Little known Chinese brand GWM Haval is about to roll out a range of petrol-electric hybrid cars aimed at clawing back some of the global dominance of Toyota, which is the biggest seller and one of the pioneers of the fuel-saving technology.
The Haval H6 Hybrid is made in Thailand on the production line formerly used for the Holden Colorado ute.
GWM Haval bought the factory from General Motors last year and has refurbished it to manufacture one of its biggest selling SUVs in the region.
There are 199 patents on the hybrid system developed in-house by GWM Haval, and it will eventually available with a choice of front-drive or all-wheel-drive layouts.
There are at least three distinct power outputs for use in a wide range of models, some of which are yet to be released.
Significantly, the GWM Haval hybrid system can move a vehicle from rest on electric power alone – as does Toyota’s hybrid system.
Other so-called hybrid cars, however, such as those sold by Mazda, Subaru and Honda predominantly do not move the car from rest and, rather, only give the petrol engine a light boost once it’s already on the move.
However, hybrid tech is able to flex its biggest advantage when it can move a vehicle from rest up to, say, about 40km/h because that is the thirstiest part of commuter driving.
The petrol engine automatically and seamlessly takes over once the car has cruising momentum.
Price and equipment details on the Haval H6 Hybrid will be announced closer to the vehicle’s Australian showroom arrival in the last few months of this year.