Wuling Mini EV – Shaped like a Wagon R & does 170 km/charge [Update]

SAIC’s Wuling has said in a post on its Weibo account that it received more than 50,000 orders for and sold 15,000 units of the Hongguang MINI EV in China 20 days since the vehicle’s launch. Prices of the new electric car, which went on sale in July, range from CNY 28,800-38,800 (INR 3.12 lakh to 4.20 lakh).

17 July 2020

Nearly 30,000 people have pre-booked the Wuling Mini EV in China as per reports in local news outlets. While the low-cost EV is yet to launch, inexplicably, deliveries have begun in some places. Allow us to explain –

Large-scale deliveries are reported in Chengdu, Shangqiu and Linyi. In Linyi, for instance, up to 100 units have been delivered. If the selling price turns out to be lower than the pre-launch price (check below), the difference will get refunded to the customers. Wuling proudly calls the Mini EV the “people’s scooter”. The company still hasn’t revealed its official launch date but it is believed that the car would be listed at the Chengdu Motor Show that opens on July 24.

May 30, 2020

Wuling Motors has started pre-orders for the Mini EV in the Chinese market as per information coming out of local media. The city car is launched in three variants priced at RMB 29,800 to RMB 38,800 and will be delivered starting next month. Pre-launch offers include free maintenance, charging sockets and free roadside assistance.

May 20, 2020 –

Wuling Mini EV interior

Chinese media sites have carried interior images of the Mini EV released by Wuling Motors that show the dashboard and the rear seat. The dash has a simple layout with a digital instrument cluster and AC vents on top. The rear bench has a backrest angle of 20 degrees and can be folded flat to release a boot volume of 741 litres.

Last week, information was shared about the Mini EV’s battery technology on several Chinese media outlets. It is reported that the battery, covered by the manufacturer for 8 years/120,000 km comes preheating and insulation function which allows it to be charged safely and efficiently at low temperatures. The battery pack is pre-started to warm up and maintain the battery pack temperature at 20-25° C to achieve low-temperature charging efficiency.

In addition, the battery of the Mini EV has passed 16 safety test such as overcharge, over discharge, overtemperature, short circuit, fire, seawater immersion, simulated collision, etc. Under the extreme cold and high temperatures of -25 to 45 ° C, the vehicle has completed 28 tests over 300,000 kilometers. The battery is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. The vehicle comes with an intelligent battery management system which can monitor the battery status in real-time. It can be charged using a 220V three-pin plug at a household and is equipped with a high-efficiency charging gun with easy storage.

Wuling Mini EV specifications

Length (mm)2912
Width (mm)1492
Height (mm)1597
Wheelbase (mm)1940
Maximum power (kW)20
Battery capacity (kWh)13.8 & 9.2
NEDC Range (km)170 (13.8 kWh) & 120 (9.2 kWh)
Boot space (l) with rear seat folded741

May 12 2020 –

Several Chinese media outlets have reported that the Wuling Mini EV will be up for pre-order from May 28 and officially listed in June 2020. The Mini is the first fully electric model from Wuling and the micro EV will return up to 170 km travel range to a full charge.

The Wuling Mini EV is built by the joint venture between SAIC Motor, General Motors, and Liuzhou Wuling Motors. Wuling revealed the pictures of the car’s exterior and interior in the month of March showing the compact two-door four-seater with a short wheelbase perfect for narrow roads and tight parking spaces. The design has been inspired by the Kei cars of Japan but being an EV, the inside is spacious despite its compact dimensions thanks to a cab-forward design and the higher volume due to the flat roof. The Mini EV has a length of 2,917 mm, a width of 1,493 mm and measures 1,621 mm in height with a wheelbase of 1,940 mm.

The rear seat folds flat if not used and the company claims that with the seat folded down, there is space for two large suitcases behind the driver.

The Wuling Mini EV has a boxy design and looks like one of India’s favourite cars, the Wagon R, which again is based on a ‘Kei’ model. At the front, the car has a similar design to its bigger brother, the Hong Guang Plus MPV (the earlier iteration of which was sold in India as the Chevrolet Enjoy) that was launched in 2019.

A 20 kW motor drives the car, which will be offered with two battery capacities – 13.82 kWh and 9.2 kWh. The 13.82 kWh battery offers a range of 170 km (NEDC) and has an energy density of 110 Wh per kg while the 9.2 kWh offers a range of 120 km (NEDC) and has a 100Wh per kg density.

Products like the Mini EV from the Wuling portfolio would be accessible to MG Motor India if the company feels that there is a market opening up for one as MG and Wuling are part of the SAIC group. The company presented cars from different group brands at the Auto Expo including Baojun, Roewe and Maxus and the pipeline for India has models from some of these brands although in higher segments. Hence bringing down the Mini EV isn’t seen as an issue if the company senses the demand building up for it. However at this time vehicles like the Baojun E200 & E300, that have a futuristic design and better features seem to have the priority over basic vehicles from the SAIC universe.