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Blue Geely plan spells green future

Grand plans: Geely's Emgrand EV will be the company's first full electric vehicle, with a driving range of 330km, for now.

Geely to focus on hybrids, PHEVs and EVs as part of new powertrain strategy

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24 Nov 2015

CHINESE automotive giant Geely will shift its focus to electrified engine technology, with a view to offering a line-up that is made up of 90 per cent “new energy” vehicles by 2020.

The car-maker, which owns Swedish brand Volvo, launched the Blue Geely energy initiative at the Guangzhou motor show last week, which aims to move away from developing internal combustion engines and instead “concentrating entirely on new energy vehicle sales and development”.

Geely says it will overhaul its line-up between 2016 and 2020 by introducing a range of eco-friendly technologies including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and full electric vehicles.

Five key aims have been identified by Geely, starting with its commitment to “meet and exceed” Chinese government mandated average fuel consumption levels that will hit 5.0 litres per 100km by 2020.

The ambitious company says that by 2020, 90 per cent of its fleet will be powered by alternative energy powertrains, based around two existing vehicle platforms – its FE and PE platforms – and one vehicle architecture.

To coincide with its announcement, the car-maker showed off its first electrified vehicle – the Emgrand EV – at the Guangzhou motor show last week, highlighting its 330km range and 48-minute recharge time at a fast charging station.

The company says it hopes to increase range to 400km by 2018 while using a maximum of 13kWh of electricity, with a further extension to 500km using just 8kWh.

It expects hybrids and PHEVs to make up 65 per cent of its overall sales by 2020, while EVs will capture 35 per cent.

In terms of pricing, Geely said it will buck the trend of charging a premium for PHEV models, charging a similar price as current internal combustion engines in a bid to encourage wider adoption of the technology.

With more than 2500 staff in research and development in Gothenburg, Sweden, Coventry, United Kingdom and Hangzhou in China, Geely says it has been engaged in developing its own hybrid system over the past 10 years.

It has also invested in the China Europe Technology Centre in Gothenburg – the home city of Volvo Cars – where Geely is developing the next-generation Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) due to underpin a number of Geely and Volvo models, including the next V40 and related XC40 crossover.

Geely's CMA cars will be powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain that uses a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine combined with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for fuel consumption of 2.0L/100km, but the company expects this to drop to 1.8L/100km by 2019 and then 1.5L/100km by 2020.

A hybrid system will be introduced to Geely's light and small car range in 2016, offering fuel savings of 40 per cent, but again Geely says this saving will increase to 45 per cent in 2018 and 50 per cent in 2020.

Volvo has started its roll out of electrified powertrains, with the T8 plug-in hybrid set-up that is used in the range-topping version of the XC90 SUV. It is also likely to appear in the forthcoming S90 sedan that will make its debut at the Detroit motor show.

Geely Auto Group CEO An Conghui said the new powertrain strategy will help give the company an edge over its Chinese competitors.

“Geely is officially stating that it will be the first automotive company in China to reach the government's vision for a 5.0L/100km fuel directive by 2020,” he said.

“We aim to allow consumers to realise their dream of driving powerful, extremely fuel-efficient vehicles, we are extremely confident in our Blue Geely Initiative it will become a core part of our corporate social responsibility and development plan.

“Blue Geely’s five core tenets will push Geely to the very forefront of the Chinese automotive industry with highly competitive vehicles.”

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