So, what is an electric vehicle? Almost everyone on the planet would say that an EV is an all-electric vehicle that uses batteries to store energy. This energy is then channeled to one or more electric motors to spin the wheels, hence providing propulsion. While this is still true for many EVs in existence, one company looked at this logic and said, “Naah! We won’t be doing that.” The brand we are talking about is Huawei. Huawei is one of the world’s largest and most powerful tech companies, and it is definitely a hallmark establishment in China. While most people know them for their smartphones, Huawei has been working on EVs since 2016, with their Seres project.
Speaking at the launch of the Seres SF5 was Richard Yu, Executive Director, CEO of the Consumer Business Group, Huawei. He said,
“This exciting announcement sets a precedent for both the consumer electronics industry and the new energy vehicle industry. In the future, we will not only provide leading smart car solutions to help partners build better intelligent vehicles, but also help them sell those vehicles through our retail network across China.”
Being the tech giant’s first-ever EV, the Huawei Seres SF5 is a big deal! Before even proceeding, the Seres SF5 is not like most EVs, in that it employs an internal combustion engine. Many would consider a fossil-fuel burning engine in an EV to be blasphemous… Not Huawei. You see, while Huawei calls the Seres SF5 an “EV”, it isn’t one in the typical sense. This has to do with the fact that it comes with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine. However, this internal combustion engine does not actually power the Seres SF5. Instead, it is hooked up to a battery pack that then powers two electric motors, kind of like a generator.
The dual motors in the Seres SF5 are capable of generating 405kW (543hp) and 820Nm of torque. This is enough juice to propel the SF5 from 0 to 100 kmph in only 3.5 seconds. However, you can switch this ‘EV’ to a mode where it employs both its engine and electric motors. Funnily enough, this actually dials down the combined output, limiting acceleration. Now, the Seres SF5 needs almost 4.7 seconds to hit 100 kmph from a standstill. Even so, one cannot call this hybridized crossover slow as it is still a pretty brisk vehicle. According to Huawei, the Seres SF5 can be driven in an all-electric mode up to a maximum of 180 kilometers. But, if you drive the SF5 in conjunction with its petrol powerplant, the maximum range goes all the way up to 1,000 kilometers.
Just like the fancy new Hummer EV SUV, the Huawei Seres SF5 is fitted with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V). The system allows users to charge other EVs in case of an emergency and can also be used to operate several types of electrical equipment. In China, the Huawei Seres SF5 will be available in two-wheel-drive (2WD) and all-wheel-drive (AWD) formats. The 2WD version is priced at 216,800 Yuan (appx. Rs 25 Lakh) while the AWD version costs 246,800 Yuan (appx. Rs 28.50 Lakh).
Customers can choose from four exterior colors – Charcoal Black, Deep Ocean Blue, Pearl White, and Titanium Silver Grey. Meanwhile, the interior of the Seres SF5 is available in Midnight Black, Garnet Red, and Ivory White themes.
Huawei has paid a lot of attention to keep the cabin of the Seres SF5 nice and quiet. In the lack of an internal combustion engine, it is human tendency to pick up other sounds. The Chinese tech major is aware of this, hence the SF5 is fitted with additional sound-deadening materials plus a specially-tuned 11-speaker audio system. The former ensures that the cabin of the car remains at 38 decibels during normal conditions.
As for the audio system, it has been designed by experts at Huawei to provide an immersive aural experience. Then there is the Huawei HiCar connected car tech that allows users to operate some of the SF5’s functions via a smartphone or tablet. The Huawei Seres SF5 goes on sale in the Chinese market from April 21 this year.