The first fruits of a joint venture between Chinese automotive giant Geely and two-wheel experts Lifan have just been leaked ahead of their expected debut – and we can understand why someone just couldn’t wait. “Maple Leaf 60S” says it all!
The Maple Leaf 60S is Geely’s first offering designed with battery swap technology in mind. Unlike cars from other brands, whose alphanumeric “EQS 580” or “P90D” naming conventions communicate something about power and performance, the “60S” in the Maple Leaf references how long it takes to swap a spent battery for a fresh, fully charged unit.
That’s right, kids. The Geely and Lifan-backed Maple Leaf can effectively be “recharged” and ready to roll again in under 60 seconds. It have been a while since Electrek commenters have gassed up a car, so you’ll have to just trust me on this one: that’s a lot faster than gassing up!
What we know
In terms of physical dimensions, it’s been revealed that the Maple Leaf 60S is 4730mm long, 1804mm wide, and rides on a wheelbase that’s 2700mm long. If those dimensions look familiar, then you’re just as big a Geely nerd as I am (congrats?). You also happen to be right. That 2700mm wheelbase is a common theme across a few Geely-owned brands, and, after a little digging, I can tell you that those dimensions happen to be identical, to the mm, to the Geely Emgrand GL.
Despite the grainy nature of the leaked pics, we can see a few visual commonalities. The Maple Leaf 60S has similar window/roof lines, a similar crease across the doors – heck, it even has the Emgrand GL’s swoopy front fender kink that crosses over into the front doors, in case you needed more convincing that the 60S is a battery swap ready Emgrand. Check it out for yourself, below, and see if you see what I see.
The good news here is that we know a lot about the Geely Emgrand GL. First produced in 2016 before receiving the swoopy facelift shared with the Maple Leaf, the GL is built on one of Geely’s “modular architecture” platforms. In theory, then, whatever changes were made to turn the Geely FE platform into a battery-swap EV could be applied to any FE platform car.
From there, it might not be a big leap to add battery swap tech to any other Geely, Volvo, Polestar, Zeekr, Lynk & Co., or Lotus BEV built on one of Geely’s newer platforms. If that happens, it could be big news for Geely.
While we wait for more official news about the Maple Leaf 60S next month, check out these pictures of the Emgrand GL, and feel free to let us know what you think Geely’s odds are of getting this right in the comments.
Geely is making a safe, smart play here by putting battery swap tech under a new brand name. If it takes off, they can easily “port” the technology up stream to Geely, Volvo, and Zeekr. If it tanks, like Better Place, which sold just 750 cars as it piled up more than $500 million in losses, well – how much of a loss is Maple Leaf, really?
Source | Images: Car News China.
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