Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV beat Tesla Model 3 to become the best-selling electric vehicle in the world in January and February 2021
Tesla is perhaps the most popular electric car brand in the world right now, and the Model 3 was the best-selling EV in the world until recently. In 2021, the global sales of the Model 3 were beaten by a tiny made-in-China electric vehicle, named Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, which is solely available in the Chinese market!
The Hong Guang Mini EV is manufactured by SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile, a joint venture between China’s SAIC Motor and Wuling Motors, and USA’s General Motors. The vehicle was the best-selling EV in the world for the last two months. According to EV-Volumes.com, the manufacturer dispatched 36,762 units of the Hong Guang Mini EV in January 2021, compared to Tesla Model 3’s 21,589 units.
In February 2021, the dispatch figure of the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV totalled 20,167 units, while Tesla Model 3 managed to retail just 13,688 units. The biggest reason for the popularity of the former is its extremely affordable price – the little Wuling EV has a starting price of 28,800 Yuan (around USD 4,425 or INR 3.2 lakh).
The dimensions of the Hong Guang Mini EV are tiny, with a length of 2,917mm, a width of 1,493mm, and a height of 1,621mm, along with a 1,940mm wheelbase. It weighs just 665 kg and offers a maximum trunk space of 741 litres (with the rear seats folded down).
It is available with two battery options – 9.3 kWh and 13.8 kWh – which offer a maximum driving range of 120 km (around 75 miles) and 170 km (~ 106 miles), respectively, as per NEDC. The vehicle gets a single electric motor, which generates a peak power of 17.4 HP and a maximum torque of 85 Nm. The top speed of the vehicle is rated at 100 kmph (62 kmph), and it can carry up to four passengers.
According to industry experts, the Tesla Model 3 may be ahead in terms of battery specs, performance, range, and features, but the affordability and convenience factor of the Hong Guang Mini EV trump it. In July last year, Elon Musk had also addressed the fact that the Model 3 was too expensive for certain markets, and rumours about the launch of a ‘Tesla Model 2’ have been floating around since.