This range-extending IC engine on Yep SUV might be enough to eke out an extra 80 km in emergency situations
Indian car buyers are opening up to EVs like never before and carmakers are launching new EVs frequently. MG is one of the leading EV 4W brand in India. They recently launched Comet, India’s most affordable EV among the 28 available. It has a three-door design with four seats for urban commutes.
Based on the Comet is the Yep electric SUV, which was recently launched in China as an all electric mini SUV. Now, Yep is on the verge of getting an additional IC engine variant, for range extending function. Let’s take a look.
Yep SUV to get new variant
Range anxiety is the biggest negative factor in EV buying decisions right now. And is likely to be the case in the near future as well. Vice President of SAIC-GM-Wuling, Zhou Xing, is responsible for Sales and Marketing of Wuling and Baojun cars. On his Weibo account, Zhou Xing mentioned his team has brainstormed a solution to install a small ICE in engine compartment and even contacted suppliers to work out a detailed proposition.
There are speculations in place suggesting a small single-cylinder engine with around 10 kW of power (13.5 bhp) that contributes around 80 km of range. BMW had implemented a similar solution on its i3 and offered a range-extending petrol engine for emergency situations.
Under the bonnet of Yep SUV, there is a 35L “frunk” or front trunk. Currently, Baojun has utilised this space to offer a temperature-controlled area to stove hot or cold beverages. This area should be enough to inculcate a small IC engine and a small petrol tank (around 5-10L in capacity).
What about existing owners?
Baojun will not consider this as a separate trim or variant. This range-extending IC engine will be introduced as an optional extra that existing owners can retrofit as well. Speculations suggest a price of around CNY 2000 (Rs. 23K). As of now, Baojun Yep EV is launched in China priced between CNY 79,800 (Rs. 9.17 lakh) and CNY 89,900 (Rs. 10.33 lakh).
Yep EV comes equipped with a 28.1 kWh battery with a claimed 303 km range. There is a single motor (67 bhp, 140 Nm) setup on sale, with plans to introduce dual motor setup as well. It measures 3381 mm in length, 1685 mm in width, 1721 mm in height and a 2110 mm wheelbase.
On the inside, there are two horizontal screens like on MG Comet and a third screen on the rear tailgate that will show personalized text or messages to other drivers (if that tickles your fancy). Maruti Suzuki Jimny-inspired looks and cutesy off-roader appeal will be driving elements for MG Yep SUV when it is launched in India.