Wuling Mini EV (full name Wuling Hongguang Mini EV) comes from the groupation SAIC-GM-Wuling (abbreviated SGMW). SGMW makes commercial and consumer vehicles sold in China under the names Wuling and Baojun, respectively. Over the summer, the average number of units sold for this model was around 35,000 per month. To put it into a perspective, other EV carmakers from China could not reach these numbers with all their vehicles combined(Nio had 10,628 deliveries worldwide in September, with Xpeng right behind it at 10,412).
What makes Wuling Mini EV appeal to such a large customer base is the fact that it is small, compact, and under $5000. We’re used to new electric vehicles coming out every month, with prices of $30k, $40k and above, which can be high for a lot of people. But for $5000, well, most of the people would be able to afford the car. What’s more interesting is, that according to Wuling, 72% of Mini EV owners were born after 1990. Now, what is behind this popularity? Let’s find out.
Wuling Mini EV – what it offers
- top speed: 100km/h
- two battery options: 9.2kW with 120km (70miles) of range and 13.8kW with 170km(105miles) of range
- $4500 and $5000 versions – the latter one comes with air conditioning
- cheaper version does not have airbags ~ the vehicle is not crash proof
- 2 doors, 4 seats
- cargo space of up to 740 liters with seats folded down
- no fast charging, charging port is behind the logo on the front
That is the gist of it. The motor is mounted on the rear, making it a rear-wheel drive. You’d think, with the battery size, that this car could not move for more than 30 miles. But due to its size, the weight of only 665kg (1500lbs), and non-taxing technology, the vehicle gains more on the range. The most overlooked thing about Wuling Mini EV is that it has no real competition. We cannot compare it to Tesla, Nio, Byd, or anyone else, as no company has made the electric vehicle of these dimensions.
To encourage the use of electric vehicles, the Chinese government provides free and guaranteed license plates. In many cities, getting a license plate for a petrol engine might take months, if not years, through multiple auction procedures. This is one of the factors that influence all-rising EV sales in China.
“China’s government is serious about pollution reduction and becoming the global lead in adopting and promoting innovation of electric vehicles,” – Shaun Rein, managing director of the China Market Research Group
A look on the interior
Simple lines are paired with two-color textured materials on the inside. Four-way adjustable front chairs and rear seats with a 20-degree backrest angle add to the relaxing atmosphere. Climate controls are in the center. Wuling Mini EV’s interior comes with 12 storage compartments.
Window buttons are directly above the shifter, which can take some time to get used to. The vehicle has a regular key, and one digital screen, showing all the main parameters on it.
The most occurring material on the inside is plastic. We cannot take it amiss, as the mission of this vehicle was to be as cheap as possible, and that comes at the expense of comfort. The cargo opening is too high and too small. Wuling Mini EV offers 740 liters of cargo space, with the seats folded. Keep that in mind, because if you decide to go shopping with 3 of your friends in this car, you will not have a place for the groceries.
The vehicle is simple, practical, and can be parked almost anywhere, due to its size. There is no fun in driving, and the space is very limited. For someone looking for a car solely as of means of transport in shorter distances, this can be a great buy. But, if you’re looking for something that you’re going to use for longer trips, where you will bring friends, and just need more comfort and safety features, you should dodge this model and go for Tesla Model 3 or something similar.
Check out the Reviews page if you want to see what the current EV market has to offer.