SAIC-GM-Wuling’s Hongguang mini-EV packs a ternary lithium-ion battery unit sourced from Octillion Energy
SAIC-GM-Wuling has introduced an all-new ‘mini-EV’ for the Chinese market. Called the Wuling Hongguang, the three-door four-seater electric car seems perfect for the city. It comes in two battery variants: 9.2kWh and 13.8kWh.
Reports state that its NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) driving range is around 150-200km. This figure is more than enough for city driving or other tight traffic conditions. Its compact dimensions, small-capacity powertrain and impressive range figures make it an excellent affordable choice for daily work commutes.
The design is as simple as it can get. It may be somewhere at the bottom when it comes to looks, but that does not make it any less desirable for its intended purpose of being an easy-to-live-with EV with good packaging.
For a car spanning just 2.9 metres in length (overall dimensions: 2917mm x1493mm x 1621mm), the rear occupant spacing, though not the best, is a long stretch from being terrible. Still, the Hongguang is best suited for just two passengers and their luggage. Its wheelbase stands at 1,940mm. The rear bench can be folded down for easier cargo storage. Unless on a tight budget, it may not be the most ideal choice for a single-car garage.
Wuling’s Hongguang mini-EV features a ternary (three-unit) lithium-ion battery pack with two output choices as mentioned before. SAIC-GM-Wuling has sourced it from Octillion Energy in the US which is a sister company of China’s SinoEV. This is coupled to a 20kW (26.8bhp) motor. As one can expect from this figure, the Hongguang mini-EV is a moderate performer.
We had recently shared about the Maple 30X electric crossover from China. Produced by Fengsheng Automotive (under Zheijang Geely Holding and Kandi Technologies), the EV comes at a starting price of just $9,778 or roughly Rs 8 lakh. In the case of Wuling’s Hongguang mini-EV, the pricing is expected to start from around $6000 or Rs 4.5 lakh.
In India, electric vehicles occupy a small part of the automotive industry. In the four-wheeler category, the country has got only three desirable choices: Tata Nexon EV, MG ZS EV and Hyundai Kona. Mahindra will be joining the party soon with its eXUV300 or XUV300 Electric. Road tests have already commenced but the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown protocols may delay its introduction towards the end of this year or early next year. On the other hand, the two-wheeler market has a wide range of emission-free product choices across varied price segments.