Chery is bound to disrupt the vehicle industry with its leading, new hybrid propulsion system scheduled for production later this year.
Called the Chery DHT Super Hybrid system, it promises to offer class-leading efficiency and power and also a number of world-firsts. This includes a dual-motor system and electric rear axle for effortless four-wheel driving, and performance figures that could hold their own against much larger petrol engine SUVs.
The first version of the Chery DHT Super Hybrid system was produced on 18 May 2021, and the first production versions are expected in Chery models later this year. This will include the Chery Tiggo 8 Pro e+ flagship model.
At the heart of the hybrid innovation is a highly, thermally efficient 1.5 litre turbo-petrol engine. The engine benefits from the same technological innovation that has seen Chery win 6 nominations in the authoritative CHINA HEART Awards for the best Chinese-designed and -produced engines.
The turbo engine is mated to two electric motors and an electric rear axle (in the four-wheel drive system) and two motors in the two-wheel drive version. Acceleration times have been tested as 4.9 seconds for four-wheel drive hybrid Chery models and 7.2 seconds for the two-wheel drive DHT Super Hybrid-powered models.
“The new DHT Super Hybrid system will set a new standard for hybrid and plug-in hybrids when it makes its appearance in the Tiggo. Aside from its high performance, our first real-world testing points to a fuel consumption of 1 litre or less in a combined usage cycle,” says Tony Liu, Executive Deputy General Manager, Chery South Africa.
One of the reasons for the high performance and low fuel consumption is the use of 11 driving modes, which the system can automatically select from. These driving modes include starting, low, medium and high-speed modes, overtaking mode, long-distance mode and even a mountain pass driving mode. By creating very specific settings for each mode, the hybrid system ensures the most efficient and power-optimal setting for every possible driving condition.
The driving modes are linked to nine gears and three propulsion modes (electric only, HEV-Normal and HEV-Sport) for the best performance in any situation.
The system is further linked to the navigation system, and it utilises artificial intelligence to pre-plan the power modes for the route ahead. For instance, if the DHT Super Hybrid system detects traffic on the route, it will pre-select the appropriate power output and driving mode for the lowest emissions and fuel consumption before it even reaches the stretch of traffic.
Chery has tested the system extensively and first reports point to an electric-only range of 100 km and a combined hybrid range of 1 000 km on one tank of fuel.
The hybrid technology was, of course, not developed in isolation of the many other systems being developed by Chery. The insights gleaned from creating the new DHT Super Hybrid system inform developments on the group’s full range of drivetrain and propulsion systems, including internal combustion (ICE), electric vehicles (EV), range-extended electric vehicles (REEV), hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems (HEV and PHEV) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV).
Chery has also developed a range of highly intelligent and adaptive driver assistance systems that are already available in certain Chery models and that will soon be available in the most advanced versions of development, in the new DHT Super Hybrid models.
The range of technologies was developed by Chery, while others were developed in partnership with Baidu. These include artificial intelligence systems linked to facial recognition of the driver, advanced natural language interfaces between the driver and vehicle and an i-Connect digital assistant, called the i-Connect Butler.
“With a high pace of technological development and a vehicle footprint fast approaching 10 million customers, we are able to rapidly test and deploy new technologies that not only offer some of the best performance and lowest fuel consumption, but also the most advanced user interface systems for ease of driving,” says Liu.
Chery South Africa will introduce the first Tiggo models for sale before the end of this year, with several models planned for local introduction in 2022.