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Chery Automobile Unveils Plug-In Hybrid

Fresh Chery

Bloomberg – Updated on Mar 01, 2009

Chery Automobile, China’s largest maker of own-brand cars, has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid (a vehicle with more than one power source including batteries that can be recharged through a connection to an electricity socket), touting a range more than twice as far as General Motors’ planned Volt.

The S18 (pictured) can travel as much as 150km using just its batteries, according to Chery. GM’s Volt, which is due to go on sale next year, has a range of 64km. Chery has not said when the S18, which can be fully charged in as little as four hours and can be 80 per cent charged at a specialist station in 30 minutes, will go on sale.

The mainland has encouraged domestic carmakers to develop alternative-energy vehicles to curb oil imports and pollution and help local industry compete against GM and Toyota. BYD, the mainland carmaker backed by US billionaire Warren Buffett, started selling the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid car in December. The F3 DM can run for 100km on its batteries, which take seven hours to fully charge and can be 50 per cent charged at a station in 10 minutes.

Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang in November said the government intended to have 60,000 alternative-energy vehicles on the roads of 10 mainland cities by 2012.

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