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Haval unveils plug-in hybrid tech ahead of 2017 launch

Chinese SUV brand Haval reveals new petrol-electric solution for diesel-free future

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Haval logo20 Jun 2016

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

HAVAL has revealed the plug-in hybrid technology that will form part of its strategy to avoid using diesel engines in its SUV range from as early as next year, providing a claimed electric-only range of 65 kilometres and fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres.

Details of the hybrid system have emerged just weeks after China’s best-selling SUV brand announced plans to omit diesel drivetrains from its Australian line-up due to limited upside in diesel development, growing global antipathy to the fuel and the Volkswagen emissions scandal that has since engulfed a number of other brands.

Haval Australia public relations and product specialist Andrew Ellis told GoAuto the local operation was still waiting to find out which products the Chinese factory was going to use the new drivetrain in, and when these would make their way Down Under.

“The more they develop the right-hand-drive programs, things are getting faster and faster for us, so we’re pretty confident we should get it here pretty quickly,” he said.

“As soon as it becomes available we want to get our hands on it.”

Mr Ellis said the Australian operation “reckons H7 would be perfect” for the plug-in hybrid system, referring to the luxurious mid-sized SUV Haval revealed in Beijing in April and is expected to arrive in local showrooms in the second quarter of next year.

Compared with the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid system Haval revealed in April 2015 with two electric motors and a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, the new system is smaller, simpler and appears to favour a front-drive layout.

Sandwiched between the 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is an electric motor, drawing current from a rear-mounted 13kWh lithium-ion battery pack and producing a combined torque output of 450Nm – the same as the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel engine in a Toyota LandCruiser Prado.

Haval says the petrol and electric parts of its new drivetrain design are more closely integrated than traditional layouts that use a separate internal combustion engine and electric motor.

The electric motor produces 95kW of power and 278Nm of torque, while, the petrol engine it is paired with develops 118kW and 284Nm and appears to be a more powerful version of the unit fitted to the brand’s H2 compact SUV that launched in Australia last October.

Similar to other plug-in hybrids already on the market, the Haval system provides three driving modes comprising Pure Electric for up to 65km of zero tailpipe emissions driving, Power for making the most of the electric motor’s instant torque delivery and default Hybrid Drive, which automatically blends the two propulsion sources for maximum fuel economy.

Haval Australia chief marketing officer Tim Smith claimed the company’s petrol-electric system delivers “one of the longest ranges of all modern hybrid vehicles”.

“We know that the average daily commute for Australian drivers is around 42 kilometres, which is less than two thirds of the Haval’s range. This makes range anxiety a thing of the past,” he said.

Haval claims the plug-in hybrid system, as fitted to the sleek HB-02 mid-sized SUV concept vehicle unveiled at the Beijing Auto Exhibition in April, can complete the 0-100km/h dash in “around nine seconds” and achieve a 210km/h top speed.

The battery pack can be charged from a standard household 240-volt outlet in four hours and the system also uses regenerative braking to top up the cells during deceleration.

“The combination of high torque and efficiency makes electricity a great power source for SUVs,” said Mr Smith.

“With a fuel consumption of just 2.1L/100 km and three different driving modes to choose from, the HAVAL plug-in hybrid promises to be the perfect powertrain for Australian owners.

“It has the potential to deliver all the performance customers expect from a premium SUV, with fuel economy figures they could only dream of previously.”

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