A joint venture between Geely and electric scooter maker Lifan has yielded the Maple Leaf 60S, an electric sedan that offers its users the option of swapping its battery for the fully charged one in just 60 seconds.
Leaked images emerged on Car News China ahead of its debut that is reportedly scheduled for next month, and the website states that the sedan measures 4,730 mm long, 1,804 mm wide and 1,530 mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm. For comparison, the 1.8 litre petrol Geely Emgrand GL shares the 60S wheelbase, albeit 5 mm shorter overall, 2 mm narrower and 52 mm lower.
As for the Maple Leaf 60S, drive is provided by a permanent magnet synchronous motor producing 136 hp and 230 Nm of torque. Its battery offers a claimed range of 415 km on the NEDC test cycle, which, in addition to offering battery swapping in just one minute, can be recharged in 30 minutes via DC fast charging.
Its battery-swapping capability means that that Maple Leaf 60S isn’t built on the Geely Group’s Sustainable Experience Arhcitecture (SEA), as this platform’s approach was to attain the lightest architecture possible, and the integrated battery solution was deemed the best way to achieve that goal, chief engineer for the SEA architecture at Geely Auto Group Kent Bovellan told us at a group interview.
The Maple Leaf 60S appears to be the first of five electric vehicle models that Geely has planned to launch by 2023, as part of its wider Smart Geely 2025 strategy towards increasing the automaker’s sales. To that end, the Geely Technology Group has already established around 100 battery swapping stations across China as of last November, with the aim of having 5,000 such station across 100 cities by 2025.
Dubbed E-Energee, the automaker’s first demonstration of battery swapping was with a Maple 80V, which is a fully electric version of the Geely Jiaji people-mover. The first of these stations went online in China in September 2020, and the network has expanded to reach 10 provinces in China as of last November.
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