On May 22, at the technical communication meeting of Great Wall Motors, Li Ruifeng, Chief Growth Officer of Great Wall Motors, revealed that all models from the automaker will be equipped with Hi4 technology as standard by the end of 2024.
What is Hi4?
Hi4 is a new hybrid system developed by Great Wall Motors (GWM). Hi4 is an acronym for Hybrid Intelligent 4-wheel drive. It is a series-parallel hybrid system, which means that the electric motor can work independently of the gasoline engine or in conjunction with it. The Hi4 system uses a gasoline engine and two electric motors. The Hi4 system also features a lithium-ion battery pack, which gives the car an electric-only range of up to 100 km.
The Hi4 system works by automatically switching between the gasoline engine, the electric motor, or a combination of the two. The system uses a variety of sensors to determine the best mode of operation for the current driving conditions. This way it can deliver a 4WD hybrid driving experience for users.
For example, if the car is driving at a low speed, the electric motor will be used to power the car. The gasoline engine will be used if the car is driving at high speed. And if the car is accelerating, the two motors will work together to provide maximum power.
The Hi4 system has a number of advantages over traditional hybrid systems. First, it is more efficient because the electric motor can work independently of the gasoline engine. Second, it is more powerful because the two motors can work together to provide maximum power. Third, it has a longer electric-only range because the battery pack is larger.
GWM’s electrification plans and Hi4
Chen Shujiang, the deputy chief engineer of the hybrid system of Great Wall Motors, stated that the Hi4 technology breaks the traditional mold of hybrid dual motors mainly concentrated on the front axle.
This new configuration with three power sources distributed on two axles so that the single motor on the front axle can be used separately under different working conditions
Another advantage of the Hi4 system, according to Mr. Shujiang is that the series-parallel four-wheel drive electric-hybrid architecture can be manufactured without increasing the cost of vehicle manufacturing and the purchase price.
The new Hi4 technology also utilizes the iTVC (intelligent Torque Vector Control) system to adjust torque/power distribution between front and rear axles, preventing loss of traction and wheelspin on slippery surfaces.
GWM’s Haval Xiaolong MAX, launched on May 15, is the first model equipped with the new Hi4 technology, The WLTC comprehensive fuel consumption of Haval Xiaolong MAX is 1.78L/100km, and the WLTC feed fuel consumption is as low as 5.5L/100km.
In August 2022, Haval announced that it would stop the sales of ICE vehicles by 2030, and the Xiaolong series is one of Haval’s key milestones toward its electrification goal. In the next five years, the automaker plans to invest a total of 100 billion yuan in research and development.
In the current automotive market, there are many hybrid technologies. Many automakers, including Li Auto, have introduced extended-range electric vehicles, and others are focused on plug-in electric vehicles. Other unique systems include BYD’s DM-i/DM-p, Geely’s Raytheon HiX/Hip, and Chery’s DHT Kunpeng hybrid.
Prior to now, Great Wall Motors developed and mass-produced the DHT-PHEV hybrid in 2020.
Part of the Hi4’s technology is derived from DHT-PHEV. However, it is structurally “simplified” into a dual-motor dual-axis distribution. Its most important function is to reduce the cost without affecting performance and efficiency.