Not quite a Nissan Leaf rival, though.
Chinese car company Baojun has launched a new product, the funky-looking E300 and E300 Plus mini EVs. The catch, they've been launched in China, with prices starting from 64,800 yuan ($9,170) and 69,800 yuan ($9,880), respectively. These little cars look like little Smart EQ fortwos and if they went on sale in the US, we're certain we could find a place for them in the tight city streets. Far removed from the world of cars such as the Porsche Taycan and the more powerful than ever Ford Mustang Mach-E, These little machines are aimed at folks who want a cheap electric runabout.
Both the E300 and E300 Plus are powered by a 31.9 kWh, packaged cleverly to give the city cars an impressive range for their size. These little cars will manage up to 189 miles according to the NEDC test cycle, and from a charging perspective, can be rallied up to 80 percent charge within one hour on a DC fast-charging system, while a full charge on a 220V socket should take 15 hours.
All that electric current flows to a rear-mounted electric motor driving the rear wheels. Power outputs are 53 horsepower and 111 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough for these small cars, and allows for a top speed of 62 mph.
The two models are differentiated only by their size and seating capacity, and while the E300 can seat two or three occupants courtesy of a 103.3-inch length over a 68.9-inch wheelbase, the E300 Plus is happy to accommodate four people. This is thanks t a longer wheelbase of 79.5 inches and an extended body measuring 113.9 inches. Both stand 64.8 inches wide and 62.5 inches tall, making them truly pint-sized.
With front McPherson independent suspension and rear double wishbone independent suspension, these little cars are exactly that; proper little cars, and should feel right at home on busy city streets. In terms of safety, Baojun has constructed the bodies of these cars from 80 percent high-strength steel, and the batteries are "wrapped in a "super-strong steel and equipped with an active power-off system for extra protection in the event of a collision."
The base model comes standard with aluminum wheels, multifunction steering wheel, digital instrument panel, and four-way adjustable front seats. Some optional extras include real-time navigation, voice-control WeChat function, as well as Baojun's intelligent connectivity system supplied by Huawei featuring AI voice interaction. The cars are available in two-tone exterior paint, combining a black upper half with your choice of Starry White, Starry Sky Powder, Starship Gray, Interstellar Blue and Star Flame Red.