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The Low-price Wuling Hongguang MINI Electric Vehicle Sells Well but Lack of Airbags Poses Concerns

In 2020, the Wuling Hongguang MINI, a small electric vehicle developed by SAIC-GM-Wuling, attracted the most attention in the electric vehicle market. Looking at factory shipment data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), sales of the model which was launched in July 2020 has grown at a steady pace. In August 2020, factory shipment volume reached 15,000 units. From September, over 20,000 units were shipped monthly, reaching 32,000 units in December.

So why does the Wuling Hongguang MINI sell so well? Let’s see why. The foremost reason is affordable price, that is, outstanding cost performance. The lowest grade’s selling price without air conditioner, with a cruising distance of 120km, is 28,800 CNY. The price of the highest grade with air conditioner, with a cruising distance of 170km, is 38,800 yuan CNY. It is a price setting that is affordable for consumers in small and medium-sized cities and rural areas in China. The manufacturer regards the model as an “automobile to replace walking,” and sells it as a vehicle for short-distance travel meeting the everyday travel needs of people in urban suburbs, small and medium-sized cities, and rural areas. The maximum speed of the model is 100km/h and it can also run on highways. However, due to the small size of the car’s body, when speed exceeds 80km/h, the driving stability becomes low and it is virtually impossible to achieve maximum speed.

Next, let’s look at charging. The Wuling Hongguang MINI does not support rapid charging. With ordinary charging, and it can be fully charged at 220V for 6.5 hours if equipped with a 9.3kWh drive battery or 9 hours if equipped with a 13.9kWh drive battery. Charging it with ordinary household power source is an attractive feature of the model.

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