This is the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV. It became available in June. Since then it has outsold Tesla. It has grabbed 50,000 orders in these few short months. Already this sold 15,000 in August. Will it come to America? Does it translate to American tastes? It looks cute but why is it such a hit in the top car market in the world?
There are a number of reasons why this mini EV is a hit, and why it might appeal to the US
There are a number of reasons why it is a hit, and why it might appeal to American needs. First, it’s cheap. The base price converted to dollars is $4,162. Loaded out the door it sells for $5,607. 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, great audio system, and the pedals feature a positive or negative symbol, whatever that means? It also features electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).
If you live in the city what more would you need?
It seats four. It is powered by a 13 kW electric motor with 17.4 hp and 62.7 lb-ft of torque. This featherweight 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?
And that’s the secret of the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV. If you live in Boston or Los Angeles what more would you need? Plus, it costs you almost nothing with zero emissions and virtually zero maintenance.
Plans are in the works to sell the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV in Europe. We suspect it will sell well there. But what about the US? Micro electric vehicles are getting a bit more attention here.
The mini EV is a joint venture with General Motors
First, this is a joint venture with General Motors. So there is a US connection. GM seems to have its hand in many outside ventures which this is but one. Would GM consider a US marketing attempt? Probably not now.
GM likes to play it safe. Can you blame it? When it does venture out of its safety zone as with the EV1 it quickly pulls in not aware of its strength. Then it lags behind for years trying to catch up to what it already achieved. Like with the EV1.
Wuling Hong Guang needs to to parcel out a few dozen to typical US drivers
We think the best advice to Wuling Hong Guang is to parcel out a few dozen to typical US drivers. Then after a certain mileage cap gets the driver’s input to see what is good, what is bad, and what is strange. Armed with that information, Wuling Hong Guang can incorporate responses and suggestions to the product.
Those of us at MotorBiscuit would be more than willing to be part of that experiment. Just saying…