Buick Velite 5 (Rebranded Chevy Volt) Extended-Range EV Makes Debut In China

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A rebranded (and notably modified) version of the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid (PHEV) known as the Buick Velite 5 has been revealed in concert with the Shanghai Auto Show, as expected.

The new model, which will likely only ever be sold in China, is in many ways what one would expect from a rebranded Chevy Volt, but with some changes intended to better suit it to the Chinese market.

As one would expect, considering that it will be sold in China, the model is to be manufactured there as well. That said, local specs are for 768 kilometers of total range (battery + gas/ petrol), and 116 kilometers of all-electric range — these figures are of course not real-world figures, as China’s testing cycle is roughly as inaccurate (easily gamed) as Europe’s is.

The press release provides more: “The Velite 5 is the first hybrid vehicle manufactured in China with fuel consumption below 1.0 liter/100 kilometers. Its average fuel economy performance is as low as 0.9 liter/100 kilometers. … Two trim levels are being offered. The 1.5GL is priced at RMB 265,800 and the 1.5GS is priced at RMB 295,800. Each is eligible for a subsidy of RMB 36,000 from SAIC-GM.”

It’s interesting that they highlight it as a “hybrid” vehicle, since there’s a long debate/discussion in the EV world around calling the Volt an “extended-range electric vehicle” versus a “plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.” In other words, the Volt (and it seems Velite 5) is an electric vehicle with a range extender — not a hybrid with a plug. Anyway … getting back to the press release:

“Multiple intelligent safety systems include adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane keep assist (LKA), automatic parking assist (APA) and high-beam assist (HBA). All trims come with 10 air bags as standard. … Keyless entry and push-button start enhance convenience. A highly efficient automatic air-conditioning system filters out PM2.5 fine particulate matter and odors.”

Overall, the new Buick Velite 5 sounds like a pretty compelling option for people in that market. It should be remembered, though, that we are unlikely to see it released outside of the region.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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