“Some people are never sastisfied,” a friend of mine used to say. People are clamoring for electric cars that cost less, yet when manufacturers actually offer them, those same people complain they are too small, can’t drive far enough on a single charge, or don’t have gigantic interior touchscreens like the one available in the Mercedes EQS.
Those people conveniently forget that there are plenty of car buyers who don’t tow a camper, go on cross country road trips on a regular basis, or move household appliances from place to place each weekend. They just want a car that will get them to work on time, take the kiddies to soccer practice, and maybe go over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house once a year.
They also conveniently forget that entry level cars like the Hyundai Excel, Yugo, Daewoo Lanos, and Fiat 127 actually sold pretty well to people who wanted basic transportation instead of a status symbol that celebrates the joy of living a charmed life.
The least expensive electric car in Europe (excluding quadracycles like the Renault Twizy) may currently be the Dacia Spring, which sells for a touch less than $23,000 before incentives. The diminutive 3.7 meter long SUV has a 26.8 kWh battery, a range of 225 km WLTP, and seats 4 people. Keep those specs in mind while we tell you about the new Geely Geometry EX3.
Meet The Geometry EX3
Geely is hardly a household name outside of China, but the company likes to fly a bit under the radar. It owns Volvo Cars, Polestar, Lynk & Co, and the London Taxi Cab Company. In China, its domestic brand is called Geometry. This week, it introduced the EX3, a 4-meter-long electric SUV that comes with a 37.2 kWh battery, a range of 322 km NEDC, and room for 5.
The big news, though, is the price. In base trim, it sells for 59,700 RMB. Listen up, people: that equates to €7,900 or $9,200 — less than half the price of the Dacia Spring. But is it a real car? Yes, Virginia, it is. It comes with a 70 kW motor with 180 Nm of torque. It also has regenerative braking, a liquid-cooled battery pack, a digital instrument screen, a moderately sized touchscreen, and high-strength steel beams front and rear.
Sharp-eyed readers may notice a certain resemblance between the Geometry EX3 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge. That should come as no surprise, given that both cars come from companies owned by Geely.
Is that it? A decent 5 passenger electric SUV at a bargain price? Yes and no. The low price for a well equipped modern electric car is wonderful news for EV fans. But here’s the part that should cause heartburn in automotive boardrooms around the world. Geely says it is looking to export the car and other Geometry models “in due course.”
That will really set the fox among the chickens, eh? What will the anti-EV crowd complain about when perfectly good electric cars start selling for under $10,000? For those who say no one cares about such entry level cars, we have one thing to mention: the Hyundai Excel — a bare bones car that lit the fuse on Hyundai’s rise to the top tier of automobile makers. The Geometry is a much better car, which means the results could be even more spectacular.
Chinese car companies have just begun marketing their cars in foreign markets, but anyone who knows what happened when Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Kia trained their sights on US and European sales will know that history could easily repeat itself. 10 years ago, people laughed at Chinese-made cars that folded up like accordions in crash tests. They aren’t laughing any longer.
See several more pictures of the Geometry EX3 on Geely’s global website.