GM Sells 15,000 Low-Cost EVs For China In First 20 Days

Illustration for article titled GM Sells 15,000 Low-Cost EVs For China In First 20 Days
Photo: GM

General Motors seems to have no trouble producing desirable, affordable electric cars. We just don’t get them in America.

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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).

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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.

Photo: GM

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.

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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.

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Illustration for article titled GM Sells 15,000 Low-Cost EVs For China In First 20 Days
Photo: GM

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.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

santa clause

I’m going to take a wild guess that this thing would crumple up like aluminum foil in an accident. That said... holy shit. $4,000? GM could bring them over and sell them as security guard/ golf cart/ maintenance ground vehicles. Lastly... what is up with that photo shoot? Were they trying to look like it was in the US? Complete with a Budweiser and Pabst sign.