Skip to main content

“Two steps forward, and one step back,” to reverse the lyrics from the Desert Rose Band, is how the electric vehicle market feels. Many automakers, including GM, dove into the proverbial deep end of the EV world. Some skipped hybrids and plug-in hybrids in favor of battery-electric vehicles. The new Chevrolet Equinox Plus could be one of those steps back.

To Volt or not to Volt?

The Chevy Volt was the plug-in hybrid from GM that the world required when it was available. Once the Bolt EV arrived, the Volt disappeared, and GM was on its way to the deep end of the EV world. Now, it seems the Volt platform could have served as a catalyst for new PHEVs from GM brands.

Many automakers, including GM, are returning to hybrids and plug-in hybrid models. The massive EV push has slowed but not stopped. Still, automakers have learned that many consumers would rather have a gas engine onboard, even if most of the electric motors perform most of the driving. This brings us to the new Chevrolet Equinox Plus.

Chevrolet Equinox Plus displayed on a road. This new PHEV could make it to North America.
Chevrolet Equinox Plus | Chevrolet

Where will the Equinox Plus appear?

The new Equinox Plus should be a plug-in hybrid version of the popular compact SUV. At first, it is scheduled to be a China-only model, but it should appear in the North American market soon after.

This new PHEV has a smooth, closed-off appearance at the wheels, reflecting the new Equinox EV. Besides the wheels, this new plug-in hybrid model looks similar to the gas-powered Equinox.

What should drivers expect from this PHEV Equinox?

This new model is being made by SAIC-GM in China, which also makes the Buick Envision. The Chevrolet Equinox Plus will be made in Mexico if it arrives in North America. This new SUV should use a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and electric motor in both markets. The electric battery comes from BYD’s battery subsidiary FinDreams.

The PHEV configuration could provide the Equinox Plus with 170 horsepower from the engine and 188 horsepower from the electric motor. Currently, we don’t have total horsepower figures for this system.

What type of PHEV?

In today’s market, there are two types of PHEVs. Some use a combination of electric motors and the gas engine to drive the wheels, which is the traditional setup. The other type of PHEV is an Extended Range EV (EREV), which uses the gas engine to send power to the battery pack. In the EREV setup, the gas-powered engine never drives the wheels; the electric motors accomplish this task.

Currently, we aren’t sure what type of PHEV system the new Chevrolet Equinox Plus will use. This new PHEV will debut at the Beijing Auto Show at the end of April. After this show, we’ll know more about the new Chevy PHEV, which represents a step back to a new, high-demand automotive market.

Source: InsideEVs