If you really, really want an electric car but you’ll be damned if you’ll pay more than the price of, say, a really fancy watch, then boy are you in luck. well, if you live in China, at least, because that’s the only place the SAIC-GM-Wuling-joint venture car, Baojun E100, is sold. Don’t be upset! You can always move, right?
The Baojun E100 looks a bit like the offspring of a Smart ForTwo and a Scion iQ that was abandoned and raised in a penal colony; the poor nutrition stunted its growth even more than its genetics, and the harsh prison life made it mean, hence that face.
The E100 has been in development and teased for quite some time now, but has only officially been announced a few days ago, which is when its price was revealed: after Chinese national and regional subsidies, it comes to 35,800 yuan, or just over $5,300.
That’s more than, say, a Tata Nano, but that’s still a very little amount of money for a new car, even a tiny one. Sure, its electric motor only makes 39 horsepower and the top speed is capped at 62 mph, but those are still usable numbers for a city car.
The range is said to be between 96-100 miles, which is respectable, and it even has a WiFi hotspot, parking sensors, color LCD touchscreen instruments, and integrated dash air vents that do some air filtration, a handy feature to have in China’s polluted cities.
Sure, you can find electric vehicles in China on Alibaba for even less, but those are most often limited to 25 mph and are likely to have build quality much more suspect than this GM-backed venture. GM gave us the Vega, after all, so you know you can trust them.
The E100 is just a two-seater with minimal luggage space, but for a
general-use commuter/city car it seems like it would get the job done.
Also, I do like Baojun’s badge, a stately horse’s head, derived from the Baojun name which means ‘treasure horse.’ That’s way cooler than whatever the hell that C with an arrow thing that Smart uses is.