Evergrande’s Hengchi brand registers e-SUV
The first electric model from Evergrande New Energy Vehicle, the electric car division of Chinese real estate group Evergrande, is now officially listed in the catalogue of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). This completes the registration process for the Hengchi 5 LX.
The electric SUV, whose production start is reportedly scheduled for early 2022 despite the parent company’s financial problems, is 4.73 metres long, 1.93 metres wide and 1.68 metres high, with a wheelbase of 2.78 metres, according to the registration data. The kerb weight is 1,985 kilograms, the permissible total weight 2,380 kilograms. The design strongly resembles the studies that were shown at trade fairs in the course of this year.
The available data on the drive system is still sparse: both the company’s press release and online articles in Chinese media only indicate an engine output of 150 kW. It would appear that details about the battery and charging system have not yet been revealed. Photos show charging flaps on both sides of the vehicle, each located between the front wheel and the front door. As the Chinese fast charging standard GB/T provides for a DC-only socket on the vehicle, it is common in China for e-cars to have two charging ports – one for AC and one for DC charging.
When a new model is listed in the MIIT catalogue, it is considered certain that the vehicle will soon be available to customers in China. In the case of Evergrande, doubts about the start of production of the Hengchi 5 had been raised in the meantime because of the situation at the highly indebted real estate group – and also rumours about a possible sale in order to generate revenue quickly. However, the group seems determined to stick to its electric car plans. According to Evergrande CEO Hui Ka Yan, the car division is to form the core of the entire group’s future: Within ten years, electric vehicles are to be made the company’s core business instead of real estate.
Last week, the news website Sina Tech reported that pilot production of the Hengchi 5 had already started. The interior of the pilot vehicles is said to be fully functional, while the rest of the vehicle is said to have basic functions. New vehicles have also been spotted on the factory test tracks, which have reportedly not yet been driven at full power but are said to be more advanced than the exhibition show cars.
Evergrande first unveiled the plans for its own electric car brand in 2019 and the first six models in August 2020 – simply numbered from 1 to 6. According to the plans at the time, the D-segment sedan Hengchi 1 was to be launched first, as early as 2021. Later, these plans were changed and now an electric SUV is to be the debut model.
The Hengchi brand has car production plants in Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin. Cnevpost reports that Evergrande Auto’s shares traded in Hong Kong jumped more than 12 per cent the afternoon after the announcement of the car’s registration.
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