Baojun E100 EV Availability Continuing To Expand, Price Now Only ~$7,300 — Why Doesn’t GM Offer Something Similar In US?

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The availability of the Baojun E100 electric vehicle outside of the city of Liuzhou has continued to improve in recent months, with greater availability in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (China) by the day, reportedly.

Accompanying this wider availability, the pricing for the popular SAIC-GM-Wuling model has fallen to between RMB 45,800 and RMB 58,800 ($7,310 and $9,385) when utilizing currently available subsidies. Pricing before subsidies is between $15,000 and $17,500.

I know that some of our readers don’t like it when we cover China too much, with the line of reasoning being that we have far more readers in the US and Europe, but the reality is that China is now far and away the top market in the world for plug-in electric vehicles.

The more specific reason that I have for covering this news is that, as you can see above, GM is one of the firms behind the Baojun E100 electric vehicle — a decent ultra-compact electric vehicle that can be had for only ~$7,300 brand new.

If GM was to offer something like that in the US, and actually try to sell it, the sales would be fairly high. Of course, GM is already seemingly doing what it can to limit sales of the in-demand Chevy Bolt EV as much as possible (to the sweet spot for CARB policy effectiveness), so why would it want to sell a much cheaper offering as well?

The thing is, though, that SAIC wouldn’t be selling the Baojun E100 electric vehicle in China if it wasn’t making money on it in some way, so why isn’t it possible for GM to make money selling something similar in the US?

There are of course a number of possible reasons, which no doubt add up collectively, but ultimately the refusal to do so just comes across as short-sightedness. But, then, when GM has had financial problems in the past it has literally been bailed out by the federal government of the US, so maybe leadership just doesn’t give a damn?

A final note, as is true of ordering a Tesla in the US, those in China that want a Baojun E100 electric vehicle don’t have to jump through any elaborate hoops at a car dealership to get one. All that they have to do is place an order on the company’s website, and then later pick up the model at one of the Baojun dealers in the area.

The press release provides a couple of further details: “The Baojun E100 has a length of 2,488 mm, width of 1,506 mm and height of 1,670 mm. Its battery can be charged using a standard 220V outlet. After the Baojun E100 was launched in Liuzhou last August, 11,446 units were sold in five months. The Baojun E100 accounts for 2.5% of passenger vehicles on Liuzhou’s roads.”

Image: GM

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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