GM's mini car becomes China’s most sold EV, surpassing Tesla’s Model 3.
A micro electric vehicle by General Motors’ local Chinese joint venture becomes the most sold EV model in China, with 15,000 cars sold in China last month, followed by Tesla’s 11,800 Model 3 sedans, industry data showed.
The model, snappily known as the Hongguang MINI EV, is a two-door micro electric vehicle launched by the joint venture between GM and SAIC Motor Corp. The starting price for the Hongguang MINI EV is 28,800 yuan ($4,200 / £3,200), less than 10% of the 291,800 yuan starting price for Tesla’s China-made Model 3 vehicles before they get government subsidies.
GM’s new China boss Julian Blissett told Reuters in August that it would renew its focus on luxury Cadillacs, roll out bigger but greener sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) and target entry-level buyers with low-cost micro electric vehicles.
In August it sold 15,000 of them. But for that small amount, it must be a stripped out tin can, right? Well, here’s what you get: anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring, and rear parking sensors. Then there is what you would expect. Air conditioning, power windows and a great audio system.
It seats four. It's powered by a 13 kW electric motor which translates into 62 mph with a range of slightly over 100 miles for the top version. Let’s be real. If you live in the city what more would you need?
This is all great for EV affordability in China, but what about Europe and the USA? Well, sadly, the USA has a while to wait until Tesla's gorgeous vehicles are going to be attacked by lower priced options. Amazingly, US competitors are all aiming at the luxury, high priced end of the spectrum. Across the pond in Europe, common sense is being delivered to potential customers with lower priced EV options. And, let's face it, this is what it's going to take to persuade the average driver to switch.
Happily, it looks highly likely that the days of fossil-fuel guzzling cars are over, whatever your budget, as recent research by UBS says that electric cars will be 'as cheap to manufacture' as regular models by 2024, indicating the shift away from traditional vehicles is imminent.