Geely launches Geometry A, a Chinese Model 3 competitor with global ambitions
On top of its understated good looks and highly competitive pricing, the Geometry A offers proper long-range electric motoring with up to 500 km (310 miles) of range. It's the first car for Geely's new electric marque, and the first of 10 pure electrics the company will launch in the next 6 years.
Geely might not yet be a household name, but that's mainly because few people outside of the trade pay attention to high-level automotive industry maneuvering. This Chinese automaker not only owns Lotus, Lynk & Co, Proton and Volvo, but takes in over US$30 billion in annual revenues. To break into the top 10 global auto manufacturers – Geely's stated goal – it'll need to get up around the US$100 billion per year mark, and the company sees the all-electric Geometry brand as a key pillar of that strategy.
So yesterday's Singapore launch of the brand's first car was an event of high significance, and the Geometry A looks like a fine car to kick off with.
It's not a performance monster. Geely is letting others worry about acceleration dominance in the name of practical efficiency. The Geometry A makes 120 kW (161 hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft), giving it significantly less mumbo than certain French electric motorcycles and a fairly sad 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 8.8 seconds. That's not terrible, it'll put up a good fight against a Peugeot 306 2.0 from 1997, for example, but some Tesla Model 3s will lift their skirts and boogie more than twice as quickly, so folks with the hooligan gene can look elsewhere.
Instead, what's being offered here is a neat and well-appointed machine tailored toward the realities of Asian-style driving: lots of urban miles in traffic. And in that context, it starts making sense for Geely to call the Geometry A a "high end model."
The interior looks really nice, at least before the dash and parcel rack get festooned with soft toys. There's a neat little HUD for the driver and a nice wide infotainment screen. Geely has gone for "minimalistic, avant-garde elegance" and spent time on the details. Neat little geometric patterns evolve out of flat surfaces in non-distracting places, for example, and we're not sure how the indicator lights on the center console have been achieved, but we like the cut of their jib.
The electronics suite includes auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection, intelligent high beam control system, collision warning system with pre-tensioning seatbelts, and a battalion of cameras and radars to enable adaptive cruise from dead still up to 150 km/h (90 mph), as well as blind spot detection, lane change assist, automatic parking and built-in HD video recording to act as a dash-cam.
Aerodynamics and efficiency are clearly important to Geely; the coefficient of drag has been kept to 0.2375 with the addition of things like aerodynamic wheel designs, pop-out door handles and seamless tail lights. As a result, based on the current Beijing electricity price, you're looking at about one US cent per kilometer (0.62 of a mile) in energy use.
The standard battery will be a 51.9 kWh pack offering a range of 410 km (255 miles) in the NEDC test. A longer range version will use a 61.9 kWh pack capable of giving you 500 km (310 miles). Fast charging will allow 30-minute quick charges from 30-80 percent capacity, and the car comes equipped with something called a Super E Energy Station that lets you use the car as a wall socket for whatever you'd like to charge or plug in on (or off) the road.
The price sheet reflects three different spec levels of both battery sizes, with the cheapest version costing US$31,250 and the top spec costing just US$37,200. Those are Chinese domestic market prices, excluding subsidies – Chinese buyers can knock nearly 10 grand straight off those prices. But they're indicative of a highly competitive offering, and Geely is making no bones about the fact that this will be a global car.
We look forward to seeing one in the flesh.