General Motors' joint venture in China, SAIC--GM-Wuling, produces a relatively popular EV called the Baojun E100.
The E100, while not sold in North America, has garnered some attention from overseas as it's extremely affordable - costing $14,000 before incentives and as little as $5,400 when the government handouts are factored in. It will do up to 62 mph thanks to a 39 hp electric motor, can travel up to 96 miles on a single charge and can be plugged into a regular 220v outlet. It's a dream product for city dwellers - of which many Chinese citizens are.
Now GM's Baojun brand is getting ready to launch another tiny EV in the country and frankly, it looks hilarious. Car News China turned us onto this odd creation, which appears to be based on the E100, or at least closely related to it. Like the E100, it also features a 39 hp electric motor and has a top speed of 62 mph. It hasn't been officially announced, so it's not clear what it will be called yet, but the blurry badging appears to feature a letter followed by a three-digit number.
We may get a chuckle out of this odd-looking city runabout with its tiny little hood and miniature wheels, but it and the E100 on which it's likely based seem pretty ingenious. With regular cars becoming increasingly expensive and bothersome to own for city dwellers, affordable electric city cars will be much more popular going forward. Major cities are also moving to ban diesel cars, and eventually internal combustion engine vehicles as well, which will make affordable electric cars like this seem even more sensible.
North Americans will probably want something a bit more conventional than what Baojun has cooked up, but GM is certainly onto something here. How long before vehicles like this truly begin to catch on in North America's major cities?
[Source: Car News China ]
A version of this story originally appeared on AutoGuide.com .