Ford unveils 1st gasoline-electric hybrid


When it comes to the global vehicle market, no single event quite reflects the change in auto manufacturers' global emphasis than Auto China, the motor show that alternates annually between Beijing and Shanghai and this year takes place in the country's financial capital. Toyota has said it will locally build plug-in hybrids and sell them in China, starting in 2018, although it has not said when all-electric auto models would hit Chinese showrooms.

Some 832,300 sport utility vehicles were sold in China in March, with domestic makers having nine of the top 10 best-sellers, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Returning to making a sports vehicle, MG is set to expose its E-Motion supercar concept, though, with an electric powertrain, that can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in four seconds and has a range of over 310 miles.

Big four-wheel-drive SUVs are popular, accounting for 40 percent of sales in China a year ago. Other vehicles that will add up to the intensity during the unveiling are the Lexus NX facelift, Citroën C-Aircross, Citroën C5 Aircross, VLF Force 1 V10 Roadster, and others as they will also add to the auto lineup for the show.

"Chinese auto buyers purchased nearly half of all the plug-in electric vehicles sold in the world past year, and Chinese officials have set ambitious goals for the further adoption of hybrid- and electric-powered vehicles in the decades ahead", said Bob Pyle, president of Dana Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies and the leader of Dana's company-wide electrification and hybridization strategy.

At the Shanghai show, the industry's biggest marketing event this year, nearly every global and Chinese brand plans to display at least an electric concept vehicle, if not a model ready for sale, alongside its latest SUVs and sedans.

The push for electrification in China is an extra stress for auto manufacturers at a time when sales growth is falling and competition is on rise in a market they are depending on to drive worldwide income.

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Volvo said its first pure-electric model will be based on the economy-size CMA platform it shares with Chinese automaker Geely, which bought the Swedish brand from Ford in 2010.

The company also offers an extensive range of highly engineered Long thermal-management products for electric and hybrid vehicles, including aluminum integrated cooling plates that ensure the performance and reliability of insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) switches. News reports say regulators might have agreed to lower or delay them in an updated plan due out this year, but there has been no official confirmation. "Unlike other shows such as Geneva where it is more about the show, the events in China are meant to target Chinese consumers alone".

Volvo has said it hopes to sell a total of 1 million electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles by 2025. Prices will start at 265,800 yuan ($38,600). But industry analysts say that is too much money and too short a distance for most drivers, who have few places to recharge. As evidenced by the slew of electrified cars debuting at the Shanghai show, the country is looking toward electrification as a solution to air quality and congestion issues.

To ease such "range anxiety", the Cabinet has ordered the state-owned power industry to step up installation of charging stations. "With over 25 years of supplying innovations to the Chinese vehicle industry and a proven range of advanced technologies that improve fuel-efficiency and reduce emissions, Dana is ideally positioned to help OEMs as they design vehicle programs for the future".

"Even by 2020, it's not going to be a profitable business", said John Zeng of LMC Automotive.