Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV – The Best Selling EV You Never Heard Of
The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV is the best selling EV you never heard of it. The reason is because it’s sold in only one country (China), but despite that it’s the second best selling EV in the world, after the Tesla Model 3. And the reason it sells so well is because of the price. It cost only $4,500.
The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV is a battery electric microcar manufactured by SAIC-GM-Wuling. Retail deliveries began in China in July 2020 and as of January 2022, over 500,000 units have been sold, making it the best selling EV in China.
Demand for this under 10 foot long microcar went through the roof because of its low $4,500 starting price. The MINI EV is seen as a perfect tool for city driving and fitting into tight parking spots. It has proven extremely popular with Chinese social media influencers and young people. An entire sub-culture has developed around the car.
The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV has a great price, but is the a good car? Well, not really. It’s a very cheap vehicle, and that is reflected in basically everything. The interior materials are really cheap, with low plastic quality. The air conditioning is really weak and the seats are not that comfortable. It’s basically a cute steal can with wheels.
The single electric motor makes only 27 hp so acceleration is painfully slow and you would have to be pretty brave to drive it up to the top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). The Mini EV is equipped with a tiny 9.2 kWh battery capable of going 120 km (75 mi) or a 13.8kWh battery capable of 170 km (110 mi). A 26.5 kWh model is now available, with 280 kilometres (170 mi) range, and offers an optional 40 hp motor, and an improved interior.
Don’t expect to see the Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV in the US anytime soon, or ever. For one thing, the car doesn’t meet US safety standards. The only safety features in the car are seat belts and ABS. However, the new Mini EV Macaron model does offer a driver side airbag. The passenger will rely solely on the seat belt.
The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV is clearly built to a cost, and it’s that low cost that has made it so popular. At $4,500, its cost is comparable to a motorcycle. The car has attracted a cult following in China, with owners frequently modifying their vehicles to make it cuter than it already is.