The Chery A5 – China’s First Hybrid Car
It seems Chery is jumping into the hybrid arena to take on the hybrid heavy weight giants, Honda and Toyota, at their own game! Cherys latest offering, the Chery A5 ISG (pictured below) is a gasoline/electric machine.
The gasoline part of the engine is a tiny 1.3litre engine, the other half being electric battery powered, although Chery has yet to specify what kind of battery the Chery will actually use, but it has specified that the engine was designed by the Austrian company AVL. The A5 ISG, uses a high-powered integrated starter-generator to control certain elements, for example the idle-stop function and regenerative braking (this is where the brakes are used as dynamos to create electricity that can be used later.)
China Car Times believes that Cherys A5 hybrid will become one of the most popular hybrids in China, as at present there is only a handful of hybrid cars available in China such as the Toyota Prius, the Prius high cost leave it a little expensive for most middle class Chinese, the Prius total cost in China is $40,000USD, almost double the cost of the same car in America, this is due to high taxes on imported engine parts from Japan to China. Yoshimi Inaba, the executive vice president of Toyota and its top executive in China was recently quoted by Detroit News as saying that Toyotas original goal was to sell 3000 Prius per year, however, at the moment they are only selling 100 per month or 1200 per year. There is no news on the price of the A5 ISG, but China Car Times can guess at around the 100,000RMB mark.
It would be wise to point out, that despite Chinas pollution problem, there is currently no tax breaks available for buyers of hybrid cars in China, the only reward a buyer would get would be the self satisfaction of helping to save the environment.