Automotive

Published on July 17th, 2021 | by Amirul Mukminin

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GAC Aion LX To Launch In China With 1,000 KM Driving Range

Another day, another Chinese electric SUV

China’s high-end electric SUV market is already pretty crowded with the presence of many local start-ups as well as foreign giants like Tesla and Audi, all competing for a piece of the world’s largest electric vehicle market. But as Fortune puts it, the market still has enormous room for growth, which means there is still room for one more contender.

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That contender is the upcoming GAC Aion LX, a mid-sized electric SUV that promises an operating range of 1,000 km on a single charge. In case you didn’t know, GAC Aion is a wholly-owned subsidiary of GAC Group that focuses solely on new energy vehicles. Introduced in 2018, the marque already has a number of models in its portfolio such as the S, V and Y, but not much is known about these products.

Back to the LX, GAC says the SUV is ready to go into full production after concluding its hot-weather testing in Sanya, a city located on the southern end of the Hainan Island, which is known for its tropical climate. As for the 1,000-km driving range claim, the automaker revealed that on a day that reached a balmy 36 degrees and a humidity of 90 per cent, it managed to achieve a maximum range of 904 km.

This gives an indication that the 1,000 km target is achievable in places where the weather conditions are more favourable. Of course, keep in mind that other factors such as driving habits, road conditions and payload also play a role in influencing the range of an EV.

Helping the LX achieve the golden figure is a 150 kWh battery pack that benefits from GAC’s proprietary spongy silicon cathode technology which the company says boasts greater energy density in a package that is 20 per cent smaller and 14 per cent lighter than its existing battery.

To put it in perspective, the 1,000 km range is enough to take the LX from Shanghai to Wuhan without having to stop to charge the battery. In a more local context, imagine driving from Johor Bahru all the way to Kangar, with over 100 km of range to spare.

Even if the LX doesn’t deliver the claimed driving range on a constant basis, it still trumps the Tesla Model S Long Range, which is the current record holder with 652 km. Note that the range is tested against the internationally-recognised WLTP cycle, while the testing conditions or protocols used for the LX, if any, are unknown.

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