One of the smaller pieces of news coming out of the Shanghai Auto Show last week was the unveiling of new, more colorful versions of China’s most popular electric car.
Standing out more than the new yellow, pink and green versions of the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV is its price tag. Introduced last summer at base prices of under $4,400, the new models will be staying as light on the pocketbook as they do on the road.
While the scaled-down model will retain its $4,400 price tag, models with upgraded safety features and creature comforts like air conditioning will range from $5,700 to $6,700.
The vehicle, which is about two-thirds the size of a traditional sedan, is made by SAIC-GM, a state-backed entity partially owned by GM. It features a top speed of 63 mph and has a full-charge range of just over 100 miles.
The electric format, combined with a lower price point, has made these tiny cars a hit, registering nearly twice as many sales in China as Tesla.
Since being introduced last July, GM has sold over 270,000 of the Hong Guang Mini EVs in China, which has become the largest car market in the world — more than 10 times the number of Chevy Bolts sold in the U.S. last year.
That's also nearly twice the number of Teslas sold in the country, which is impressive when you consider that China now accounts for about 20% of the electric vehicle maker’s sales.
Last year Tesla’s sales in China nearly doubled, exceeding $6.5 billion. Their least expensive vehicle, the Model 3, is five to six times more expensive than the Guang Mini.
And in case you were wondering about GM’s latest announcement regarding EVs for the U.S. market, the Guang Mini’s 115-inch length means you could almost put two of them in the same space as the upcoming Hummer EV pickup.