General Motors seems to have no trouble producing desirable, affordable electric cars. We just don’t get them in America.
GM’s operations in China are an alternate universe to what we get here. America is trucktopia. My days in Shanghai were filled by spotting small, practical vans (made by GM-SAIC’s Wuling) and attractive all-electric and hybrid sedans, wagons, and minivans (made by Buick).
Another interesting vehicle got added to the Wuling roster, the Hong Guang MINI EV. It’s a four-seater city car, good for about 65 miles per hour and 75 miles of range. It looks good and it doesn’t cost much: 28,800 yuan, or around $4,162 USD.
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Unsurprisingly, it’s selling rather well, as Automotive News China reports:
Sales of SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co.’s latest full-electric vehicle model, an inexpensive, four-seat Wuling sedan, topped 15,000 in the first 20 days after hitting showrooms July 24.
In the same period, orders for the EV exceeded 50,000, the light-vehicle joint venture between General Motors and SAIC Motor Corp. said this month.
The early sales and orders have made the Wuling-badged vehicle the most popular EV it has rolled out, the partnership added.
I can’t say that this exact vehicle would sell abundantly well here in the United States, but it does demonstrate two things:
1. Affordable and attractive EVs do exist, just not in the American market
2. GM is fully capable of producing an up-to-snuff EV in comparison to the rest of what’s on the market, even if in America it took on the Model 3 with the rather uninspiring Bolt.
This is to say that I believe in GM, and I am confident that there is all of the engineering resources and know-how for the company to produce the all-electric vehicle that the American market wants. If it will succeed in doing so, I can’t say.