New $5,000 Electric Car Is Already Outselling The Model 3

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Surprisingly, there's room for four people in this tiny city car.

For years, Elon Musk has promised Tesla will launch a small electric car that costs less than $25,000 to slot below the Model 3 and Model Y. This will be much cheaper than the most affordable Model 3, the Standard Range Plus model, which starts at $37,990.

Development of Tesla's long-promised affordable city cars seems to be gathering pace, as Tesla China President Tom Zhu recently confirmed it will be built in China and sold as a global model, with testing due to start later this year. While this will help make electric cars more appealing to a mass audience, China has already launched an electric car that costs less than $5,000. Built by SAIC-GM, a joint venture between General Motors and China's SAIC Motor, it's called the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, and with a price tag of just 28,800 yuan ($4,460) it's one of the cheapest EVs in the world.

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A more popular model equipped with air conditioning will set you back just over $5,000. While the Hong Guang Mini EV offers significantly less range and performance than any Tesla, its convenience and low price have made it one of China's bestselling "new-energy vehicles." This category includes battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

Billed as "the people's commuting tool," the entry-level Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV can travel up to 74 miles on a single charge and has a paltry top speed of just 62 mph, making it ideal for city driving and short journeys. It can also be charged from a standard outlet for added convenience. Despite measuring less than 118 inches long and 59 inches wide, up to four occupants can snugly fit inside the boxy EV.

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According to Nikkei Asia, 112,000 units of the Hong Guang Mini EV were sold in China between July and the end of 2020, making it the country's second best-selling EV after the Tesla Model 3. However, the Hong Guang Mini EV outsold the Model 3 on a monthly basis in China and is believed to be the second best-selling EV in the world, beaten only by, you guessed it, the Model 3.

At this rate, this new cheap electric city could be on track to outsell the Model 3 in China this year. To boost sales, Wuling is planning to sell the Hong Guang Mini in Europe, but the price will reportedly be twice as high due to environmental requirements.

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Source Credits: Nikkei Asia

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