Chery Builds The Future With Fourth-Gen Powertrains

The Car Of The Future Developed Right Now By Chery

The Car Of The Future Developed Right Now By Chery

Cars and the power that drive them are evolving so quickly, it is difficult to keep up. Sort of mainstream electric vehicles has been a thing for just over ten years, in South Africa it is still fringe technology. If you mention plug-in EVs, the response will be ‘Eskom’, load shedding, or some phrases we cannot include in the family-friendly blog.

Affordable internal combustion engine cars have been mainstream for just over a century, but their demise is already widely predicted. Change in the automotive industry is now faster than ever before and no one can predict what the next ten years will bring, never mind the next century. Clever car makers know better than to bet the farm on one single technology.

Chery is a very clever car maker and is aggressively developing all the likely mainstream power options at the same time. This is called future proofing and it includes petrol, diesel, hybrid, EV and hydrogen fuel cell technology. Although different technologies, Chery’s 4.0 Era All-Domain Power Architecture is geared at making all engines as efficient as possible, as well as complementing each other in various combinations.

Internal Combustion (ICE)

Pure ICE is undoubtedly on its way out and will be a nostalgic throwback in eight to twenty years. Mainstream manufacturers have announced the end of new ICE models in first-world markets, but the third world will probably use ICE for a while yet. Chery recognises this and is improving its engines in measurable ways, such as achieving the industry-leading 45% thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency is the rate at which ICE engines convert fuel into useful energy, as opposed to useless heat.

But super-efficient ICE engines are not simply better dinosaurs, they will play a major role in:

Hybrid Engines

Hybrid drives find their niche where extensive EV charging infrastructure does not exist, or electricity is not reliable or very expensive or both. South Africa is ripe for hybrid power, where a very efficient ICE engine powers a battery, which drives the wheels like an EV. It also offers power capture during braking or on downhill driving.

Chery has taken hybrid power to the next level with its DHT system, and integrated approach that will carry the hybrid for decades, especially in places or cases where technology and range anxiety makes it impractical to immediately switch to EVs.

Electric Vehicles

Chery is investing heavily in EV technology, which at the moment is becoming more mainstream very quickly. After more than a decade of very high-priced performance EVs or smaller roller-skate with battery options, EVs are being adapted by mainstream manufacturers like Chery and this technology is becoming more compelling all the time.

Lower battery costs, faster-charging technology and booming charging infrastructure are driving the acceptance of the EV. At its most basic level is the reality that most – over 90% – of all EV use per day is within the range of a single charge, and charging will cost less than any other drive on the market today, no matter the cost of your electricity. Add the blistering performance advantage of electric power, the simplicity of the mechanics and the extra usable space, and it is a no-brainer. Which begs the question of why Chery is also developing its fourth-generation hydrogen fuel cell drive.


It costs a lot more to convert electricity into hydrogen and back into electricity via fuel cell, so why bother? Why not just plug it into your car and there you go?

If EV is the now and the future, hydrogen is the future writ large. Hydrogen costs a lot more to make, transport and store, unless you make it on a super-industrial scale, using renewable energy.

There are already plans to convert the old coal power stations in Mpumalanga into hydrogen hubs, combining the existing technical skills, water and electrical grid infrastructure with wind and solar energy to make South Africa a hydrogen hub.

There are loads of benefits to hydrogen power, but in terms of vehicles two stand out. Heavy duty vehicles fare better with hydrogen than batteries – trucks and buses using fuel cells, aircraft and ships using green hydrogen-based fuels.

Hydrogen for your car is like petrol or diesel – a couple of minutes to fill up and you are good to go for six-seven hundred kilometres.

This Future, Right Now

Chery is investing so much in all these technologies. We know the future will catch up with us soon, and you can keep an eye on what is today and what will come tomorrow.

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