Demand for GM China-Exclusive $5000 EV Exceeds Supply by 25 to 1

The Chinese market hides a lot of country-specific models that the rest of us never get to hear about, not to mention see in real life or actually drive. In most cases, that's not something to lose any sleep over, but this tiny EV could be the exception.
Baojun E100 7 photos
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Of course, unless you live in a crowded city with nightmarish traffic and narrow streets, a microcar makes little to no sense. But for those people who get acquainted with the interior of their cars more closely than they would like to due to the countless hours spent in gridlock, they can be life-changing.

At first glance, you might find General Motors' Baojun E100 strangely similar to the smart fortwo, but then you remember this is China, the place where sales of carbon copy paper go through the roof, so it's natural for the car to closely resemble something.

However, as hard as it might be to believe it, the E100 is even shorter than Daimler's diminutive car. It has a wheelbase of 5.25 feet (1.6 meters), which is almost 0.90 feet shorter than the smart's 6.14 feet (1.873 meters). And don't expect the overhangs to add too much, which means the EV can easily be parked perpendicular to the curb.

With just two seats and not that much weight to carry around, the Baojun E100 is fitted with a 29 kW electric motor (40 hp) that also develops quite a healthy 73 lb-ft (100 Nm). That won't win you any traffic light races, but it should give the city car enough oomph to feel like a fizzy car to drive. Plus, the 12.14 feet (3.7 meters) turning radius makes it unbelievably maneuverable, which should add to the fun.

The price for the Baojun E100 is around $5,000, which is less than twice what you would pay for a decent electric bicycle. For that, you get a roof over your head, a second seat and a maximum range of 100 miles (160 km), which is more than you'll ever need for such a vehicle. But since the range allows it the odd excursion outside city borders, the E100 can also reach speeds of 62 mph (100 km/h).

If that sounds convincing enough, you won't be surprised to know you're not alone. Over 5,000 people have registered for the first 200 cars, and who can blame them? There are much worse ways you could spend $5,000.


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