Cuteness alert: Would you drive these small EVs?
From a $2,000 pickup to a $5,000 2-seater cabrio, Asian makers ramping up production
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WOULD YOU BUY THESE SMALL EVs? East Asia's EV makers are on a roll. For example, China saw a mere 18,000 electric vehicles (EVs) sold in 2013. This jumped to 330,000 in 2015. In 2018 more than 1 million electric vehicles were sold in the mainland. In 2020, 1.3 million EVs were reportedly sold in China. BusinessWire reports that this represented 41% of global EV sales, just behind Europe with 42% of global EV sales. China's EV market has more than 400 competitors, unseen anywhere else.
Image Credit: Screengrab
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ULTRA-COMPACT TOYOTA EV: Nikkei Asia reported earlier in the year that Toyota Motor's new two-seater ultra-compact EV will be launched in 2021. The Toyota compact EV will be priced around 1.6 million to 1.7 million yen ($15,256). The two-seater targets a modest initial sales of 100 units for business clients and local government.
Image Credit: Supplied / Toyota
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KEI MINICARS: So-called kei minicars form part of Japan’s ultimate goal to make all-new auto sales consist of electric vehicles, a major pillar in the goal of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. A kei minicar dealership in Japan's Kanagawa Prefecture. The small vehicles are especially popular in rural regions where public transport options are scarce. Japan aims to electrify nation's new car fleet by mid-2030s. © Reuters
Image Credit: Reuters
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CITY EV FROM HONDA: The Japanese are redoubling efforts to lead in EV rollout. The Honda e, with a total length of under 4 meters, can travel up 300 km on a single charge, though ev-database.org states the real range is about 170km. The new Honda e is created for the city, with a price tag of about $38,133 (€33,850). Honda is reportedly set to launch its first mass-produced electric car in October.
Image Credit: Honda / Supplied
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CURBING EMISSIONS: Automobiles account for nearly 20% of carbon emissions in Japan. In late 2020, talks kicked off in Japan on establishing a carbon offset market for the automobile industry as part of PM Yoshihide Suga's push for the country to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century, in keeping with the country’s pledge to combat climate change.
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REGULATIONS: Japan has started regulatory moves to mandate carbon trading for automakers. Sales quotas are seen as crucial to boost shares of EVs and plug-in hybrids on the back of strong sales and narrowed losses. Automobiles account for nearly 20% of carbon emissions in Japan.
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PIONEER: Among Japanese carmakers, Nissan Motors launched the series production Leaf EV. The Renault-Nissan Alliance committed $5.2 billion into its electric vehicle (EV) and battery development programs. As of December 2015, the Leaf is the world's all-time best selling highway-capable plug-in electric car with over 200,000 units sold since its introduction. The all-new Nissan Leaf.
Image Credit: Twitter
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ALLIANCE: In 2017 the Nissan-Renault Alliance announced plans to produce 12 new electric vehicles by 2022 that are made for China in China. Photo shows the Nissan e-NV200.
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2021 LAUNCH: The Nissan Ariya EV crossover, a potential competitor of the Tesla Model Y, is set for a rollout this 2021, though the move was delayed over the global chip shortage plaguing automakers globally. On Thursday (July 1, 2021) Nissan nnounced plans to build a $1.38 billion gigafactory in Sunderland, UK, together with a Chinese battery company. Nissan's plant in Sunderland makes Leaf electric cars.
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MITSUBISHI: In January, Japan's Mitsubishi unveiled its own full battery electric vehicle. Mitsubishi joined the battle for ever more affordable electric cars with plans for a sub-$18,000 vehicle. Mitsubishi reportedly plans to release the EV minicar in Asean in 2023. A Mitsubishi Imiev.
Image Credit: Twitter / @sydney_ev
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KOREAN EVS: Korean carmakers are part of the growing offerings of EVs for the domestic and global markets. Hyundai’s Porter 2 EV sold 9,037 so far, close in the heels of top-seller Tesla, which sold 11,003 Model 3 units in South Korea so far this 2021. Other top-selling EV models in the peninsula include the Hyundai Kona (8,066 units), Hyundai Nexo (hydrogen variant, 5,786), Kia Bong EV (5,357), Kia Nero (3,199), GM/Chevrolet Volt (1,579), Hyundai Ioniq EV (1,509), Kia Soul EV (380) and Renault ZOE (192), according to Statista.
Image Credit: Supplied/Hyundai
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IPHONE MAKER TO LEAD EV DRIVE?: In October 2020, iPhone contract manufacturer FoxConn announced it is developing an electric car platform that it could sell to other car companies. Foxconn is a Taiwanese company that has specialised in making iPhones for Apple. Foxconn Chairman Liu Young-way told journalists in Taipei he is targeting a 10% share of the global EV market as soon as 2025. The chassis is described as “open-source,” with customisable elements including size, wheelbase, suspension type, and battery size.
Image Credit: FoxConn
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EV MANDATE: In November 2020, China imposed a mandate on automakers requiring that electric vehicles (EVs) make up 40% of all sales by 2030. According to a series of auto industry market analyses, this move will expand the production of EVs and EV batteries enough to bring down the worldwide cost of both. China has 44% of all the EVs in the world (more than 4.5 million), and the nearly 3.2 million in Europe account for about 31%. The fastest growth in EV sales has been in Europe: a compound annual growth rate of 60% from 2016 to 2020, compared with increases of 36% in China and 17% in the U.S.
Image Credit: Reuters
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CHARGING UP: SAIC-GM_Wuling EVs are plugged in an charging stations at a roadside parking lot in Liuzhou, China.
Image Credit: AP / Reuters
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TESLA RIVAL: XPeng is currently Tesla’s leading rival in China,In late June 2021, XPeng was reportedly working to raise up to nearly $2 billion in a Hong Kong stock market listing.
Image Credit: Reuters
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SMALL CAR, BIG HIT: A very small electric car built by General Motor’s mainland Chinese venture has become a very big hit at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show. The Hongguang Mini EV Cabrio, a two-seater convertible, generated a buzz of excitement and is seen as a potential game changer in the world’s largest automotive market, after the success of other diminutive electric vehicles (EVs) in recent months. Reports have it that the $4,400 Hong Guang Mini EV is outselling Tesla in China. In China, the 10-foot-long minicar is topping 250,000 in total sales.
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HOMEGROWN: The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV is made by GM and Chinese automakers SAIC and Guangxi Automobile. The homegrown tiny car that has risen to Chinese social media stardom through a rebranding effort. In 2020, Hongguang Mini had a price starting at $4,162, and tops out at $5,607 for a fully loaded model, making it one of China's cheapest EVs.
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BATTERY OPTIONS: It has two battery/range options: 120 km (75 miles) of range using 9.3 kWh battery, and 170 km (106 miles) of range using 13.9 kWh battery. It has a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph) and seats four. Wuling MINI EV car on display at the Auto Shanghai show on April 19, 2021.
Image Credit: Reuters
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BABY PICK-UP TRUCK: Electric mini EVs are all over the place in China. This $2,000 electric truck, (model name CLZKC-009), also works as a working hydraulic dump (that costs an extra $228). It measures 3.5 meters long (11’6″) and has a payload capacity of 400 kg (880 lb). Screengrab