Geely, BYD Targeting 1,243-mile Range for New PHEVs

Chinese automakers Geely and BYD are locked in a race to produce an ultra-long-distance plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

Greg Kable

March 29, 2024

3 Min Read
Geely galaxy L61 front 1.4
Geely PHEV’s extreme-range drivetrain components include 50.85-gallon fuel tank.

Geely becomes the latest Chinese automaker to reveal plans for an ultra-long-distance plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drivetrain, confirming its engineers are working to provide upcoming gasoline-electric models with a potential range of up to 1,243 miles (2,000 km) between refueling and recharging.

The move mirrors that of rival Chinese car company BYD, which recently revealed it intends to begin selling PHEV models with a similar 1,243-mile range by the end of 2024.

Geely’s new ultra-long-distance PHEV drivetrain is a development of that already used by its existing models and brands, according to insiders at its Hangzhou headquarters in China.

In its most advanced form, it combines Geely’s turbocharged 1.5L gasoline NordThor 4-cyl. with a 3-speed dual-hybrid transmission (DHT), electric motors, 19.1-kWh lithium-ion battery and 50.85-gallon (192-L) fuel tank. Altogether, it offers a combined system output of 358 hp.

Geely galaxy L64 interior.jpg

In the Geely Galaxy L6, a 188-in. (4,782-mm)-long saloon model launched in China in 2023, the existing PHEV system offers a certified electric range of 78 miles (126 km) and an overall gasoline-electric range of up to 851 miles (1,370 km) on the Chinese Light Passenger Car Test Cycle (CLTC).

Geely has not yet revealed what measures it is undertaking to provide its future PHEV models with its targeted 1,243-mile range. However, WardsAuto has been told they are set to achieve combined-cycle fuel economy of up to 117.7 mpg (2.0 L/100 km) under CLTC conditions, indicating a higher percentage of electric drive than that seen today.

This compares to the 51.7 mpg (4.5 L/100 km) that Geely quotes for the Galaxy L6.

Further improvements to the NordThor 8848 engine, which already achieves a thermal efficiency rating of up to 44.26%, are also expected.

Additionally, Geely’s next-generation PHEVs are likely to feature a more energy-dense battery and, possibly, a larger fuel tank.

Geely galaxy L63 rear 3.4.jpg

Meanwhile, BYD earlier confirmed it plans to upgrade its widely used DM (Dual Mode) PHEV drivetrain to provide future models with a range of up to 1,243 miles.

The Shenzhen-based company launched its DM system in 2008 and has continually updated it with new technological advances.

The fourth-generation system used by existing BYD PHEV models, including the latest version of its best-selling SUV, the Song Plus, comes in two different versions: the efficiency-led DM-i and the more performance-oriented DM-p.

Both use a turbocharged 1.5L gasoline 4-cyl. with an Atkinson-cycle combustion process, a synchronous electric motor and a continuously variable transmission. Buyers can choose between an 8.32- and 18.32-kWh LFP battery, with the DM-i model claimed to offer a range of up to 715 miles (1,151 km) on the CLTC test cycle in combination with a 15.9-gallon (60 L) fuel tank for the Song Plus.

BYD says its fifth-generation plug-in hybrid system launching in 2025 models will build on the strengths of the existing DM-i system, with key developments brought to its combustion engine and electric motor as well as its battery, which is designed to offer greater energy content. 

Although the fuel-tank and battery-capacity parameters are yet to be revealed, BYD says its future PHEV models will offer scope for ranges of up to 1,243 miles.

The new plug-in hybrid system will be combined with a new generation of BYD’s widely used ePlatform.

Current BYD models use the 3.0 ePlatform launched in 2021. Upcoming models running the fifth-generation plug-in hybrid system are said to adopt a more advanced 4.0 ePlatform.

Over half of BYD’s 3.02 million global sales in 2023 were PHEVs, according to the Chinese automaker's official sales figures.

News of BYD’s plan to extend the range of its plug-in hybrid models comes after its management team recently revealed the Shenzhen-based company has adopted a new three-year business strategy. It aims to strengthen BYD’s position at the head of global sales for electrified vehicles, including plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.

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