Chery Launches Its First New Energy Electric Brand iCAR

Chery Automobile announced its latest progress in its energy transformation on April 7, including launching its first new energy electric brand iCAR, a new pure electric series STERRA from its EXEED brand, and the third-generation hybrid technology Kunpeng Super Performance Electric Hybrid C-DM.

Among them, iCAR is positioned as a scenario-intelligent electric vehicle brand, targeting young user groups, and its products will cover SUVs, sedans and other models. According to the introduction, iCAR will establish a user-facing process system, connecting all scenarios such as car selection, car purchase, travel, and energy replenishment, and building a full-link digital touchpoint that connects directly to users.

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At the event site, Chery unveiled the LOGO of the new brand, but did not disclose specific model information, more information will be announced on April 16.

STERRA is a new energy product series under EXEED, covering B to C level, as well as various body forms such as sedans, SUVs, MPVs, etc., taking into account pure electricity and range extension, and will also enter the European Union simultaneously.

Two new models of the STERRA series also made their debut at this event, one is a medium-to-large electric sedan STERRA ES and the other is a medium-to-large electric SUV STERRA ET. They are developed based on the same EOX platform and support 800V high-voltage fast charging. The first product of Chery’s E0X platform is expected to hit the market in the fourth quarter of this year.

In fact, these two models have been exposed before. The internal code names are E03 and E0Y. They are brother models of pure electric sedan EH3 and pure electric SUV EHY jointly created by Chery and Huawei. However, compared with them, the latter has a higher Huawei technology content and belongs to Huawei’s smart selection car. It also has some differentiation in appearance and may enter Huawei’s sales channel.

According to reports, Chery and Huawei have planned five electric vehicles and plan to launch two of them in 2023. The price of the first model is expected to be above 300,000 yuan.

The STERRA series carries the mission of EXEED to stand firm in the domestic high-end market. Interface News reported that Chery Automobile had repeatedly attacked the high-end market before, such as Rely, Qoros and other brands, but the market effect was not satisfactory.

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Recently, Huawei attracted widespread attention for renaming AITO Automobile “HUAWEI WENJIE”. Yu Chengdong responded at the China Electric Vehicle 100 People Forum a few days ago, saying, “If every car company uses different brands, our marketing, service and retail will be very complicated, so we hope to use common elements and brands. Such as ‘HUAWEI WENJIE’.”

At the same time, he once again confirmed the news of cooperating with Chery to build cars. “Currently WENJIE is produced by Seres, and Chery, BAIC and JAC will join soon.”

Also released was Chery’s third-generation hybrid technology Kunpeng Super Performance Electric Hybrid C-DM, which consists of a hybrid-specific engine, a hybrid-specific gearbox and a hybrid-specific battery management system. Chery claims that its maximum thermal efficiency is greater than 44.5%, its 100-kilometer power loss fuel consumption is as low as 4.2L, and it has a 100-kilometer acceleration of 4.26 seconds. EXEED Yao Guang, Chery Ruihu 9, TJ-1 and Jetour Traveler are the first batch of hybrid models equipped with this technology.

With the accelerated penetration of new energy, traditional car companies have begun to think more seriously about how to transform. Toyota, Nissan and other companies that are slow to transform are repeatedly re-evaluating their new energy strategies and accelerating their transformation pace; in China, Great Wall Motors also recently held an “Intelligent New Energy Dry Goods Conference” to show its transformation progress to the outside world.

According to the introduction, Chery Automobile’s in-production and subsequent products will be fully electrified. According to the plan, by 2025 Chery will build more than 300 Yao Guang laboratories, invest more than 100 billion yuan in R&D, and have a R&D team of more than 20,000 people.

In the first quarter of this year, Chery’s car sales reached a new high, increasing by 44.1% year-on-year to 330,000 units, but it did not disclose its new energy car sales. In 2022, Chery’s new energy car sales were 232,800 units, a year-on-year increase of 112.9%.