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CURRENT FLOW — Chery puts EV, plugged-in hybrids to the test

Features like one-button automatic parking, high-definition LCD screens, and AI voice interaction are expected to be standard across these models.

Does it look familiar to you? The Chery EQ7 is a smart looking EV Crossover that could make it to our shores. | Photograph COURTESY OF Chery Philippines

Chery Auto Philippines aims to carve out a unique space in a market where plug-in hybrid SUVs are still a rarity.

Now, it’s taking a big, electrified step toward that goal by shipping a selection of electric vehicles for testing.

The Chinese automaker aims to introduce one plug-in hybrid model and two pure electric models, underscoring its focus on sustainable and energy-efficient transportation solutions for Filipino consumers.

This move comes on the heels of Chery’s recent launch of hybrid models in the Philippines and is part of a broader strategy to diversify its new energy vehicle lineup.

According to a report released in early September, Chery Holding Group recorded a total of 1,063,157 vehicle sales from January to August, marking a 42 percent year-on-year sales increase and surpassing one million sales for the year.

Notably, the Tiggo 8 emerged as a strong sales driver with 21,369 units sold. In the first half of 2023 alone, Chery’s product sales in the Philippine market rose by 8 percent.

While the specific models for the Philippine market have not been officially confirmed, industry insiders speculate that the vehicles likely to be tested are the Chery EQ1, the Chery EQ7 and the Chery Tiggo 7 PHEV.

Ready to undergo testing, the EQ1 EV is another contender for the growing city-car segment. | Photograph courtesy of Chery Philippines

Each of these models represents a different facet of Chery’s approach to electric and hybrid technology.

The Chery EQ1, a city car with a 3-door hatchback design, has been a popular choice in China’s mini electric vehicle segment. It features a 40hp permanent magnet synchronous electric motor and offers a battery capacity of up to 38 kWh.

The EQ1 is part of Chery’s strategy to dominate the small EV market, as evidenced by its impressive sales volume of over 200,000 units in four years in China.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Chery EQ7, a mid-size SUV slated for launch in the second half of 2023. Built on an all-aluminum pure electric technology platform, the EQ7 aims to reduce vehicle weight by about 25 percent.

It will feature a 207 hp  motor and a lithium iron phosphate battery pack, with a top speed of 180 km/h.

The Chery Tiggo 7 Pro PHEV, part of the Tiggo series that has been a significant sales driver for Chery, is also a model to watch. This plug-in hybrid features Chery’s in-house Kunpeng e+ PHEV powertrain.

It combines a 1.5-liter turbo engine with a 19.27 kWh battery and dual motors, delivering a combined 241 hp and 510 Nm of torque. The Tiggo 7 Pro PHEV offers a pure EV range of 100 km and a total range of 950 km, making it a versatile option for various driving needs.

Chery’s focus on green development isn’t new; the company has been at the forefront of new energy technologies since 1999. With these upcoming models, Chery aims to offer Filipino customers a range of options that are not just energy-efficient but also laden with features that make for a comfortable and intelligent driving experience.

Features like one-button automatic parking, high-definition LCD screens, and AI voice interaction are expected to be standard across these models.

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