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Chinese Hybrid Prototype to Use Two Engines

Tongji University and Shanghai Maple Automobile, a privately run car manufacturer, are working together to design three models of hybrid cars, which are expected to go into small-scale production in 2008. SMA is a subsidiary of China's largest carmaker, Geely.

Published: 16-Jan-2006

CALLY produced hybrid-electric vehicle will use 40 percent less fuel than traditional cars, and its engine will start 10 times faster than combustion engines, allowing drivers to turn the motor off when waiting at traffic lights in order to reduce gas use, and emissions.

The car will have two engines when it appears on city streets in 2008 — one fueled by gasoline and a smaller, electrical engine, designers said over the weekend.

Currently, Tongji University and Shanghai Maple Automobile, a privately run car manufacturer, are working together to design three models of hybrid cars, which are expected to go into small-scale production in 2008.

The two engines will be able to work separately or together, according to Yu Zhuoping, dean of Tongji's School of Automotive Studies.

The electric engine will allow cars to start in 0.2 to 0.3 seconds, much faster than the two to three seconds normal cars need to start up. The quick start time means drivers will be able to turn their cars off at red lights, or during other short delays, in order to reduce fuel use, according to Yu.

The electric engine will be strong enough to propel the car when it is running at a constant speed, which should also save on gasoline.

The city has listed reducing car emissions as part of its three-year environmental plan, which runs from this year through 2008. The plan includes enacting stricter car emission standards. By 2008, all buses and taxis will have to meet the European II standards to drive within the Inner Ring Road.

Officials with Shanghai Maple said they will rely on domestic auto parts suppliers to ensure the vehicles are affordable for most people. The company wouldn't say how much it expects the cars to sell for, however.

The company produced 25,000 vehicles last year, mainly economy sedans. It plans to boost its production capacity and build 10,000 hybrid-electric sedans by 2010.

The company and the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation are both supported by the city government to develop the hybrid vehicles with self-grown brands, a project that is listed on top of the 11th five-year industrial plans that runs from this year to 2010, said Ding Wenjiang, vice director of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission.

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