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Geely about to launch an electric ute

Teaser images of Radar electric dual-cab abound as Geely warms up for July 22 reveal

5 Jul 2022

CHINESE automotive giant Geely has an electric dual-cab ute in the pipeline, judging from variously camouflaged, tightly cropped and darkened images that have emerged on the company’s social media channels ahead of an expected official full reveal on July 22.


Underlining this is information and sketches on a Geely ute lodged with the China patent office earlier this year.


Bearing Radar badging, the new ute appears to have a unibody construction – the tray is not separated from the cab – similar to that of the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford Maverick and Honda Ridgeline compact pick-up trucks sold in North America.


Such a vehicle has been speculated about for some time, heightened by the recent arrival of the Geely Farizon, which appears from the side to be a sedan-booted SUV but instead has a stubby open ute tray at the back.


Radar images indicate a more conventional-looking utility silhouette with an integrated styleside tray and dual-cab body.


Although there is no separation between the cab and tray, the styling has a touch of SsangYong Musso about the front and wheel arches. The rear is a new horizontal take on taillights that mirror frontal styling.


The Radar will differ from most mid-size ute offerings because it will be an EV and not constructed on a ladder chassis.


Although the Radar’s payload and towing capacity are unknown at this point, most electric drivetrains have enough power and torque for the job.


That said, the Radar seems targeted at lifestyle buyers rather than commercial vehicle users, probably driven by the growing popularity of one-tonne utes in urban China.


Given Geely owns or has a controlling interest in Lotus, Volvo, Volvo Trucks, London Electric Commercial Vehicle Company and Proton – among a swag of other automotive companies –  the Radar will likely tap into advanced battery technology and use Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA) platform that is capable of utilising single, dual and tri-motor powertrains.


This also gives Geely the option of fitting the Radar with the latest technology including over-the-air updates to various in-car functions, not to mention high levels of autonomous driving capability.


It has been speculated that Geely is aiming for 700km range with the Radar, which could be achievable and desirable given the technology at its disposal.


The company would also have an eye over its shoulder at vehicles such as the Rivian R1T and the new electric Ford F150 Lightning utes that sold out virtually as soon as orders opened.


Geely has invested $A530 million on a new manufacturing facility in Shandong Province, presumably for the Radar and potentially other utility vehicles based on the scalable SEA platform.


Although Geely does not have a direct sales presence in Australia, this market’s appetite for dual-cab utes and increasing demand for electric vehicles could put it on the radar for the Radar.


Geely’s ownership of Malaysian car-maker Proton also provides the conglomerate with access to right-hand drive expertise in a number of ASEAN markets and Australasia.

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