Buick pushes forward with more plug-ins in China.

Buick is stepping up its game in terms of plug-ins in China (unfortunately not yet in the U.S.), with two new models this summer - Buick Velite 6 PHEV (announced in July) and Buick Velite 7 BEV (announced in June).

Together with previous models (Velite 5 PHEV and Velite 6/Velite 6 Plus BEVs) it's currently the most electrified GM brand in China.

Molly Peck, executive director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM said:

“There has never been such an ambitious rollout of two remarkable electrified products at the same time in Buick’s history in China. It demonstrates our long-term commitment to technology leadership in the electrification segment in our largest market,”.

Buick Velite 7 all-electric
Buick Velite 7 all-electric
Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid

The new Velite 6 PHEV and Velite 7 BEV come standard with a free home charging station and eight-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty for "the electric propulsion system and key components", as well as "100G of free OnStar 4G LTE data service every year".

Buick Velite 6 PHEV

The plug-in hybrid Velite 6 will be available in three trims, from RMB 159,800 to RMB 179,800 ($22,770-$25,620) including government subsidies

With a 9.5 kWh battery it can go up to 60 km (37 miles) in all-electric mode.

"The VELITE 6 PHEV has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. Its modern streamlined shape and overall innovative exterior styling match the nameplate’s exciting technological character. Its interior includes a large panoramic sunroof, an expansive 1,075 liters of cargo space and an ion air purifying system."

Buick Velite 6 PHEV specs:

  • up to 60 km (37 miles) of all-electric range and up to 780 km (485 miles) total
  • 9.5 kWh battery pack (LG Chem), with output of up to 80 kW
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 9 seconds
  • system output of up to 135 kW and 380 Nm
    1.5L engine "optimized with a lightweight design to match the electric propulsion system" (72 kW and 143 Nm), electronically controlled variable transmission (E-CVT) and dual electric motor setup
  • 1,075 liters of cargo space

Gallery: Buick VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

Buick Velite 7 BEV

The all-electric crossover/SUV Velite 7 BEV will be available in two versions for RMB 179,800 ($25,620) and RMB 199,800 ($28,470), including government subsidies.

With a 55.6 kWh battery the range is up to 500 km (311 miles). As the electric motor output is lower than in the case of Chevrolet Bolt EV, the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration is noticeably slower (8.6 seconds), but still enough for most.

Buick Velite 7 BEV specs:

  • up to 500 km (311 miles) of range
  • 55.6 kWh battery (LG Chem), liquid cooled
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.6 seconds
  • 130 kW and 360 Nm permanent magnet drive motor
  • DC fast charging adds up to 210 km (131 miles) in 30 minutes
  • wheelbase of 2,675 millimeters

Gallery: Buick Velite 7 all-electric

GM in China

In China, Buick operates under the SAIC-GM (50/50 joint venture between GM with SAIC), and offers currently:

According to a separate release, GM is accelerating its rollout of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) in China and already exceeded its plan for 10 models between 2016 and 2020 across all brands.

Other models are:

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Buick Continues Focus on Electrification in China, Launches VELITE 7 Electric Vehicle and VELITE 6 PHEV

SHANGHAI – Buick today strengthened its commitment to electrification in China with the launch of the VELITE 7 electric vehicle and VELITE 6 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

The VELITE 7 is the first all-electric SUV in Buick’s new energy vehicle portfolio, offering an impressive range of 500 kilometers on a single charge. It is also designed to set a new benchmark in its segment with a suite of winning technologies that take the innovative connectivity and EV riding experience to the next level.

The VELITE 6 PHEV adopts Buick’s latest eMotion electric propulsion technology to appeal to eco-minded consumers. It has a driving range of up to 780 kilometers, including an electric-only range of 60 kilometers, while delivering the same smooth and comfortable ride that Buick is known for.

Both new models leverage GM’s global electric vehicle leadership and strong local engineering capability. With the two latest entries, Buick is further expanding its EV presence in China with a strengthened portfolio that covers a broad range of body style and technology solutions.

“There has never been such an ambitious rollout of two remarkable electrified products at the same time in Buick’s history in China. It demonstrates our long-term commitment to technology leadership in the electrification segment in our largest market,” said Molly Peck, executive director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM.

“With their contemporary styling, exceptional driving experience, trusted safety and reliability, and incredible connectivity functionality, we believe the VELITE 7 and VELITE 6 PHEV will change people’s perceptions of electric vehicles and convince more of them to make the move from traditional vehicles powered solely by petroleum to environmentally friendly vehicles powered by electricity.”

The VELITE 7 is available in two variants with a price of RMB 179,800 and RMB 199,800 including government subsidies. The three trims of the VELITE 6 PHEV have a price range of RMB 159,800 to RMB 179,800 including government subsidies.

In response to customers’ growing demand for online shopping, Buick is launching direct sales for the VELITE 7 to provide the seamless integration of online and offline sales channels. Under the new sales model, customers can check vehicle information, engage in purchase consultation and place an order directly with Buick through the iBuick app. Dealers will maintain their service contacts with vehicle handover and other personalized customer service.

To maximize the EV ownership experience, Buick is also offering a whole package of customer-centric services for buyers of both the VELITE 7 and the VELITE 6 PHEV. They include a free home charging pole to facilitate their daily usage and updated digital service via the iBuick app that will enable owners to remotely control their vehicle, check the battery capacity and range, manage charging settings, plan routes and locate nearby charging stations. 

In addition, both models come with an eight-year or 160,000-kilometer warranty for the electric propulsion system and key components. Customers will also enjoy 100G of free OnStar 4G LTE data service every year.

Buick VELITE 7

The VELITE 7 has adopted Buick’s latest striking and sophisticated styling. Its streamlined proportions offer a distinct look with a hint of functional crossover elements. Fractal 3D geometric patterns have replaced the traditional front grille to give the SUV a vibrant and technical expression. Inspired by jet wings, the stylish front and rear corners enhance aerodynamic performance. The sporty exterior also features sleek body lines, and a clean and powerful hood with a center crease.

The modern and elegant design essence continues inside. The VELITE 7 has a segment-leading wheelbase of 2,675 millimeters, as well as a flat floor in back courtesy of its dedicated electric vehicle platform. This gives it a spacious interior with class-leading legroom in both front and back. It also ensures easier access for passengers sitting in the middle. The high stance provides the driver greater visibility.

The VELITE 7 is powered by the Buick eMotion electric propulsion system that meets GM’s global standard for safety and reliability. It comes with a new modular high-performance 55.6-kWh lithium-ion battery from LG. Through improved cell chemistry and an optimized lightweight design, the battery pack has industry-leading energy density and performance. Its unique cell-level intelligent thermal management system with liquid cooling ensures the best working temperature for stable battery performance. Extra protection of the pack in the event of a collision, dust or water is guaranteed through an advanced structural design.

The highly efficient permanent magnet drive motor produces up to 360 Nm of torque and 130 kW of motoring power, enabling the VELITE 7 to go from 0-100 kilometers per hour in 8.6 seconds. Electric power consumption is an estimated 13.1 kWh/100 kilometers.

The innovation highlights of the VELITE 7 also include the distinct Regen on Demand and One Pedal Driving, which maximize energy recovery to support longer range without compromising the driving experience. Pulling and holding the Regen on Demand paddle on the steering wheel decelerates the vehicle and stores energy for future use. One Pedal Driving captures energy from the moving vehicle and turns it back into electrical energy. The driver can speed up and slow down using only the accelerator pedal, and press the brake pedal to stop immediately.

The VELITE 7 has AC and DC fast-charging capability, enabling the battery to be charged to over 210 kilometers in 30 minutes. Three charging configurations match users’  preferences: immediate charging upon plug in, delayed charging during a specific time of day and delayed charging during optimal utility rates.  

An 8-inch LED cluster and an advanced 10-inch high-resolution touchscreen are integrated with the VELITE 7’s latest-generation Buick eConnect connectivity system. It includes wireless integration with Apple CarPlay and Baidu CarLife, wireless charging, OnStar 4G connectivity and Baidu advanced AI voice assistance. It also supports over-the-air (OTA) remote updates.

The VELITE 7’s advanced navigation system has 10 million kilometers of map data and keeps drivers updated on real-time road conditions and accident alerts. When the electric range is less than 100 kilometers, the system provides a driving range estimate and can help locate a nearby charging spot.

A variety of active safety features and 13 intelligent driver-assist technologies are tailored for road conditions and driving habits in China. They include a digital rearview camera, a 360-degree surround camera, full speed range automatic cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and eight air bags.

Buick VELITE 6 PHEV

The VELITE 6 PHEV has a dynamic posture coupled with a wide stance. Its modern streamlined shape and overall innovative exterior styling match the nameplate’s exciting technological character. Its interior includes a large panoramic sunroof, an expansive 1,075 liters of cargo space and an ion air purifying system.

Leveraging GM’s global electrification expertise, the high-performance hybrid system is composed of a dedicated 1.5L engine with dual variable valve timing (DVVT) technology, an electronically controlled variable transmission (E-CVT) and high-performance dual motors complemented by a high-performance lithium-ion battery.

The engine, optimized with a lightweight design to match the electric propulsion system, has maximum power of 72 kW and maximum torque of 143 Nm. Together with the dual electric motor, it produces up to 380 Nm of torque and 135 kW of motoring power, along with 0-100 kilometer per hour acceleration of 9 seconds.

The VELITE 6 PHEV’s high-performance lithium-ion battery pack from LG is composed of 104 groups of cell units. It has 9.5 kWh of electric capacity and maximum power of 80 kW.

Supported by the industry-leading Power Split technology and the E-CVT, the motors and engine efficiently and seamlessly optimize power, achieving fuel consumption as low as 1.4 liters/100 kilometers under New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) conditions.

The VELITE 6 PHEV has three driving modes – Normal, Sport and Lock – to provide power and handling to match users’ needs. The Lock mode allows the driver to manually shift to the hybrid system for sustained battery capacity. The VELITE 6 PHEV is also available with two energy regeneration options and three charging modes. A portable charging cable comes standard.

Cutting-edge driver assist technologies in the VELITE 6 PHEV include Forward Collision Alert, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert and the second-generation Automatic Parking Assist.