Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Review: Cheap Electric City Car

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Review: Cheap Electric City Car

A unique whine from the electric motor accompanies you as you drive alongside. Priced this reduced, there is not much insulating the car or truck from street noise. Thankfully as you’re not likely to at any time get the Mini EV a lot over 50 mph this in no way gets far too considerably of a challenge. 

Shockingly, the EV has a selector button concealed behind the steering wheel that allows you pick between Eco and Sport modes. Powering the rear wheels is an electrical motor providing 20 kW (27 hp) and 85 Nm of torque. Sport seems to be the improved of the two modes, furnishing not only a little bit smarter acceleration but also more noticeable braking regeneration. 

A person-pedal driving is not really possible, as the vehicle basically normally takes way too lengthy to sluggish down—probably because it only weighs 700 kg (1,543 lbs). Wuling is coy with regards to acceleration figures, but considering the fact that the vehicle is electric and has instantaneous torque, it isn’t unduly sluggish in town site visitors. 

There is a option between 9.3- and 13.8-kWh battery packs, which are great for ranges of 75 miles (120 km) and 106 miles (170 km), respectively, underneath the by now generous NEDC regular. Charging on a 220V offer can take 6.5 hrs for the lesser battery and a entire 9 hours for the 13.8 kWh pack.

With no quickly-charging ability, you truly are stuck employing the Mini EV as a city vehicle. Specified all the other foibles specific listed here, that is likely not a terrible matter. But as a low-priced introduction to electrical loved ones motoring, the auto is infinitely safer and greater than a scooter or motorbike. 

Even however you are not able to buy this automobile exterior of China, if we experienced to level it on WIRED’s scoring technique, we’d charitably give it a 5 out of 10 (Wired: Discount basement value for an EV. Safer than a scooter. Can seat 4. Trendy…sort of. Tired: Restricted to getting a town car. Unpleasant. Tiny protection equipment. Wayward steering.) The rating not remaining a “4” is primarily down to the significant benefit on present below, but we’d obtain it tough to overlook that deficiency of protection kit.

Speaking of worth, charges for the Mini EV at first started out at RMB28,800 ($4,389), even though the 13.8-kWh luxury Macaron version we analyzed retailed for RMB43,600 ($6,645) until finally not too long ago. But improved battery charges have witnessed selling prices rise by all-around $1,000. Astonishingly, the business is reportedly earning considerably less than $14 income on every motor vehicle.

A Mini EV for Europe and US

Photograph: Wuling

Photograph: Wuling

The lousy profit margin hasn’t stopped Wuling and its sibling model Baojun from developing far more cars and trucks in the exact same vein. Wuling had often generated microvans aimed at rural farmers and business consumers, so producing the Mini EV was a shocking transfer. 

Baojun, on the other hand, is a Wuling sub-brand aimed at the vehicle sector and was earlier to micro EVs than its mother or father business, with both equally the Clever-like E100 and E200. Each of these only seat two men and women, and the E200 is also offered in a a little bit restyled manner as the Wuling Nano, with a much more impressive motor and for a longer period ranges. Remaining two-seaters, they’ve by no means definitely sold nicely, but the E300 (aka Kiwi EV) in a lot of techniques replicates the Mini EV method, besides it expenses all around two times as significantly and capabilities a chunky robot-like visual appeal and desirable characteristics these kinds of as rapid charging.