Hongguang Mini EV to receive major range boost
The Hongguang Mini battery capacity is to increase to 26 kWh (compared to 9 or 14 kWh in the current variants), which should enable an NEDC range of more than 300 km. This would also make the Mini EV eligible for subsidies in China.
According to information from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the newer version of the Hongguang Mini EV will also feature a longer wheelbase and more power, next to the significantly longer range.
The electric microcar is manufactured by a joint venture between SAIC and General Motors and sells under the Wuling brand. The vehicle has been notably successful, which is expected to further increase due to the availability of subsidies for the newer model.
The main attraction of the Mini EV has been its small size and low price, enabled by the small battery. Doubling the capacity might seem like an unwise move, but the aforementioned subsidies help balance this issue. This means the long-range version of the vehicle will likely qualify for subsidies up to RMB 16,200 (about 2,000 euros or $2,500), negating the increased cost of the larger battery.
In addition to the customer benefits, Wuling would also earn more NEV credits per car sold. These credits trade between $500 and $1000 right now, providing a small bonus, which adds up a lot quicker on smaller, high-volume cars. The Hongguang Mini EV has been the best-selling model in China for months. In July alone, 30,706 units of the very affordable microcar were sold, which is more than any other model from any other brand.
Recently, plans were also announced to begin importing the vehicle to Europe. Here, it will be sold as the FreZe Nikrob EV via the Latvian company Dartz Motorz at a starting price of 9,999 euros. Dartz says the two-door city car will offer a range of up to 200 km (124 miles) on a charge and seat four