China’s first mass-production plug-in hybrid vehicle

As energy-conservation and environmental-protection become industry buzzwords and the trend moves toward a green, low-carbon life, new-energy vehicles are naturally the focus, so it was natural for the SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle Co to announce China’s first plug-in hybrid sedan in mass production at the 2013 China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition, and it got a lot of attention.

The Roewe 550 Plug-in hybrid employs an advanced hybrid system and EDU intelligent electric power transmission to keep its fuel consumption at only 2.3 liters for 100 kilometers and a 500–km cruising range. The Roewe 500 is now the most advanced hybrid sedan in the world.

Its price tag is 248,800 yuan ($40,979), for the deluxe model, and 259,800 yuan for the flagship model. But, with the State and local deductions for new energy vehicles, the price for the deluxe model is a low 180,000 yuan, while the flagship’s is 194,800 yuan. In some cities, a buyer may qualify for a free special license for new energy vehicle. This low price means that the plug-in hybrid will likely be the choice of car shoppers who pay attention to environmental protection. The launch of the Roewe 550 marks the start of a new era of market-oriented industry and new energy vehicles in China.

Advanced technology pushes move to a greener future

Plug-in hybrids have been an industry priority in recent years because of their outstanding performance in environmental protection and low dependency on infrastructure or facilities, and they are gradually becoming mainstream and automakers around the world are getting on the bandwagon. Some forecasts put global sales of hybrid vehicles above 1 million, by 2015, and the rapidly growing Chinese market will soon be the world’s largest plug-in hybrid car market.

SAIC Motor has adhered to a national energy strategy and has followed the new energy vehicle development trend closely. As early as five years ago, it already recognized the fact that complete plug-in hybrids would go mainstream, and it started work on plug-in hybrid vehicles suited to Chinese conditions.

The Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid uses mature production models and the most advanced hybrid technology at global standards, with its own design and innovations, meaning Chinese customers can share the fruits of global technological advances in a domestic plug-in hybrid vehicle.

The Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid pays full attention to customer needs, with a Green-motion hybrid engine system to make full use of hybrid vehicle advantages and guarantee power while in motion. Its maximum power can match that of a normal 6.0L engine, making the drive an enjoyable experience.

And, with its EDU intelligent electric power transmission, the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid is controlled intelligently while in motion so that the engine will use fuel at the most economical times and the electric motor will generate maximum power under low speed conditions.

The Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid can also automatically evaluate power output to assure low energy consumption for maximum power and a continued power supply to avoid the difficulties of finding a charging facility, and the best solution to congested road conditions in major cities.

With its efficient power output, great steering experience, and 500-km range, with a full tank and fully-charged cells, the advantages of the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid will be obvious and it will become the choice of new energy vehicle buyers.

Low price is a plus

And it’s not just the quality. The Roewe 550 price tag is also a surprise for potential customers. Thanks to some new energy vehicle subsidies, the price can be as low as 180,000 yuan ($29,645.65), for the deluxe edition, and 194,800, for the flagship edition. And, in some cities, a car buyer can qualify for a free license because it is a new energy vehicle. This unexpectedly low cost ensures that the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid will be the choice of discerning new energy vehicle buyers.

That low use cost of the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid comes with another advantage. Compared with traditional gas-powered vehicles, the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid can cut fuel consumption by as much as 70 percent, at about 2.3 liters/100 km. And, in an era of ever rising gas prices, that makes it extremely attractive. Many analysts see encouraging market prospects for this model of new energy vehicles and a landmark on the pathway to new energy development in China.

SAIC Motor consulted with new energy vehicle experts around the world and took consumer demands into consideration in determining its priorities. And, after five years of research and development and a lot of investment, it arrived at the way to break the technology monopoly overseas and solve the hybrid power system’s technological problems and came up with the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid. The development of this model of plug-in hybrid vehicle is an important achievement from Shanghai’s auto industry in strategic growth and transformation via innovation.

The official launch of the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid is an important part of SAIC Motor’s new energy vehicle strategy and fits the new energy development trend and passes the benefits on to end users, with generous support from the central government and subsidies from local governments. The company believes that, with its low price tag and top quality, the Roewe 550 plug-in hybrid sedan will win the trust of customers and will turn a new page in China’s new energy vehicle development.

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