Leapmotor: STLA’s entry to series hybrids?

Leapmotor may provide Stellantis with a path to a type of hybrid vehicle used for decades—by railroads: the series hybrid.

Leapmotor, a Chinese startup, has an electric extended-range vehicle (EREV) which uses a small internal combustion engine to recharge the battery. The engine is not connected to the wheels. In locomotives, a diesel engine functions solely as a generator for electric motors; batteries play a minor role.

The 2011-19 Chevrolet Volt ran as a battery-electric until the battery was discharged enough to run an onboard gasoline generator, largely because the battery only had a 38 mile range (later expanded to 53 miles). Running with the generator sustaining the charge, it was rated at 42 mpg combined, decent mileage. 0-60 acceleration came in 9.0 to 9.2 seconds.

Leapmotor is on its third generation vehicle architecture now; it includes an oil-cooled electric drive and lidar-based autonomous driving. (Thanks to Auric at Allpar for the references from China Daily and CarNewsChina.)

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