China has seen a bumper year for electric car sales, so it’s no surprise that a number “new energy vehicles”, as EVs are referred to in China, were the focus of attention at the Guangzhou Auto Show that ran last week in the southern province.
Looking at a rundown on the models on display this year, it’s apparent that electric vehicles are overtaking ICE vehicles as the star model of many brands, taking to heart China’s “Made in China 2025” plan which wants to ramp up the production of electric vehicles to see 3 million EVs driven off the production line each year.
Thanks to some insight from China’s PC Auto, here’s a recap on some of the top models that are up and coming in the Chinese EV market.
BYD Tang EV600
BYD, China’s leading EV maker, has unveiled its Tang EV600 (the all-electric version of successful ICE and plug-in BYD Tang) at the 2018 Guangzhou Auto Show, and officially opened the books for pre-sales.
The Tang EV600, so-called because of its purported range of 600km (more like 400-500km in real world conditions), has an 82.8kWh battery and combined dual motor output of 360kW with 330Nm of torque.
It is also available in Tang EV500 and Tang EV550 battery versions, which are divided into 5-seat and 7-seat versions.
It is reported that BYD Tang EV uses a ternary lithium battery and is equipped with an electric four-wheel drive system consisting of front and rear dual motors. The maximum cruising range is about 500km.
GAC New Energy AION S
At the 2018 Guangzhou Auto Show, GAC New Energy released a new pure electric car, the AION S.
AION S is positioned in the medium-sized pure electric vehicle, and according to NEDC figures has a range exceeding 500km, a 60km/h cruising range of over 600km, and is equipped with an Level 2 autonomous assisted driving system.
Aion S is based on GAC New Energy’s second-generation pure electric platform, although any more details about power and other specs are yet to be officially announced.
It is reported that the new car will be made in GAC’s newly constructed “New Energy” plant in April 2019, and on sale the following month, with plans to have an annual production capacity of 400,000 units.
GAC New Energy says it will launch at least two new models each year using its second-generation pure electric platform.
The Audi e-tron made its first appearance in China since its official debut in San Francisco on September 18th.
Signalling the German carmaker’s shift to electric mobility, the all-electric SUV packs a 95kW·h battery pack, which can achieve a cruising range of more than 400 km (248.5 miles) under EU WLTP conditions.
With two electric motors, the system output power can reach 300kW (408PS) and has a maximum torque of 664Nm. The car’s 0-100km/h acceleration time is 5.7 seconds, and top speed can reach 200km/h.
Following its introduction to the US in the second quarter of 2019, Audi is planning to bring it to the Chinese market in 2020.
At the 2018 Guangzhou International Auto Show, Alibaba-backed Xiaopeng Automobile announced that their all-electric Xiaopeng G3 SUV will be officially launched on December 12 this year – that is, in less than three weeks’ time.
Xiaopeng Auto wants differentiate itself with connected and autonomous driving features, and is aiming the G3 at a youthful market.
In that vein has also unveiled its Xiaopeng G3 system which includes a newly upgraded intelligent interactive system, including intelligent voice assistant, and it even has a roof-mounted camera with 360 degrees rotation that allows the driver to connect using 4G networks to share their life via photo or video, on the go.
With a 47.6kWh battery pack for 365km range (NEDC), the G3’s second-gen synchronous motor boasts 145kW of output and 300Nm, acceleration from 0 to 100km/hr in 8.4s and a maximum speed of 170km/h.
MG ZS pure electric
On the eve of the 2018 Guangzhou Auto Show, the once British sports carmaker brand MG Automotive has officially released its first pure electric car, the MG ZS pure electric.
While MG was once a mainstay of the British automotive field, it is now owned by Chinese state-owned SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) – and it is now embracing the future of transport, introducing its ZS compact SUV as an all-electric car.
MG says it will be officially launch the ZS pure electric in 2019, and reportedly, a 48kWh ternary li-ion battery (which features a hybrid silicon anode for higher performance), along with a 110kW electric motor and a maximum range of 428km (NEDC).
Honda Everus VE-1
On November 16th, the new pure electric car Honda Everus VE-1 debuted at the Guangzhou Auto Show – and according to the Japanese carmaker it will only by launched in China.
As Honda’s first all-electric car, it will be powered by a 120kW motor running on a 53.6kWh battery for 340km range (NEDC) and offering 280Nm torque.
Based on the popular HR-V, production for the all-electric SUV is planned at GAC’s New Energy factory and is expected to roll off the lines from next month, as we reported last week.
All in all an interesting line up, and some no doubt worth further investigation – keep an eye out this week as we delve further into developments and news arising from what is the world’s largest electric car market.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.