This Electric Vehicle Overtook Tesla As The World’s Top Selling Electric Vehicle. Tesla is perhaps the most popular electric car brand in the world right now, and the Model 3 was the best-selling EV in the world until recently. In 2021, the global sales of the Model 3 were beaten by a tiny made-in-China electric vehicle, named Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, which is solely available in the Chinese market.
According to The Verge, more than 36 000 of the tiny cars sold in January compared to nearly 21 500 Model 3s, and the Hong Guang sold just more than 20 000 units in February compared to just under 13 700 Tesla 3s. The Hong Guang Mini EV sells for just 28 800 yuan (around R67 000) in its home market of China. This shows that there is surely a hunger for affordable electric vehicles, something Tesla has not managed to bring to market. According to the report, the car claims to get 170 kilometres per charge and could reach a top speed of 100km/h. According to MSN News, the diminutive vehicle is made under a joint partnership between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, Wuling Motors, and General Motors, and locally it is referred to simply as Wuling.
The dimensions of the Hong Guang Mini EV are tiny, with a length of 2,917mm, a width of 1,493mm, and a height of 1,621mm, along with a 1,940mm wheelbase. It weighs just 665 kg and offers a maximum trunk space of 741 litres (with the rear seats folded down). It is available with two battery options – 9.3 kWh and 13.8 kWh – which offer a maximum driving range of 120 km (around 75 miles) and 170 km (~ 106 miles), respectively, as per NEDC. The vehicle gets a single electric motor, which generates a peak power of 17.4 HP and a maximum torque of 85 Nm. The top speed of the vehicle is rated at 100 kmph (62 kmph), and it can carry up to four passengers.
In 2020, the Hong Guang Mini had a price starting at US$4,162, and tops out at US$5,607 for a fully loaded model, making it China’s cheapest EV. Standard safety features of the Hong Guang Mini include anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring sensors, and rear parking sensors. The Hong Guang Mini also has standard features including air conditioning, power windows, stereo system, 12 storage compartments, 741 litres of trunk space with the rear seats folded down, and the accelerator and brake pedals feature positive and negative symbols.