If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Chevrolet Volt can start to blush.

China's FAW Group is looking to develop a car similar to General Motors' Volt extended-range plug-in, Ward's Auto reports.

The vehicle, which has been under development for about a decade, can go a Volt-like 37 miles in all-electric mode and has a full-tank-plus-full-charge range of about 250 miles, Ward's said, citing a presentation from China FAW research and development president Li Jun at the Advanced Vehicle Technologies and Integration conference in Changchun, China.

The car uses a 0.7 liter, 56-horsepower, two-cylinder turbocharged engine as an on-board generator, and has a nine-kWh LG Chem battery (to compare, the Volt has a 16-kWh battery, but only uses around 9-10 kWh). The vehicle is about 1,300 pounds lighter than the Volt's nearly 3,800-pound curb weight, according to Ward's. The company estimated that the extended-range plug-in set-up boosts vehicle costs, compared to a conventional car, by about $8,600, though didn't give any details on possible production.

FAW, which has had a joint-venture vehicle-making entity in China with Volkswagen for more than 20 years, unveiled its first alt-fuel vehicles in August 2011 with a plug-in hybrid vehicle that could go 44 miles in all-electric mode on a full charge and an all-electric car that had a single-charge range of 111 miles. Early last year, FAW said it had registered 65 advanced-powertrain technology patents, though just a fraction of its nearly $2 billion in research and development spending between 2006 and 2010 was related to advanced powertrains.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      leong
      • 1 Day Ago
      simply physically impossible to run 37 miles with 9kwh battery.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Day Ago
        @leong
        On a U.S. EPA certified drive cycle, yes. But Chinese companies can make any claim they want, and still be technically true since their drive cycle tests are at MUCH lower speeds.
      SNP
      • 1 Day Ago
      When china releases something, it's like something that already exists. When some other nation releases something, it's a unique approach to an existing idea.
      Peter
      • 1 Day Ago
      I would point out the photo is not the subcompact prototype car that is described in the article (The Volt is a C platform),. Furthermore the ICE does not decouple and thus has to run at highway speeds (similar to the Plugin Prius), so this is not a Volt knockoff, nor really a competitor in the usual sense.
        Aaron
        • 1 Day Ago
        @Peter
        Agreed. I've wondered if this setup would be better than a Volt-like setup. Heck, trains have been using a generator/electric motor setup for years.
      Cheetahjab
      • 1 Day Ago
      Here's the problem , even though something works with a train , most consumers just like they did with the cvt will not deal with the engine revving at its most efficient rpm cause they'll consider it a drone then complain.
      samcrut
      • 1 Day Ago
      "the Volt has a 16-kWh battery, but only uses around 9-10 kWh" That's like saying "The Camry has a 16 gallon gas tank but only uses around 9-10 gallons." This doesn't make sense. If you keep driving, you'll use it.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Day Ago
        @samcrut
        No, the computer limits the usage. So if you keep driving, the engine kicks on and you will not really discharge the battery further. And this is for very good reasons: http://pvcdrom.pveducation.org/BATTERY/capacity.htm
      Aaron
      • 1 Day Ago
      @cheetahjab: Maybe so. The difference that I was trying to point out is that this car IS more like a train than a Volt. The Volt has a direct connection between its ICE and the powertrain. By the description for this post, it appears the tiny two-cylinder engine does not. Given that, the customers may have to listen to the engine drone...