GM launches two-seater EV in China
If you have never heard of the car brand Baojun, it is not a surprise; it is one of the smaller brands that GM operate, in their JV with SAIC-GM-Wuling in China. Baojun very much specializes in small sedans and hatchbacks, but is now adding a two-seater electric vehicle to its line-up and it is causing quite a buzz. More than 5,000 comrades signed up to purchase one of the first 200 to be produced in the first production run.
Looking like the illegitimate off-spring of a Smart Four Two and a Scion iQ that has spent a bit of time doing hard labour, the Baojun E100 has been being teased to the public for some time, which probably accounts for the demand. The car is reportedly designed for the urban commute and will travel with two passengers a claimed 155 kilometres on a single charge, with the Li-ion battery system taking a full charge in a mere 7.5 hours.
Oh yeah, I am young and trendy…
This is GM’s attempt to combat the plans that Renault and Nissan have for launching an ultra-affordable electric car, one that Carlos Ghosn has been talking about so much in the press. But really just how affordable is the E100? Not very, really; the real sticker price is US$14,000 or thereabouts, and the only way it becomes affordable is by claiming a raft of Chinese Government incentives that bring it down to US$5,300, at current exchange rates. So, about as affordable as a fancy watch for now, but as the citizens of Denmark discovered, sometimes the subsidies can be removed.
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The car is very much targeted at the younger motorist, though, and contains all the expected Wi-fi connectivity and touchscreen technology that we have become used to. However, and even though the name Baojun means Treasure Horse in Chinese, it would appear that GM has forgotten to add any stallions to the E100 and the top speed for the pint-sized horsey is just 110kph. Still, like their logo.