If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Chevrolet Volt can start to blush.
China's FAW Group is looking to develop a car similar to General Motors' Volt extended-range plug-in, Ward's Auto reports.
The vehicle, which has been under development for about a decade, can go a Volt-like 37 miles in all-electric mode and has a full-tank-plus-full-charge range of about 250 miles, Ward's said, citing a presentation from China FAW research and development president Li Jun at the Advanced Vehicle Technologies and Integration conference in Changchun, China.
The car uses a 0.7 liter, 56-horsepower, two-cylinder turbocharged engine as an on-board generator, and has a nine-kWh LG Chem battery (to compare, the Volt has a 16-kWh battery, but only uses around 9-10 kWh). The vehicle is about 1,300 pounds lighter than the Volt's nearly 3,800-pound curb weight, according to Ward's. The company estimated that the extended-range plug-in set-up boosts vehicle costs, compared to a conventional car, by about $8,600, though didn't give any details on possible production.
FAW, which has had a joint-venture vehicle-making entity in China with Volkswagen for more than 20 years, unveiled its first alt-fuel vehicles in August 2011 with a plug-in hybrid vehicle that could go 44 miles in all-electric mode on a full charge and an all-electric car that had a single-charge range of 111 miles. Early last year, FAW said it had registered 65 advanced-powertrain technology patents, though just a fraction of its nearly $2 billion in research and development spending between 2006 and 2010 was related to advanced powertrains.