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GM’s micro-EV makes big debut in China

The GM-SAIC Baojun E100

The Baojun E100 is a micro-sized offering for China’s urban commuters

US automaker General Motors is to launch its micro-EV in China this week.

In addition to being battery-powered, the two-seater Baojun E100 will be cheap – after incentives, it will cost about RMB 35,300 or US$5,300, says GM venture SAIC-GM-Wuling. Certainly that is mass-market affordable, although it should be noted that without incentives, prices start at some RMB 93,900, or about $14,100.

The E100’s wheelbase is a dainty 1.6m. Its 39HP/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. Actual capacity specifications are not forthcoming from GM, although a 2016 post from Car News China lists the battery at 115V/130aH, which would equal a pack power of about 15kWh.

The pack can be fully charged in 7.5 hours, but will also capture additional energy through a regenerative braking system.

The basic model offers an entertainment system with a 17.5cm screen, WiFi, parking sensors and a pedestrian alert system. Higher-end models have keyless entry and a touchpad.


Baojun E100 interior
Baojun E100 interior


So far the car has been released only in China, the world’s largest EV market. Small and somewhat cute, the E100’s size and price point look to be exactly what China’s urban commuters need, especially given the stringent emissions and EV sales targets the government is on the verge of imposing.

However, it is unlikely to see much of a life outside of China. Poor UK sales of Mahindra’s similarly petite, 15.4kWh e20 EV should act as a cautionary tale, with US and European consumers on the lookout for slightly more substantial offerings.


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