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Geely’s Big Hybrid SUV Vs. -45 Degree Inner Mongolia

Geely invokes Thor, calling its big hybrid SUV “God of Thunder, King of Hybrids” in the frozen mountains.

You might not think of China when you think of extreme cold, but the country is massive, and the temperatures in the mountains of Inner Mongolia can drop to less than -45 degrees C (-50° F). If you want to show off the performance of your electric car components, you could hardly pick a worse place – and that’s why the Leishen Power team has brought the big Geely Xingyue L Hi-X hybrid SUV here: to prove its worth.

We first covered the Xingyue L last month, when the hybrid made its debut. We highlighted the hybrid powertrain developed by Leishen Power that mated a supercharged, direct-injection 1.5L three-cylinder engine with a DHT Pro (Dedicated Hybrid Transmission) three-stage transmission that weighs just 120 kg, and keeps the car in pure electric mode at low speeds (below 20).

Leishen’s plan? Leave the hybrid SUV out in the cold for 48 hours before testing, then turn it on. Sounds simple enough, but when the car is -48° C? That sounds like a challenge.

Using a Leishen-developed PTC heater (Positive Temperature Coefficient), water is pumped around key hardware to maintain an operating temperature for the powertrain, improving engine warm-up times by up to 30% when compared to traditional block heaters. After 5 minutes with the system on, Leishen says the temperature of its hybrid systems increased by 19-degrees Celsius, allowing the car to start and function at full capacity.

Within the Geely Xingyue L’s cabin too, temperatures went up from -30 to 10° C (about 50° F) in under 10 minutes, allowing passengers, as well as the car, to travel comfortably.

Were They Happy

Image courtesy Geely.

For their part, it seems like both Geely and Leishen Power are pretty happy with the results of the test. “When plummeted into the extreme cold, the vehicle didn’t pay much attention to its surroundings,” reads the official release. “The Xingyue L’s 3-speed DHT (Dedicated Hybrid Transmission) Pro system, the first of its kind, combined with Leishen’s DHE15 dedicated hybrid engine with a maximum thermal efficiency of 43.32%. This meant the cold allowed it to stand out from (even its most efficient) peers even more, with efficiency increased in cold weather by up to 7%.”

Geely also claims that its big hybrid was still able to get from 0-60 in 7.9 seconds, even in the cold. Which – I dunno, that seems pretty impressive to me. I can barely get to my garage at -5, let alone -50° F!

Image courtesy Geely.

Leishen’s Hi-X hybrid powertrain is available in a number of Geely products (shown, above). Which, presumably, means they’ll all do just as well as the big hybrid SUV in the cold. From the release, “Geely’s Auto’s ‘Star’ series, which include the CMA-based Xingyue (Tugella), Xingrui (Preface) and Xingyue L, currently sells more than 210,000 vehicles each year, accounting for 20% of the brand’s total sales. The versatility of CMA as a world-class vehicle architecture has allowed for the development of Leishen Power’s super-efficient hybrid powertrains. If the Hi-X edition of the Xingue L is anything to judge by, the ‘Star’ series will act as a guiding star – a shining example for the industry to follow.”

Sounds good to me, what about you guys? Do you think this kind of cold-weather endurance test is a good measure of a PHEV or BEV’s performance, or is this kind of publicity stunt a little pointless for a car that may not ever see conditions like this in the global market? Head on down to the comments and let us know!

Source | Images: Geely.


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I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and have been a part of the Important Media Network since 2008. You can find me here, working on my Volvo fansite, riding a motorcycle around Chicago, or chasing my kids around Oak Park.


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