Chinese automobile manufacturer Changan has taken the automotive world by storm with the introduction of its new electric and hybrid car brand, Qiyuan. In a bid to solidify its position in the ever-expanding electric vehicle (EV) market, Changan has set an ambitious target of achieving annual sales of 1.5 million Qiyuan vehicles by 2030. The company also aims to roll out an impressive ten product offerings under the Qiyuan brand by 2025.
This significant unveiling occurred over the weekend, marking Changan's strategic push into the EV sector. The Qiyuan lineup comprises three distinct series: ‘A', ‘Q', and ‘E0', with a notable inclusion of range extender vehicles (EREVs) alongside battery-electric variants. Changan's steadfast commitment to the Qiyuan venture is reflected in its planned investment of 200 billion yuan (approximately 25.4 billion euros) towards brand development by the end of the decade. This substantial investment will also support the hiring of over 10,000 research and development professionals.
Remarkably, Qiyuan represents the third addition to Changan's burgeoning portfolio of brands in the realm of new energy vehicles. This roster includes the nascent brands Avatr and Deepal. Despite the apparent overlap in their EV-centric focus, Changan has devised distinct strategies for each division. By the close of the decade, Qiyuan aspires to offer a diverse array of ten models, whereas Avatr is set to introduce four models and Deepal, six. Collectively, these three subdivisions are projected to contribute to the sale of an impressive four million EVs annually by 2030. Changan's overarching goal is to surpass the five million mark in total vehicle sales by the same year.
While the differentiation strategy among the brands may not be immediately apparent, all three share a common emphasis on electric sedans, underpinned by cutting-edge connectivity features that define the contemporary smart car landscape.
Turning the spotlight back on Qiyuan, Changan divulges plans to debut four models within the current year. Notably, the A07 sedan, boasting a length of 4.90 meters, is taking center stage as the pioneer model. This sedan offers a dual powertrain choice: all-electric and extended range. In an unprecedented move, the Qiyuan A07 caters to varying power outputs of 163 kW and 192 kW, bolstered by two distinct battery capacities – 58 kWh and 80 kWh. These configurations translate to estimated ranges of 515 and 710 kilometers respectively, adhering to Chinese standards. Additionally, the extended range version features a small internal combustion engine for battery recharging.
Changan's subsidiary, Deepal, also enters the fray with its own contender – the Deepal SL3, a mid-size sedan introduced in July 2022. This model underscores Deepal's versatile approach by offering Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV), and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) variants.
Meanwhile, Changan's collaboration with CATL has borne fruit in the form of the Avatr brand. As Avatr prepares for the launch of its second model, the Avatr 12, it remains evident that Changan's partnerships are integral to its EV strategy. The Avatr 12, a five-meter-long electric sedan, follows the successful introduction of the Avatr 11 coupe-like electric SUV in August 2022. Notably, technology heavyweight Huawei contributes the electric drive systems, augmenting the brand's innovative prowess.
An interesting historical context surrounds the Avatr brand, originally established in 2018 as “Changan Nio” in collaboration with Nio. While the venture encountered hurdles and saw Nio's gradual exit, Changan now claims a 40.99% stake, CATL holds 17.1%, and the remaining shares are distributed among various investment entities. Huawei's involvement is noteworthy, as the tech titan supplies crucial components like software and electric motors without holding any ownership stake.
Changan's unveiling of the Qiyuan brand, amid its concurrent brand initiatives, serves as a testament to the rapidly evolving landscape of electric and hybrid vehicles. As competition intensifies and innovation continues to shape the industry, Changan's strategic foray into the market is poised to leave a lasting impact. With ambitious sales targets and an array of cutting-edge models on the horizon, the automotive industry is keenly watching Changan's journey into the electrified future.