Inside China's £6k mini-EVs: Geely Geometry Panda driven

Ultimately, though, the segment is shrinking, from almost 30% of new EVs in 2021, with sales of more than one million to below 10% last year, well down from its six-figure record, according to research from the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Two factors are at work here. One is that cities such as Shanghai are blocking the smallest EVs from schemes to restrict new licence plate allocation to EVs only. Whether you’re 3m long or 5m long, you’re still traffic. The other is that a new class of 4m-long, four-door electric superminis is expanding with prices almost as good.

The BYD Seagull, costing from the equivalent of £8100, leads the pack with 239,270 sales last year, followed by Wuling’s own Bingo at 167,764 (costing from just £6,000) and the well-regarded Leapmotor T03, which leads owner reviews on the Autohome car sales portal above the Binguo. 

“In China’s heart, we want to purchase big cars,” said one senior executive at the Beijing show. “We only purchase small cars because of price, not a desire to own one.”

Indeed, a premium mini-EV, the Arcfox Lite, was quickly discontinued due to lack of customer interest.

Around 2.2 million Smart customers have shown us that Europeans do have that desire – and Smart under its new 50:50 ownership by Geely and Mercedes-Benz is planning to return to the segment with a reborn Fortwo. 

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top