Shanghai (Gasgoo)- In China, the auto industry’s push into electric vehicles has gained traction this year with sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) growing much faster than the overall car business. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), NEV sales in China reached 1.206 million units for the first half of 2021, rocketing 201.5% year on year.
To keep up with the EV boom, automakers in China are vigorously rolling out new NEV models. For the first seven months, traditional automakers like Geely and Dongfeng Motor announced the market launch of the ZEEKR 001 and the VOYAH Free, the first production models of their premium smart EV brands, ZEEKR and VOYAH. Among startups, Li Auto and XPeng put the 2021 Li ONE and the XPeng G3i onto the market. The global automaker Volkswagen also brought two ID. series BEV models, the ID.4 and the ID.6, into China.
For the rest of the year, there will still quite a few NEV models to hit the market. Let’s preview some key products.
At the Auto Shanghai 2021, Mercedes-Benz celebrated the world premiere of the all-new full-electric EQB compact model. Meanwhile, the first glance of the all-electric EQA was offered to the public in China. Their China-specific versions were registered in the catalogue of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIT) and are expected to go on sale in the world’s largest auto market later this year. Both of them are positioned as compact SUVs.
China-made Mercedes-Benz EQB; photo credit: MIIT
The EQB is essentially an electric version of the gas-powered GLB-Class which is already on sale. For the Chinese market, the EQB is being launched as a single EQB 350 model produced by the joint venture Beijing Benz. According to the patent images from the MIIT, the China-made EQB features a sealed-off grille for better aero efficiency. It carries a 150kW motor mounted at the front axle and a 70kW motor at the rear. Powering the vehicle is a ternary-lithium battery pack supplied by Farasis Energy.
China-made Mercedes-Benz EQA; photo credit: MIIT
Mercedes-Benz based the EQA on the GLA, but instead gave the full-electric SUV some different elements to reveal the electric essence, such as the closed-off grille and the charging port on the left side. At the rear end, the lettering “300” and “4MATIC” suggest that the China-built version will be fitted with two electric motors and feature higher power output than the entry-level EQA 250.
SAIC Volkswagen ID.3
SAIC Volkswagen will reportedly put the ID.3 onto the market in December. The joint venture received in June the approval from the MIIT to build the full-electric hatchback.
SAIC Volkswagen ID.3; photo credit: MIIT
As Volkswagen brand’s third ID. model produced in China, the ID.3 is 4,261mm long, 1,778 wide, and 1,568mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,765mm, according to the information the MIIT posted on its website. The dimensions put it into the compact car segment.
Riding on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, the ID.3 will be armed with a 125kW electric motor at the rear axle. The 57.3kWh ternary-lithium battery pack enables a NEDC-rated range of 430km for the vehicle.
The ID.3 will be assembled at SAIC-VW’s Anting plant in Shanghai, joining the ID.4X and the ID.6X .
Changan Mazda CX-30 EV
At the Auto Shanghai 2021, Changan Mazda unveiled its first NEV model, the CX-30 EV, which is also the first NEV Mazda launched for Chinese market. The all-electric model is expected to hit the market at the Chengdu Motor Show 2021.
Changan Mazda CX-30 EV; photo credit: MIIT
According to the patent images exposed by the MIIT, the CX-30 EV’s exterior and interior design largely follows the existing fuel-powered version. It will be powered by a 160kW permanent magnet synchronous motor and a 61.1kWh battery pack that offers a range of 450km under NEDC cycle.
The full-electric model is 4,410mm long, 1,852mm wide and has a height of 1,655 mm. Its wheelbase measures 2,672 mm.
GAC Honda Breeze PHEV
The Honda Breeze’s PHEV version, namely, the Breeze SPORT HYBRID e+, made its world’s debut at the Auto Shanghai 2021 and is expected to be put for sale in the second half of 2021. It is the first PHEV model of GAC Honda.
Honda Breeze PHEV; photo credit: GAC Honda
Based on Honda’s original 2-motor hybrid system, SPORT HYBRID i-MMD, the Breeze PHEV retains much of the design seen on the existing fuel-burning version. Thanks to a 16.3kWh battery pack, the PHEV is capable of 85km on battery power alone and a fuel consumption of as low as 1.3 liter/100km. Its powertrain consists of two electric motors and a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder petrol engine, plus an eCVT for direct engine drive at higher speeds.
On June 22, BYD announced via its Weibo account that the EA1, an all-electric hatchback unveiled at the Auto Shanghai 2021, is formally named Dolphin, which is the first model based on BYD’s e-platform 3.0.
BYD Dolphin; photo credit: BYD
The Dolphin will come with four variants in the future and will be sold via BYD’s e network. It is expected to hit the market at the end of August. Presale kicked off on August 13.
According to MIIT’s information, the Dolphin is positioned as a compact pure electric hatchback with a length, width and height of 4,070 (4,125)/1,770/1,570mm, and a wheelbase of 2,700mm.
According to the ministry, the Dolphin will get power from a lithium iron phosphate battery pack. Driven the vehicle will be a permanent magnet synchronous motor that churns out up to 70kW. In addition, the car can run at a top speed of 150km/h.
BYD Yuan PLUS EV
Built on BYD’s e-platform 3.0 as well, the BYD Yuan PLUS EV is likely to go on sale in September.
The vehicle embodies the company’s latest design language called Dragon Face 3.0. The crossover bodywork with elements like a sloping bonnet and a dropping roofline, sculpted headlamps, C-shaped front bumper corners, and a full-width taillight cluster are some of the design highlights.
BYD Yuan PLUS EV; photo credit: MIIT
According to the MIIT’s information, the BYD Yuan PLUS EV measures 4,455mm long, 1,875mm wide and 1,615mm tall with a 2,720mm wheelbase. The dimensions make it a compact SUV. Powering the model will be a 150kW permanent magnet synchronous motor. It will come equipped with BYD’s lithium iron phosphate ‘Blade’ batteries.
The P5, the first sedan model of XPeng, made its world debut on April 14. According to a local media outlet, it is expected for market launch in September and delivery at the end of October. Presale prices of the model, which comes with six trim levels, range from 160,000 yuan ($24,700) to 230,000 yuan ($35,510) after subsidies.
XPeng P5; photo credit: XPeng
The P5 boasts the equipment of automotive-grade LiDAR technology, which is supplied by Livox, a LiDAR technology developer incubated by Chinese drone maker DJI. It will also bring Navigation Guided Pilot (NGP) capabilities to city roads for the first time in a production model, powered by XPeng’s full-stack in-house developed autonomous driving system XPILOT 3.5.
It is reported that Leapmotor will launch its third production model, the C11, onto the market in October. Presale of the all-electric model kicked off on Jan. 1, 2021. Coming with three trim levels, the model is priced in presale between 159,800 yuan ($24,720) and 199,800 yuan ($30,910) after subsidies.
Leapmotor C11; photo credit: Leapmotor
As the startup’s first all-electric SUV, the C11 measures 4,750mm long, 1,905mm wide and 1,650mm tall with a wheelbase spanning 2,930mm.
Powered by a 76.6kWh/90kWh ternary-lithium battery pack, the C11 offers a NEDC-rated range of up to 480km, 550km or 600km depending on configuration.
As for intelligent facilities, the C11 employs the third-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Cockpit Platform and iFlytek’s intelligent voice interactive system to manage its three connected high-definition displays.