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Maple Leaf 60S To Launch in February – With Battery Swap in 60 seconds

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This is Maple Leaf 60S EV with battery swapping technology. Maple Leaf is an EV brand under Geely. The car is made by a joint venture between Geely and Lifan. Geely is also Lifan’s largest shareholder. The Maple Leaf 60S is expected to be launched within February this year.

Exterior

Front of the Maple Leaf 60S

As we can see, the new car’s exterior adopts the Maple Leaf family design language: a closed front grille with the Maple Leaf logo in the center narrow headlights on both sides. All these make the new car look nice. At the same time, the car looks kind of sporty with the three-stage air intake below.

Side of the Maple Leaf 60S

The new car has a segmented waistline design from the side of the body, giving people an overall sense of layering and stretching. Also, the double five-spoke wheel shape makes the new car more stylish. In terms of body size, its length, width, and height are 4730/1804/1530mm, and the wheelbase is 2700mm.

Power

About power, the new car uses a permanent magnet synchronous motor, with a maximum power of 136 hp (100 kW) and a peak torque of 230 Nm.

The 60S uses a battery pack made by Guoxuan Technology, good for an NEDC range of 415 kilometers. In addition, the 60S is “rechargeable and exchangeable.” This means that driver can charge the 60S in the standard (rechargeable). Meanwhile, the battery can be swapped (exchangeable). Two options for users: a 30-minute DC fast charging mode a 60-second battery swapping mode.

“Smart Geely 2025” and the “Nine Dragon Bay Action”

Outlook

In October 2021, Geely released the strategy: “Smart Geely 2025” and the “Nine Dragon Bay Action,” including the launch of five new battery-swap cars by 2025.

Up to now, Geely has owned thousands of technical patents in the field of battery swap infrastructure, exchange stations, and battery swap vehicles. They have also participated in the formulation of national electrical switching standards. The Geely-Lifan joint venture wants to have 5000 battery-swap stations in 100 main cities by 2025, sufficient to provide battery-swaps for 1 million vehicles.

Seriously Geely, New Brand?

I think the Maple Leaf 60S is primarily a car for taxi and ride-hailing companies. Not so much for the private car market. Lifan has some experiences with ride-hailing as they developed a Uber-like platform called Panda, which had 20,000 cars and 4 million users in China before shutting down a year ago due to Lifan debts.

Lifan is famous in China for its scooters and copycat cars. After Geely acquired Lifan in 2020, Lifan is now more focused on original vehicles development for taxi customers and battery swap support.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Mr. Peng. I liked your article on this new model from Geely Maple. But at the beginning you tell us:
    “The car is made by a joint venture between Geely and Lifan.”
    Then at the end you tell us:
    “….Geely acquired Lifan in 2020,…”

    Wasn’t Lifan completely acquired by Geely during restructuring? Or does Lifan continue to have some independence as an automaker, that can form joint ventures.

  2. Hi Dragn. It’s just like these odd Geely-Volvo joint ventures, one of which became Lynk & Co, while Geely fully owns Volvo. It is just the way they set things up. I am not sure Geely controls 100% of Lifan. They are surely the largest but I think there are still a few smaller shareholders left. This is a bit misty and fluid, as is often the case with this kind of takeovers within China. Who is the boss..?

  3. I think creditors still may have some shares, there was a debt-to-equity swap in the takeover. I don’t know if Geely bought them all out. If I remember correctly, the city of Chongqing has a significant shareholding as well.

  4. Thanks Tycho and Leo.
    It’s complicated for sure, but it’s good to see that Lifan has survived the restructuring.
    Here’s a recent take on the situation from:
    https://pandaily.com/lifan-technology-and-geely-auto-group-set-up-joint-venture-firm/
    Hopefully, U.S.- educated Anne Yin , successor and granddaughter of the storied Yin Minshang, can have a part in moving the enterprise forward.
    By the way Leo, there’s an interesting story to be told about the heartland company, that once greeted visitors with a sign that said:
    Quality is the Rice Bowl.
    And the New York Times, quoted another that hung over the assembly line:
    Whoever wrecks Lifan’s brand, Lifan will wreck that person’s rice bowl.

    • Yeah, the Lifan/Yin Minshang story is interesting. I will do an Automaker story some day. Still have to decide if it will be a story on its own, or part of a series about Geely.
      Did Anne Yin really take over? The announcement about her almost coincided with the Chinese authorities bringing criminal charges against her grand dad. Haven’t heard anything about it since.

  5. Not sure about her tenure as chair but she was in the role from April until at least August 2020, which seems to be around when “investigation” and “reorganization” began.
    Always wondered about AIG’s ten percent stake in that company, going back to 2007.

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