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GM unit Baojun expands E100 EV sales

Baojun E100

Baojun’s urban micro EV will now be available across the Guangxi region, with a subsidised pricetag of just over US$7,000

GM’s Chinese joint venture, SAIC-GM-Wuling, has announced the expansion of sales of the Baojun E100 EV.

Created in 2010, Baojun is a sub-brand of the group which produces cheaper alternatives to GM’s premium brands like Chevrolet and Buick. Last year, it also began a limited release of the E100 micro EV. Aimed at urban commuters, the two-seater E100 was offered at a rock-bottom starting price of RMB 35,300 (US$5,300) to residents of the city of Liuzhou.

The heavily subsidised price – without incentives, the E100 starts at around RMB 93,900 ($14,100) – evidently led to a runaway success for the model, with Baojun reporting that 11,446 were sold in five months since its release in August. The E100 now accounts for 2.5% of passenger vehicles on the city’s roads, it added.

Looking to build on that success, the car will now be available to more customers in more cities throughout Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Two variants will be available, and start at RMB 45,800 and RMB 58,800 (about US$7,200 and US$9,300) – prices that extend until the end of March when subsidies may be revised.

Baojun explains: “While subsidies for new energy vehicles in 2018 by the Chinese government remain uncertain, a new program was recently introduced in Guangxi. The subsidy is 50% of the current national incentive, with 40% being provided by the regional government and the other 60% being provided by the registration location of the vehicle. The original price of the Baojun E100 before subsidies is between RMB 93,900 and RMB 109,900 [US$14,900-17,500].”

Baojun E100 interior
Baojun E100 interior

In reality, the full retail price is fairly high for a 1.6m, 39-HP EV. A 29kW motor will take it to a top speed of around 100kph, while the battery offers a range of about 155 km (about 96 miles) on a single charge. Battery capacity specifications are not forthcoming, although a 2016 post from Car News China lists the battery at 115V/130aH, which would equal a pack power of about 15kWh.

However, given the massive policy push by the Chinese government, it is unsurprising to see Baojun take advantage of hefty subsidies to shift units, especially when automakers will soon be liable to ensure that they meet quotas for EV production. The real test now will be whether Baojun can maintain sales of the E100 even as subsidies are rolled back.

 

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