Haval, a brand of Great Wall Motors, launched its plug-in hybrid Dargo on Monday, showcasing the company’s efforts to explore opportunities in the burgeoning new energy vehicle (NEV) sector. The release of the second-generation Dargo, also known as the Big Dog, is a significant step for Haval, as it represents the brand’s first foray into NEV models of its Dog series.
The Dargo is available in two variants, one of which sports a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and a two-speed dedicated hybrid transmission. Its maximum output can reach 240 kW, and its top torque can hit 530 Nm. The model’s fuel consumption per 100 km stands at 5.92 liters, and its overall range can reach over 1,000 km. The muscular design of the Dargo is reminiscent of an off-roader, measuring 4,705 mm in length, 1,908 mm in width, and 1,780 mm in height, with a segment-leading wheelbase of 2,810 mm.
Plug-in hybrids are gaining popularity in the Chinese market thanks to their long driving range compared to electric vehicles. Statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that 121,000 plug-in hybrids were sold in January 2023, up 42.5 percent year-on-year. In the same month, sales of electric vehicles stood at 287,000 units, down 18.2 percent year-on-year.
The Dargo’s release is part of Haval’s broader push to expand its presence in the NEV sector. With the Chinese government’s continued efforts to promote the development of NEVs, the sector is expected to see rapid growth in the coming years, and Haval is positioning itself to take advantage of this trend.
In addition to the Dargo, Haval is also planning to launch several other NEV models, including an all-electric version of the H6 SUV, which is expected to hit the market later this year. Haval is also investing in the development of solid-state batteries, which are seen as the next frontier in battery technology and have the potential to offer even greater range and performance than current lithium-ion batteries.
With its strong lineup of NEV models and ongoing investment in new technologies, Haval is well-positioned to succeed in the rapidly growing Chinese NEV market. The launch of the Dargo is just the beginning of what promises to be an exciting period of growth and innovation for the brand.