacturer's schemes, it does represent a step in the right direction for the Malaysian company.