China has been an innovation center as far as electric vehicles are concerned. As such, EV companies have been pumping out battery-powered automobiles, and it seems Chinese buyers can’t get enough of them. One of the fast-selling models is the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, becoming a cultural icon.
The Mini electric van is so popular it has sold more than 400,000 units since it started selling in June 2020, moving more units than Tesla’s Model Y in September, although with a slight margin. 35,169 units found their homes last month, taking the cumulative above 400,000 units. The Model Y finished the month in second place with 33,033.
With September figures, the Mini remains at the top of the New Energy Vehicle category, a spot it has occupied for thirteen months back to back. It is also way above the average monthly sales, indicating the EV is not slowing down in sales anytime soon.
The Mini is produced by a joint venture among three automakers, including General Motors, SAIC, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors. A new model with upgraded features is in the works, and it will have a 300 km range, more than double what the original version has. This will allow the Mini to qualify for subsidies and earn the joint venture more zero-emission credits. The extended range will require a bigger battery, and the new Mini will have 26 kWh, substantially more than the 9.3 kWh or 13.9 kWh in the original version.
The new Mini will have more power, courtesy of a 30 kW electric motor, a 50 percent increase over the original Mini. Prices might be higher, but the potential incentive the electric vehicle will qualify for will help to keep the cost affordable.
Following the runaway success of Mini, the coalition behind it launched another electric mini car in August, the Baojun KiWi EV. It has reportedly gathered more than 12,000 and is marketed towards younger Chinese buyers. This new EV has a range of 305 km and charges fully on DC in one hour. Prices start at $10,800.