GM, in electric push, preps Buick Velite 6 PHEV, EV

Buick Enspire Concept Imagines Stylish Electric SUV with 550 HP

The first vehicle announced under General Motors' ambitious effort to introduce at least 20 electric or fuel cell vehicles by 2023 will be the Buick Velite 6 for China.

The company on Tuesday, ahead of the Beijing auto show, introduced a plug-in hybrid electric variant of the Velite 6 sedan alongside a full-electric concept SUV called Enspire, which features a range of 370 miles or more.

An EV version of the Buick Velite 6 "will be introduced in China at a later date," according to GM. The Velite 6 is the first in GM's onslaught of new electrified vehicles, with a substantial amount of them to be introduced for China over the next five years.

GM does not plan to bring the two new Velite models to the United States, according to a Buick spokesman.

The two Velite 6 models, according to GM, feature a new platform designed with GM's Chinese joint-venture partner, SAIC Corp. They are based on the Velite Concept unveiled in November 2016.

The Velite 6 EV, GM says, will use a "new-generation pure electric drive system," while the plug-in hybrid will feature an electronically controlled variable transmission, two AC permanent-magnet synchronous motors with a high-performance lithium ion battery, and a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine especially tuned for hybrid vehicles.

The Velite 6 PHEV -- scheduled to arrive in Chinese dealerships this year -- has a range of about 435 miles, according to GM.
A new "modular high-performance ternary lithium ion battery pack" will be assembled at a new SAIC-GM Power Battery Development Center in Shanghai, according to the company.

The Velite 6 models were engineered on new platform separate from GM's next-gen EV platform introduced by Pam Fletcher, GM's head of global electrified vehicles, in October.

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