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Bingo! The SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture Gets It

To catalyze the adoption of more sustainable transport options in the automobile sector, we need more affordable cars. We are finally starting to see more of them, especially from China. However, these vehicles are still mainly available only in China. But just like the solar panel and mobile phone revolution, these small affordable vehicles will start finding their way to more parts of the world sooner rather than later.

One of the new small EVs that I am very excited about that is about to go on sale in China is the BYD Seagull. The BYD Seagull starts from about $8,700. A brand new city EV with over 250 km range for just under $10,000 up to $14,000 or so could really change things up in the auto industry. Given a choice between a brand new $10,000 EV with over 200 km real range and a brand new ICE vehicle in a similar class, many could be compelled to go for the EV given the lower “fueling” and maintenance costs.

Another vehicle that is coming soon also in China and promises open up and catalyze the growth of the small mini electric SUV market is the KiWi all-wheel drive mini electric SUV. A mini electric SUV with a 31.9 kWh battery similar to the one in the KiWi Plus mini EV, which would give it a decent EV range that could be around 300 km (NEDC), has potential to be another game-changing vehicle. The SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture knows all about producing a blockbuster mini electric vehicle. It has had incredible success with the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV which caused so much excitement in China and has helped create a whole new market for mini electric vehicles. In just over 2 and a half years, it has sold close to a million units in China. The Mini EV is very popular in the 2nd and 3rd tier Chinese cities and is enabling people who would not have been able to afford a car to be able to get a decent affordable vehicle.

The KiWi mini electric SUV should do well. However, the SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture is not stopping there. It is about to unleash yet another cool mini EV. This time, a 5-door small EV that is larger than the Hongguang Mini EV and should be an interesting option in this small city EV category. CarNewsChina reports that a four-seat electric hatchback will enter the Chinese market in March this year starting from 70,000 RMB ($10,300). It will be called the Wuling Bingo. The Wuling Bingo will be an interesting option for EV buyers along with the upcoming BYD Seagull. CarNewsChina reports that the Bingo’s dimensions are 3950/1708/1580 mm with a wheelbase of 2560 mm. It will have two options, one with a 30 kW (41hp) and another with a 50 kW (68 hp) motor. These options  will come with a 17.3 kWh and a 31.9 kWh version with  range of 203-333 km, respectively. Another new EV for about $10,000 in China. The more the merrier! It looks like the flood gates will be open soon and we will get OEMs adding more EVs in this category. The SAIC-GM-Wuling Joint Venture gets it! We need more of these types of vehicles. Hope it can scale up any overseas plans for these types of vehicles.

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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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