In the era of hybrid competition, the most valuable thing is a lifetime warranty.

In the rapidly developing domestic new energy vehicle market, in addition to the outstanding performance of emerging force manufacturers, people often overlook the actions of traditional manufacturers in new energy vehicle transformation. Starting from the past two years, traditional manufacturers such as Changan, Geely, Great Wall, BYD and others have all introduced their own new energy products.

Actually, Changan Automobile is not the most radical among them. But seemingly unremarkable, Changan Automobile has gradually found its own rhythm from the Changan Blue Whales SL03. Let’s review the prices of the Changan Blue Whales SL03: the extended-range version is priced at RMB 168,900, the 515 pure electric version is priced at RMB 183,900, and the 705 pure electric version is priced at RMB 215,900.

Firstly, let’s look at the pricing of the two pure electric models: the 515 pure electric version priced at RMB 183,900 has the fastest acceleration of the entire series, 5.9 seconds, and the space surpasses the ID.3 and MG MULAN, which are similarly priced. The 705 pure electric version priced at RMB 215,900 has a battery pack of 79.97 kWh and a CLTC range of 705 km, which is almost one of the best in the same class.

But the most savvy and lethal step of the Blue Whale SL03 is still the extended-range version priced at RMB 168,900.

If you want to buy a hybrid vehicle priced at RMB 200,000 or below, many people would think of BYD’s DM-i products. However, the entry of the Blue Whales SL03 extended-range version provides consumers with another choice.

Compared with BYD’s economical and affordable route for hybrid vehicles, the Blue Whale SL03 extended-range version has made two differentiated settings: one is the rear-wheel drive setup and the sporty tuning style for young people; the other is the large-capacity lithium iron phosphate battery pack of 28.39 kWh.

Combined with good fuel consumption performance (as low as 4.5 liters per hundred kilometers), the Blue Whale SL03 extended-range version’s CLTC pure electric range can reach 200 km, and the comprehensive range can reach 1,200 km. Compared with players in the same price range, this performance is quite advantageous.

Therefore, we have no doubt that the extended-range version of the Blue Whales SL03 can become a “hot selling” model, as is reflected by the fact that within 33 minutes after the release of the Blue Whale SL03, orders exceeded 10,000, and currently, both the delivery volume and insurance volume have exceeded 10,000. In October 2022, the insurance volume of the Blue Whale SL03 increased by 135% month-on-month, and in cities where extended-range electric vehicles do not enjoy new energy vehicle preferential policies such as Beijing, the extended-range version order data accounted for 57% of the total sales volume of the vehicle region.

Don’t worry, extended-range system also has a lifetime quality assurance

On November 11th, Changan Shenlan launched an upgraded version of the “Three-electric Lifetime Quality Assurance”. Consumers who placed orders between November 11th – November 19th or have received cars or placed orders successfully before November 10th will have this right.

After careful reading of the regulations, I found the highlight: the first owner of a non-commercial vehicle has a lifetime quality assurance for both the three-electric system and the extended-range system. This includes the generator, camshaft, camshaft timing sprocket, cylinder head, piston, crankshaft and connecting rod, piston pin, crankshaft timing sprocket, oil pan, belt pulley, and flywheel of the extended-range system. In addition, Shenlan also provides a free annual full car depth inspection.

Many consumers, including my parents, almost always raise a question about the quality of hybrid models (including extended-range models) when the engine starts repeatedly.

The range of the extended-range system quality assurance provided by Changan Shenlan almost cover all the important parts of the engine, which undoubtedly shows precise understanding of the pain points for consumers.

After careful reading of the upgraded version of the “Three-electric Lifetime Quality Assurance”, we can also find many policies from the perspective of users: free charging poles and installation services (within 30m of the charging line), lifetime free basic flow of 13G per month, 10G per month of two-year entertainment flow for free, and fast charging interface for extended-range version owners, etc.

It can be seen that there are almost no fancy projects in these policies, all of which are just what users need.

Of course, even if you are not the first owner, or if the first owner exceeds 35,000 kilometers of annual driving mileage, the quality assurance of the three-electric system and the extended-range system can also enjoy 10 years or 300,000 kilometers (first come, first served).

In fact, the 10-year or 300,000-kilometer quality assurance is far beyond the quality assurance policies of everyone in the era of gasoline cars. Take Volkswagen Passat as an example, Passat provided a three-year, 100,000-kilometer warranty for the entire vehicle. Even if you buy a used car or exceed 35,000 kilometers of annual driving mileage, the quality assurance policy provided by the Shenlan SL03 is almost three times that of Passat.

So, besides the seemingly “radical” quality assurance policy, what advantages does the Deep Blue SL03 have over traditional fuel-powered cars?

Lifetime Quality Assurance, and More?

Let’s first review the power configuration of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version. The four-cylinder range extender has a maximum power of 70 kW, the motor has a maximum power of 160 kW, and a maximum torque of 320 Nm. The Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack has a capacity of 28.39 kWh, supports fast charging, and has a pure electric range of 200 km under CLTC conditions.

Even in charging mode, the official fuel consumption of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version is only 4.5 L / 100 km. The reason why extended range models have become so popular in recent years is because of their low costs in city driving and low fuel consumption for long-distance travel.

In order to directly compare the economic advantages of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version, we will do a rough cost comparison with a traditional fuel-powered car of similar size. The long-term average fuel consumption of an ordinary family fuel-powered car similar in size to the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version is around 8 L / 100 km. Based on the price of Shanghai’s 92 gasoline today, which is 8.42 yuan / L, **assuming an annual mileage of 20,000 km, a fuel-powered family car needs to spend 13,472 yuan on refueling each year. **

Due to the larger battery pack and the included charging station, the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version requires almost no refueling during city driving. Assuming a ratio of 8:2 for pure electric and fuel conditions, and driving 20,000 km per year, the fuel cost for the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version is about 1,515 yuan and the electricity cost is calculated at a residential rate of 0.52 yuan per kWh, adding up to about 1,400 yuan. In total, the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version can save you about 10,557 yuan per year compared to a regular fuel-powered car.

The above economic efficiency was not achieved at the expense of driving performance. The Deep Blue SL03 Extended Range version electric motor boasts a maximum power of 160 kW and a maximum torque of 320 Nm, delivering 0-100 km/h in 7.5 seconds. To put it simply, this is equivalent to the level of a 2.0T petrol vehicle. Moreover, the low center of gravity, rear-wheel-drive layout, and electric drive bring instant torque response, giving the Deep Blue SL03 natural advantages in handling.

We witnessed a welcome fact on the Deep Blue SL03: the advances in extended range and electric drive technologies have made it possible to achieve two seemingly contradictory needs, “power” and “efficiency” in one vehicle.

This is only an explicit improvement of the extended range model compared to a conventional fuel vehicle. Besides, the inherent structural advantages of extended range models can provide better comfort. Without gearbox and other components, the extended range model can decouple the engine from the vehicle body and control vibration and noise better through soft liners. The Deep Blue SL03 also made a lot of NVH-related optimizations during the development phase.

According to the feedback from our editors during the test drive, the power system of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version has excellent vibration and noise control. The jitter and noise of the extended range device are minimal, with overall performance comparable to or even better than that of the ideal L9; the presence of the extended range device can only be felt during idle power generation or when heavy acceleration is required.

The electric motor NVH performance of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version is also very good, with a specifically designed harmonic noise reduction system in the electric drive system. There is no noticeable high-frequency electric motor noise in the flooring and accelerator states, and there is no pulse jitter under high-load electric motor operation.

In addition, here is a piece of small knowledge: Many people worry that repeated startup of the extended range device may shorten its lifespan. However, internal combustion engine technology has almost exhausted all its potential. Through material upgrades, the thermal expansion of engine pistons is now more uniform. Besides, the introduction of technologies such as molybdenum-plated piston has significantly reduced wear caused by cold starts.The engine of the extended range electric vehicle, without the need for direct drive, is always in the efficient power range compared to traditional internal combustion engines. Theoretically, this usage scenario is more friendly to the engine because it avoids high-load situations.

For a car with a price of 168,900 RMB, the intelligence of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version is commendable. The entire series is equipped with an 8155 chip, 12 GB of running memory, and 128 GB of storage. Although the hardware performance is not equivalent to the car entertainment experience, the endorsement of the 8155 chip for the smoothness of the car entertainment system is self-evident. The 14.6-inch sunflower screen is standard across the board, and features such as facial recognition, Bluetooth/NFC access, and voice assistants are also not absent. In terms of cabin intelligence, the Deep Blue SL03 has indeed surpassed many traditional fuel vehicles.

The heated and ventilated seats are also rare practices in the same level of the Deep Blue SL03 standard. In the past, even in domestic brands, it was rare to find cars in the 200,000 RMB interval with ventilated seats as standard.

From the above, compared to traditional fuel vehicles, the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version has advantages in economics, power, comfort, and intelligence. And these advantages are the key factors that help the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version grab market share from traditional fuel vehicles.

In fact, Chang’an Shenlan’s high level of completion on its first car model, the Deep Blue SL03, has a traceable historical background. Since 2012, Chang’an Automobile has been developing extended-range electric vehicles based on the Yidong model, accumulating a large amount of technical development experience. From 2016 to 2018, on the basis of this previous technology, it created a PHEV model similar to an extended-range electric vehicle, the CS75 PHEV.

So it may seem that Chang’an Shenlan is a new brand, but it has more than ten years of technical accumulation at Chang’an Automobile, which is part of what new traditional new forces lack: rich engineering design experience.

Looking back at the 168,900 RMB sale price of the Deep Blue SL03 extended range version, you will find that it did not choose to take a “go-big-or-go-home” attitude to leverage its technology and engineering accumulation. From the simple and honest sharing of Deep Blue CEO Deng Chenghao at the press conference, to the mature and stable product design of the Deep Blue SL03 on a product level, this new brand does not let the frenzy of new energy take it off course. Every step taken by Deep Blue so far has been cautious and steady, constantly making solid progress in the pursuit of users and products.### Final words

From a macro perspective, the retail sales of new energy passenger vehicles in October reached 556,000 units, a year-on-year increase of 75.2%, and formed a trend of upward momentum from January to October with domestic retail sales of 4.432 million units, a year-on-year increase of 107.5%. The retail penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China in October was 30.2%, an increase of 11 percentage points from the penetration rate of 18.5% in October 2021.

This indicates that the entire new energy market environment is advancing vigorously. Looking at the hybrid market, the market share of PHEVs is on the rise, from 4.7% in the first quarter of this year to 7.3% in the third quarter. ** For October alone, the year-on-year growth rate of the PHEV model was 156.3%, surpassing that of pure electric models. **

** Looking back at the sales performance of the Deep Blue SL03 extended-range version that we mentioned at the beginning: in cities such as Beijing where extended-range electric vehicles do not enjoy new energy subsidies, orders for the extended-range version accounted for 57% of the total sales in the area. This phenomenon is quite similar to the situation of the IDEAL ONE back then, which also illustrates a point: with enough product strength, even without policy support, extended-range power models are sufficient to grab a share of the traditional vehicle market. **

With the product fundamentals in place, the lifetime quality assurance policy launched by the Deep Blue SL03 this time will undoubtedly fill in the last piece of the puzzle of consumer concerns.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email