When it involves electric cars, big might not always be better. Little wonder then that the small Hongguang MINI EV is one among the best-selling electric vehicles in China, the world’s biggest car market where Tesla cars otherwise have the bragging rights when it comes to battery power.
Tesla has a sizable lead in the world of electric personal mobility and has found a firm foothold in China as well. Its Model 3 may be a hot-selling model and is unrolled from its Shanghai facility, the company’s first outside of the US. But while Tesla features a cult following and Model 3 may be a preferred EV option for thousands, it’s Hongguang MINI that’s looking up, staring and now punching hard.
The Hongguang MINI hardly has the specifications, or the looks, to require on mighty Tesla. With a maximum claimed range of 170 kilometres and a licensed range of just 120 kilometres, this EV isn’t getting to last the space on highway escapades. With a 13 kWh battery pack, charging it back to full would be a fast exercise but cabin space also isn’t much to write down home about.
The Hongguang MINI measures 2,917 mm long , is 1,492 mm wide and features a height of 1,621 mm. For only reference purposes, the Alto in India is 3,455 mm in length, is 1,515 mm wide and 1,475 mm tall.
But what could also be this EV’s biggest strength is the price point at which it’s offered at. The Hongguang MINI is out there in Chinese marketplace for between 28,800 yuan and 38,800 yuan. This converts to approximately $4,112 and $5,540 or ₹3 lakh and ₹4 lakh. Even during a market like China where there are multiple options when it involves battery-powered vehicles, this price point makes Hongguang MINI a very compelling product. In January alone, 36,000 units of the EV were sold within the country, significantly above the 13,000 Model 3 units sold. “A lot of consumers don’t need anything fancy, a commute is all they ask from a car,” says Yale Zhang, founding father of AutoForesight, a Shanghai-based consultancy. “I’m all for a product just like the MINI EV.”
Tesla should be the undisputed champion with its products selling more over an extended period of your time but the Hongguang MINI‘s sales performance indicates that a comparatively inexpensive price point can also dictate the fate of EVs, especially in bigger markets.