Buick is launching its first electric car in China, the Velite 5 plug-in hybrid, and it shares much with the Chevy Volt.
Revealed at the Guangzhou auto show in China in November as the Velite Concept, the Velite 5 seems to be utilizing much of the Chevrolet Volt’s powertrain. Like the Volt, its gasoline engine is a 1.5-liter, and its electricity comes from a new-generation liquid-cooled lithium battery pack.
GM China and Buick call it an extended range electric vehicle – as is the Volt – using the company’s patented EVT electronic controlled intelligent variable transmission. The electric motor uses a double high-performance, permanent-magnet electric motor drive unit.
Buick says under local testing regs that are easier going than in teh U.S., that it can go an estimated 100 kilometers (62 miles) on battery motor. Using EREV mode with battery and gasoline power, the plug-in hybrid sedan can go over 750 km (466 miles), according to Buick.
The GM division doesn’t reveal what the number 5 signifies in “Velite 5.” The company also held back on showing full photos of the new car, releasing only the image from a rear-left view seen above. The second photo, seen below, came with the Velite Concept last fall.
The company hopes – as GM has always said of the Volt – that the Velite 5 can resolve the “range anxiety” dilemma for Chinese consumers – and that will open the door for the brand to electric mobility in China.
Last year, the GM China division launched the all-new LaCrosse Hybrid along with showing the Velite Concept. Buick says it will also introduce more plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles in that market within the next two years.
SEE ALSO: Just-Revealed Chinese Buick Velite Concept May Have A Lot in Common With Chevy Volt
The company says that the Velite Concept serves as “the template for future new energy vehicles under Buick’s strategy in China.”
General Motors may also bring the Volt the China, rebadged as another model or as the Chevy Volt. It could be manufactured in China through SAIC-GM, the Detroit automaker’s Chinese joint venture alliance.
China is the world’s large plug-in vehicle market and GM’s largest global market. GM is likely to tap into the market’s full potential.
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