KUALA LUMPUR: Proton Holdings Bhd’s strategic partner, Geely Auto Group, which is now China’s largest privately-owned auto brand, has sealed its position as a powerful player in China’s new energy vehicle market.
At the on-going Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2018 (Auto China 2018), the leading Chinese automobile manufacturer had on April 25, introduced two new models, focusing on new energy and assured that more would follow soon.
Geely Auto Group president and chief executive officer An Conghui said China would ultimately become the global centre of a new energy revolution that would reinvent the car, hence making its automotive industry stronger and more resilient.
“As a leading Chinese automotive brand, we have realised that competition in this new era will come in the form of a technology war and that we must lead through technological innovation to become the vanguard of this new age,” said An at the launch of Geely’s new energy flagship sedan, the Bo Rui GE, and its new futuristic concept car, the Concept Icon, at the Auto China 2018 show.
He explained that Geely realised this 12 years ago as it began its foray into the new energy sector by investing heavily in research and development, integrated its global resources, as well as strengthened the strategic collaboration it had with Volvo.
“We’ve employed about 2,500 brilliant minds globally in new energy engineering to focus on the development of hybrid, pure electric, fuel cell and alternative fuel technologies.
“Today, Geely is leading the world in new energy technologies along with their core intellectual property rights.
“Geely has steadily pushed forth the development of fundamental technologies in the new energy field and its application through modularisation and platformisation.”
An said this was in line with the “Blue Geely Initiative”, announced in late 2015, where the company aimed to mass produce new energy vehicles by 2020.
Geely Auto Group aims for 90% of its vehicle sales to consist of new energy vehicles based on three core technologies, namely pure electric (EV), plug-in electric (PHEV) and hybrid electric (HEV).
The plan further entails that new energy sales will be split into 65% for PHEV and HEV, while the other 35% will come from EV by 2020.
The Bo Rui GE is Geely’s first intelligent hybrid sedan, a PHEV that utilises a 1.5 Turbo (T) plus seven dual-clutch transmission hybrid (DCTH) power train that was jointly developed with Volvo.
This flagship model has a fuel consumption rating of 1.6 litres per 100km, making it the first time a Chinese brand is surpassing international brands in fuel consumption and performance.
At the same time, Geely also introduced a 48-volt mild hybrid version of the Bo Rui GE, which brings fuel economy down by 15% over the traditional petrol version, to 5.8L per 100 km.
Geely also held the global debut of its avant-garde high-tech concept sport utility vehicle (SUV), tentatively known as the Concept Icon. The concept demonstrates the car maker’s willingness to diversify and explore new trends in design.
“These cars serve as a prelude of Geely’s entry into an age where new energy vehicles will dominate our roads.
“This year alone, we shall be launching a whole array of new energy models and in the not so distant future, all of our platforms and product series will be fully electrified,” assured An.
He said Geely chose to be a pragmatic technology leader which made practical cars for everyday usage and not just for show.
“This approach drives our efforts to achieve breakthrough results in the fields of vehicle dynamics, economy and intelligence.
“This enables Geely to be the undisputed leader in creating the world’s most economically efficient new energy vehicles,” added An.
Geely Auto Group is a leading automobile manufacturer based in Hangzhou, China, and was founded in 1997 as a subsidiary of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which acquired a 49.9% stake in Proton last year.