GM Partner's Mini EV Priced From Just $4,459 Outsells Tesla Model 3 In China

Mini EV 5 photos
Photo: Wuling Motors
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Leave it up to the Chinese to further experiment with new ways of reducing costs and delivering cars that are more affordable, albeit considerably smaller in size. This newcomer has been sending a shockwave through the Chinese EV market, with sales increasing rapidly month after month!
It's called the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, a car that reportedly only took 12 months to be designed and launched into production. This project, although sold by Wuling Motors, is part of a joint venture with SAIC and General Motors, and it seems to be taking the Chinese market by storm.

It has a wheelbase of just 76.4 inches (1,940 mm), a total length of 114.8 inches (2,917 mm), a width of 58.8 inches (1,493 mm), and a height of 63.8 inches (1,621 mm). So yes, it's extremely small, and it weighs just about as much as an Ariel Atom, at 1,466 lbs (665 kg).

There are three trim levels available, which all make use of the same power unit, which is capable of nearly 27 horsepower and 62 lb-ft (85 Nm) of torque. While the lower trims will only give you a range of 74 miles (120 km), the most advanced version promises almost 106 miles (170 km), according to the official website of the manufacturer.

If this hasn't been a shocking read so far, learn that the starting price for this vehicle is just $4,459 (28,800 CNY), and it can go up to as much as $5,607 (36,200 CNY) in the top trim level. According to media reports from China and the manufacturer, the company sold 1,048 of these vehicles in June when it launched.

Then things really started moving, with 7,348 units in July, 9,510 in August, 14,495 in September, 20,631 in October, 33,094 in November, and 35,388 in December! All this while most countries are experiencing a huge decrease in sales volumes due to the ongoing health crisis. In the grand scheme of things, this means the Hongguang Mini EV has already overtaken the Tesla Model 3 as the best-selling EV on the Chinese market.

There are voices that say that the company isn't actually making money with this car, using these sales as a means of improving their New Energy Vehicle Credit quotas, a system that was implemented by the Chinese Government to push sales of electric vehicles. However, that's something only the head honchos of the GM-SAIC-Wuling joint venture know for sure.
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About the author: Dragos Chitulescu
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The things Dragos enjoys the most in life are, in no particular order: cars, motorcycles, diecast cars, and drifting. He's seen (and driven) many vehicles since he started his writing career back in 2009, but his garage currently houses a 1991 Mazda RX-7 FC3S Turbo II and a 1999 Suzuki SV650-S.
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