Geely, Mercedes’ engine partner in China, has announced its new generation of Range Extender powertrains

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On 1 July 2023, Geely and Renault set up the Horse division of hybrid and conventional powertrains. Now, the newly created Horse division is announcing the launch of the new generation of Range Extender propulsion systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The battery, with a capacity of about half that of an electric car, provides energy for 200 km, after which an ICE engine acting as a generator provides a further 600 km range for a total of 800 km. The ICE engine charges the battery via a generator that produces 50 kW for cars and 80 kW for commercial vehicles. The generator maintains the charge level of the high-voltage battery, which is used to power the electric traction motor.

As with other models with this system, the thermal engine runs at idle or low revs to charge the battery, and fuel consumption should normally be low. Unlike traditional PHEVs, a range extender’s combustion engine never drives the vehicle’s wheels directly. When the state of charge of the battery is sufficient, the engine will be switched off automatically. The vehicle’s battery can also be charged similarly to an electric car at public stations or a home wall box.

Mercedes and Geely have built a giant plant in China to produce 4-cylinder engines.

The first model to benefit from the new generation of 4-cylinder engines developed by Mercedes and Geely is the third-generation Mercedes CLA. It will make its world premiere later this year in an electric version, with Range Extender and conventionally powered versions due to debut in 2025.

The Mercedes CLA is built on the MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture) multi-propulsion platform developed with priority for electric propulsion but can also be equipped with a Range Extender or conventional engine.
The range extender solution is currently used by Mazda on the MX-30 Rex and by Nissan on the Qashqai E-Power and X-Trail E-Power.