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Chery QQ Ice Cream EV
Image: Chery Automobile

Cars

The Wuling Hongguang MINI EV Has A Rival: The Chery QQ Ice Cream Is Coming!

Growing up in the small border town of Mutare in Zimbabwe, I used to be fascinated by the dairy milk delivery system around the town. I also used to look forward to the weekend. This was because the ice cream man only came around our neighborhood on weekends. He would be on his 3-wheeled bicycle and would ring a bell as he went around the neighborhood to tell people he was coming.

There were two companies at that time in the late 1980s, Lyons Maid and Dairybord. My favorite was the Lyons Maid, as I thought their range of ice cream and ice lollies was better. They had the red uniform, while Dairybord had the blue uniform. So we were always on the lookout for the guys in red. My mom would give us some cash and we would buy some ice lollies and also a chocolate cone, which was my favorite. I wonder who did their market research back then, but I thought then that the ice cream man ought to come everyday and not just on weekends. Years later, Dairybord bought Lyons Maid.

Every now and then, my sister and my aunt would also take me to the central business district where there was a Dairy Den Shop and we would get some soft-serve ice cream with a Flake chocolate bar on top. They called it a Choc 99. During my high school days, we moved to Harare, the largest city in Zimbabwe, which is also the capital city. In Harare we would go to the Milky Lane and get some banana splits or get some chocolate sundaes at Creamy Inn. There was also an iconic ice cream parlor called Scoop that was in Avondale, which served Italian style Gelato. We used to go there a lot with my father.

So, as you can see, I really liked ice cream. At university in Pretoria, South Africa, we used to travel to Germany and other places to do some ion beam physics experiments. We had a collaboration with an institute in Jena, where we would go to do some ion implantation, among other things. Ion implantation is technique used to introduce controlled concentrations of impurities into materials. In this process, atoms from the desired material are ionized, then accelerated and directed towards a target. The kinetic energy of the ions enables them to penetrate into the lattice of the target material. During these ion-solid interactions, ions gradually lose energy when they interact with target atoms as they move through the solid until they stop at a certain depth within the solid. It was during one of my trips to Germany in 2009 that I had another exciting encounter involving ice cream. One day, my friends Thomas and Franchesca said they wanted to take me to a place where I could get a sundae that I could not finish. I was like, “Bring it on, let’s go!” So we got on a train from Jena to Erfurt. We went to this ice cream parlor, and wow, I had this amazing sundae that I could not finish, just as they had told me earlier that I would struggle to finish it.

This morning, thanks to this tweet from Greg Kable, I found a potential new favorite range of ice cream flavors I would be very interested in. Chery is bringing the Wuling Hongguang MINI EV style Chery QQ Ice Cream! According to Greg’s Tweet, the Chery QQ Ice Cream has three flavors (models). There are the Pudding, Cone, and the Sundae. Who doesn’t like ice cream? I will have a Sundae, please!

Chery QQ Ice Cream Specs:

  • L/W/H/WB: 2980/1496/1637/1960mm
  • 4 seats
  • E-motor: 20kW, 85Nm
  • 2 battery choices: 9.6 and 13.9 kWh
  • Range: 120 and 170km

According to CarNewsChina, the Chery QQ Ice Cream is the first car under the iCar Ecology. CarNewsChina also says, “iCar Ecology has signed deals with Haier and Alibaba Cloud to develop cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) services that will connect the vehicle to other internet-connected devices at home, at the office, and at other places like shopping malls and restaurants.”

The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV is creating an awesome new market and as expected, other firms are following with similar models.  The good thing is these firms are not messing around with these ~$5,000 small city EVs, but are actually making a serious effort to market and sell them. The Wuling MINI EV, which has sold over 400,000 units since its launch less than 2 years ago, has already had several updates, including a convertible version and the fashionable Macaron range. The Macaron edition comes in trendy colors, such as Avocado Green, Lemon Yellow, and White Peach Pink. Now, Cherry is getting in on the act with its Pudding, Cone, and Sundae Ice Cream range.

The Wuling MINI EV is coming to Ghana, a sign that these types of vehicles will soon start getting to other markets outside China. SAIC, GM, & Wuling recently announced that they will release an upgraded longer wheelbase and longer range version of their smash hit MINI EV. The blockbuster MINI EV’s latest upgrade will give it a slightly longer wheelbase and a 26 kWh battery — up from the 9.2 kWh and 13.8 kWh in the current models. It is also getting a more powerful electric motor, upgraded to 30 kW from the previous 20 kW. The upgraded MINI EV will now qualify for subsidies thanks to the much improved range of more than 300 km on the NEDC cycle.

Will we see a similar upgrade to the Chery QQ Ice Cream in the near future? We will have to wait and see. This means consumers will be able to buy the new MINI EV with almost double the range for almost the same price as the previous 13.8 kWh version — not bad for a 26 kWh LFP battery-powered ~$5,500 EV. These type of vehicles will get better over time and they will make a significant contribution in the transition to electric mobility.

The majority of consumers want affordable vehicles with a decent range. A sub-$7,000 EV with a range of around 200 km will fulfill the needs of a lot of people. We need to have more of these EVs around the world.

 
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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since. At university he continued to explore materials with applications in the energy space and ending up doing a PhD involving the study of radiation damage in High Temperature Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactors. He has since transitioned to work in the Solar and Storage industry and his love for batteries has driven him to obsess about electric vehicles.

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