Mar 19, 2021 - Economy & Business

The electric vehicle that is blowing the doors off Tesla

Picture of the Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV filled with flowers

Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV. Photo: GM

The hottest-selling electric vehicle on the planet isn't the Tesla Model 3 anymore. It was toppled in January by a pint-sized Chinese model called the Hong Guang Mini EV, reports China Daily.

Details: The four-seat city cars are flying out of showrooms thanks mostly to their irresistible starting price: $4,500, writes China auto expert Michael Dunne, CEO of the advisory firm ZoZoGo.

  • Customers have purchased 200,000 Hong Guang Mini EVs since production began last summer.

The success has surprised even its manufacturer, SGMW, a joint venture between General Motors, Shanghai Automotive Industry, and Wuling Motors.

  • They had anticipated selling about 3,000 a month, but in January sales topped 36,000.
  • It's tight for four, and clearly lags Tesla on battery range (105 miles) and performance (top speed is 62 mph). But its convenience and low price are appealing to Chinese consumers.
  • Buyers are mostly younger women in smaller cities, and the company is now marketing them not as cars, but more like designer clothing, a Wuling executive tells China Daily.
  • It has introduced fun new colors and also plans plans to unveil co-branded vehicles with big names like Disney and Nike.
Go deeper