According to a post on electric car forum Speak EV, GM’s Chinese joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling, produced just under 4,400 examples of the Buick Velite 5 in China. The vehicle, which was exclusive to the Chinese market, was introduced at Auto Shanghai in April of 2017.
Like the second-generation Chevrolet Volt EV that was sold in North America, the Buick Velite 5 uses a permanent-magnet electric motor drive unit and a 1.5L four-cylinder range extender. SAIC-GM claimed a total range of 768 kilometers (477 miles) in extended-range mode and 116 kilometers (72 miles) of pure electric range.
SAIC-GM had little use for the aging Buick Velite 5 after introducing the pure-electric Buick Velite 6, in addition to the Velite 6 Plus last fall. The Buick Velite’s 35-kWh lithium-ion battery pack provides a driving range of up to 301 kilometers or 188 miles, while the Velite 6 Plus, which has a 52.5-kWh battery, boasts a maximum driving range of 410 kilometers or 254 miles. Meanwhile, over at Chevrolet, the Menlo EV uses the same 52.5-kWh battery as the Velite 6 Plus and has an identical range of 410 kilometers.
China extended its New Energy Vehicle Credit program earlier this month. Those who purchase a battery-electric vehicle with over 400 kilometers of range (about 250 miles) are eligible to receive a 25,000 RMB ($3,500 USD) tax credit from the Chinese government. The latter was expected to phase out the electric vehicle credits after lowering the rebate buyers could receive in June of last year, from 50,000 RMB to the current amount of 25,000 RMB, but it has elected to continue with the program.