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Plug-in hybrids have great potential, says SAIC's tech chief

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-16 09:08

Zu Sijie, SAIC's chief engineer, explains the carmaker's NEV strategy at a technology event in early November 2023. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

SAIC, China's largest carmaker by sales, is scheduled to roll out more than 10 plug-in hybrids by the end of 2025, to ramp up its efforts into the booming NEV market.

Zu Sijie, chief engineer of SAIC, said plug-in hybrids and range-extended EVs have a lot of potential in China, adding that they will constitute an important part of the carmaker’s own NEV strategy in the forthcoming decade.

Statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that sales of plug-in hybrids in the first three quarters this year totaled almost 1.35 million units, up 68.2 percent year-on-year.

The range-extended EVs saw their deliveries reached 394,000 units in the same period, up 164.5 percent year-on-year, said the CAAM.

Zu said their shares are expected to rise further in coming years. He estimated that NEVs will account for 50 percent of new car sales in 2025, and plug-in hybrids and range-extended vehicles combined will make up around 40 percent of NEV sales by the same year.

He explained that the reasons behind their growing popularity include car buyers' mileage anxiety about electric vehicles, especially in colder regions in the country.

Also, plug-in hybrids are seeing new improvements in the drivers and passengers' driving experience, said Zu.

Roewe, a brand under SAIC, launched its D7 last week. The model has two variants, the D7 EV and the D7 DMH, a plug-in hybrid sedan.

The D7 DMH sports a 1.5-liter engine. It generates a maximum output of 150 kW and a top torque of 330 Nm. Its range can reach up to 1,400 km.

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