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Chinese automakers bring hybrids and plug-ins to Detroit, Geneva auto shows

E-JET Concept Car-2
The E-JET concept range extended electric vehicle from GAC. Click to enlarge.

At least two Chinese automakers are bringing some of their new energy vehicles—hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric—to two of the major international auto shows in the first quarter of this year.

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd. (GAC) brought three to the 2013 North American International Auto Show (2013 NAIAS) in Detroit this month: a 4x4 Hybrid Version of the Trumpchi Sedan; a battery-electric version of the Trumpchi GS5 SUV; and the Compact NEV E-JET range-extended electric vehicle. Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.—a partnership between Chery Automobile, China’s largest independent car manufacturer, and Israel Corporation—is bringing its Cross Hybrid Concept to the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Guangzhou Automobile Group

As a listed company in both Hong Kong and Shanghai stock markets, GAC Group’s main business covers vehicle and component R&D; manufacturing; sales & logistics; automotive finance/insurance; and relevant services. GAC Group owns several production vehicle brands such as “Trumpchi”, GAC Gonow, GAC and GAC Yangcheng.

In addition, GAC Group has joint ventures with global automakers such as Toyota, Honda, Fiat-Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Hino for vehicle production. GAC Group ranks No. 6 among Chinese automakers with a production and sales volume of 720 thousand for vehicles and 950 thousand for motorcycles in 2012.

The only Chinese automaker exhibiting in the Detroit show, GAC Group brought three of its newly developed new energy vehicles.

GAC’s twenty plus models of NEV buses and three models of NEV passenger vehicles have already passed vehicle homologation in China and have been launched. By participating in Detroit Auto Show, GAC Group intended to introduce to the public its work in the new energy vehicle area; and to better understand the North American automotive industry and market trends.

In 2013, GAC Group targets to exceed sales volume of one million for both vehicle and motorcycles.

The GAC 4x4 Trumpchi hybrid is in production. Click to enlarge.

4x4 Hybrid Version of Trumpchi Sedan. The Trumpchi 4x4 hybrid is the first mass-produced full hybrid sedan with all-wheel-drive feature in China, independently developed by GAC Engineering based on its mid-high class vehicle platform. The company reports fuel consumption of 6.6 L/100km (35.6 mpg US).

It differs from the conventional Trumpchi sedan with a 15 kW ISG (Integrated Starter/Generator) added between the 1.8L I-4 engine and the transmission at the front axle, a 25 kW ERAD (Electrical Rear Axle Drive) PM motor on the rear axle and an advanced lithium-ion battery pack mounted back to the back seat. Maximum torque from the rear motor is 154 N·m (114 lb-ft). The engine delivers 106 kW (142 hp) and 167 N·m (123 lb-ft) of torque.

With this configuration, it has all the functions a full hybrid supposed to have: electric drive, engine automatic stop/start, regeneration brake/cruise, engine assist, etc.

Further, the 4x4 hybrid offers a function of gear shift power assist; during the gear shift the ERAD motor can provide power assist from the rear axle when the clutch is opened at the front, achieving a seamless gear shift of the RMT (Robotized Mechanical Transmission) without any torque interruption.

In addition, this hybrid can automatically switch between 2WD and 4WD drive mode, depending on the real driving situation. Comparing to conventional Trumpchi, the 4x4 hybrid version has demonstrated excellent fuel economy (30% fuel saving), acceleration (2 seconds less from 0 to 100kph), drivability and ride comfort.

GAC BEV Trumpchi GS5
BEV version of GS5. Click to enlarge.

BEV Version of Trumpchi GS5 SUV. This vehicle is a prototype EV jointly developed by GAC Engineering and AC Propulsion Inc., based on GAC’s Trumpchi GS5 SUV. (Earlier post.) It is powered by an induction motor controlled with a highly integrated Power Electronics Unit.

The high speed motor provides 225 N·m (166 lb-ft) of torque and up to 150 kW (200 hp) of power, enabling a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration within 8.5 seconds.

The Power Electronics Unit integrates the motor drive electronics and onboard charger to minimize system cost. An 18 kW high power charger allows a recharge time as fast as 2 hours and features bi-directional power capability, thus Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), Vehicle-to-House and Vehicle-to-Vehicle power flow are all possible.

The 35 kWh Li-Ion battery pack is mounted low for vehicle stability and is controlled by a dedicated battery management system. The efficient drive train and excellent energy management system enable the vehicle to achieve a drive range of 100 miles at 60 mph.

E-JET Concept Car-1
Another view of the E-JET. Click to enlarge.

Compact E-JET. The E-JET is a range-extended electric concept car designed by GAC Engineering based on its independently developed new compact passenger vehicle platform. Equipped with a 95 kW (peak) permanent magnet motor and a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, E-JET can achieve a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph), acceleration from 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) within 4.5 seconds, and gradeability higher than 32%.

E-JET can have a pure electric drive range of more than 100 km (62 miles). E-JET uses a 45 kW (60 hp) 1.0L gasoline engine and a 30 kW PM generator as the range-extender to charge the battery when the battery state-of-charge (SOC) is low, which extends the total drive range to more than 600 km (373 miles) with a fuel consumption of less than 2L/100 km (NEDC cycle) (118 mpg US). Power consumption in electric mode is 11.8 kWh/100km.

Qoros Auto Co. Ltd.

Qoros first car GQ3 exterior 01
Qoros GQ3 debuting in Geneva. Click to enlarge.

Qoros Auto Co. Ltd. was founded in 2007, within the context of a partnership of equals between Chery Automobile, China’s largest independent car manufacturer, and Israel Corporation, a globally acting industry holding company. It is headed by Chief Executive Officer and President Guo Qian as well as Deputy Chief Executive Officer Volker Steinwascher. Qoros is supported by component suppliers such as Magna Steyr, TRW, Continental, Bosch, Microsoft and Iconmobile.

The company is headquartered in Changshu, with large offices in Shanghai. A production plant is being built in Changshu that is completely new, efficient and based on sustainability. It will have an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year, which can be increased to 450,000 vehicles per year.

The first model of the new brand, Qoros GQ3, will be introduced on the Chinese automobile market during the second half of 2013, and the first cars will be sold in Europe later in the year. Subsequently, additional models are planned in intervals of approximately six months.

At its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show (7 - 17 March), Qoros will showcase the GQ3 compact sedan, and two concept studies. The Cross Hybrid Concept and Estate Concept preview future Qoros designs and technologies.

The Cross Hybrid Concept and Estate Concept studies are both based on the same platform as the Qoros GQ3, with the first cars arriving in Europe later in the year. Further Qoros models will be launched at intervals of around six months.

The Qoros model line-up is characterized by modern, German-influenced design, world-class safety technology, and the highest production quality standards. Each Qoros will feature as standard an advanced infotainment system that is unique in the automotive sector and that includes comprehensive networking, connectivity and guidance functionality.



If those beautiful electrified concept vehicles are mass produced (at the traditional low China price) they could become world leaders within a few short years?


"ERAD motor can provide power assist from the rear axle when the clutch is opened at the front, achieving a seamless gear shift of the RMT (Robotized Mechanical Transmission) without any torque interruption."



Mega-cities like Tokyo, Beijing and 20+ others have an urgent need of low emissions electrified vehicles. Can the transition (from polluting ICEVs to partial or full EVs) be done (in time) without some sort of mandated or guided promotion.

Would an international malus-bonus progressive, but proactive program, be enough to finance the development and the initial mass production cost of electrified vehicles to the level required to accelerate the transition of ICEVs to EVs (from 4+ to 2 decades)?

Alternatively, could a large, very progressive, country like China take a leading role, develop and mass produce more efficient batteries and lower cost EVs and flood the world market place? May-be?


Shouldn't that read 118 mpg-e for the e-jet concept? No way it actually consumes 2 liter per 100 km.

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