What does a sub $5,000 electric vehicle look like? Come on over to China and see the Wuling HongGuan Mini EV.
While you may not get the luxury that comes with more expensive models, the Wuling HongGuan Mini EV is surprisingly good at what it does.
The company making the car is partially owned by General Motors, the rest owned by state-controlled SAIC.
The Wuling HongGuan Mini EV is available in two variants, a model with 9.2 kWh and another with 13.8 kWh. They will take you 75 miles and 110 miles respectively on a single charge. This is by no means a vehicle for long distance, but that is understandable, given its starting price of just $4,200.
The mini car will reach top speeds of 62 mph, powered by a 13 kW electric motor. People who have driven it praise it for its good suspension and handling.
At that price, you will be doing without creature comforts that may be taken for granted with more expensive vehicles. But if you step up to $5,600, you can enjoy air conditioning and power windows.
Inside the Wuling HongGuan Mini EV, it is as Spartan as could be expected. There is a small screen for instruments and a simple radio. The seats are smaller than you are used to but they are not very uncomfortable. It will seat four people but no more. Cargo space is 741 liters with the rear seats folded down.
The Wuling HongGuan Mini EV has been doing well since its release. It sold 112,000 during the second half of last and has moved more than 270,000 in total. In January 2021 alone, the car sold 25,778 models in China. Part of its appeal is the quality of the car, when compared to other brands in the same price range.
According to Sam Fiorani of Auto Forecast Solutions: “The Hong Guang Mini is the first time a major company has stepped up with a simple EV that targets buyers looking for a real car.”
Will EV enthusiasts outside China ever be able to purchase the Wuling HongGuan Mini EV? That depends on if the maker stands by its plans to export the car overseas.