Things happen really fast in the world of the Wuling Mini EV and related models. Unlike in the traditional fossil fuel auto industry where models would have a long 7-year or so cycle before getting a major upgrade, the Wuling Mini EV ecosystem seems to have abandoned this traditional approach.
It’s hard to believe that is has just been two years since the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV was released at the height of the global coronavirus pandemic. In those two years, the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV has had several iterations, including major upgrades that gave it a slightly longer wheelbase, a larger 26 kWh battery, up from the 9.2 kWh and 13.8 kWh in the first current models. It also got a more powerful electric motor, upgraded to 30 kW from the previous 20 kW.
The Mini EV even has a cabriolet version. The Mini EV also got a GameBoy edition as well as a trendy Macaron version. The Macaron edition comes in three fashionable new colors: Avocado Green, Lemon Yellow, and White Peach Pink. An optional solid-color roof is also available. The HongGuang Mini EV Macaron also received additional safety features through a standard driver air bag along with the anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring system, low-speed pedestrian warning system, and other functions. The car is equipped with a back-up camera and reverse parking sensors as well.
In just two years, the Wuling Mini EV has sold over 700 000 units in China. All this has not gone unnoticed. Several firms have since followed the SAIC, GM, and Wuling alliance’s lead by introducing similar vehicles. One of these new models is the Chery QQ Ice Cream. You just have to love the names Chinese automakers give to these models. The Chery QQ Ice Cream has three flavors (models). These are the Pudding, Cone, and the Sundae. Who doesn’t like ice cream? I will have a Sundae, please!
The SAIC, General Motors, and Wuling partnership is planning to produce at least 1 million of these Mini EVs a year. The success of the Hong Guang Mini EV shows that there is a huge market for these basic EVs. Many people from all parts of the world have been asking when they will get some of these affordable EV in their home countries. The original Mini EV was only available in left-hand drive, meaning that people would not be able to register them in countries such as Kenya that are right-hand drive markets. There is some good news on this front, as the new Wuling Air, the next iteration in this exciting Mini EV ecosystem, has gone into production in Indonesia (video) in right-hand drive! This exciting small vehicle was designed with the international market in mind.
The Wuling Air comes with LFP packs ranging from 17.3 kWh to 28.4 kWh that are good for between 200 to 300 km on the CLTC driving cycle. The Wuling Air may not be as cheap at the original Hong Guang Mini EV, but it will still be one of the most affordable EVs on the market. The Wuling Air is built on the Global Small Electric Vehicle (GSEV) platform, which was developed in-house by SGMW in China. SAIC, GM, and Wuling alliance now offer the Wuling Mini EV, Wuling Nano EV, and Baojun KiWi EV models, giving consumers a good choice of affordable EVs. Its really good to see that right-hand drive models are now also in the mix, giving consumers in more right-hand drive markets hope that they too could be getting access to some of these models in the near future.
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