The Hong Guang Mini EV has Tesla’s Model 3 as the top seller electric vehicle in the world in January in February, not a small thing for the relatively new hatchback. More than 36,000 of the small cars sold in January, compared to about 21,500 Model 3s, and Hong Guang sold just over 20,000 units last month, compared to just under 13,700 Tesla 3s.
The small vehicle is manufactured under a joint partnership between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, Wuling Motors and the American car manufacturer General Motors, and is locally simply called Wuling. The Hong Guang Mini EV only sells in China for 28,800 yuan, or about $ 4,500. It claims to get 170 kilometers (about 106 miles) per charge, and can reach a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour or 62 miles per hour (so no drag racing in this thing). Its specifications include a wheelbase of 76.4 inches, and it is just under 115 inches long, 59 inches wide and about 64 inches long. Its total weight is about 1,466 pounds.
In other words, it’s long but skinny. However, the manufacturer claims that it can seat four people, and that the rear seats can sag if you need storage space. For something very small, presumably.
The 2021 base model of Tesla’s Model 3 EV, on the other hand, gets more than 250 miles per charge, and the sticker price starts at just under $ 40,000. It has a wheelbase of 113 inches, is 185 centimeters long, 73 centimeters wide and about 57 centimeters long. The base model 3 weighs about 3,500 pounds.
The Hong Guang Mini EV was launched last summer and was a surprise success, but is still only sold in China. Some reports suggest that it could eventually come to other markets, but the US is probably low on the list.
However, it’s cute.