BAW (Beijing Auto Works), a subsidiary of BAIC Group, have announced the launch of its Yuanbao mini electric vehicle (EV) for the Chinese market. This tiny urban-style electric car has a boxy almost cartoon-like look but is extremely practical and functional, especially for urban use.
The BAW Yuanbao three-door measures 3,162mm (long, 1,498mm wide, and 1,585 mm tall, with a 2,050mm wheelbase. A five-door version, which will be longer, is in the works too.
The Yuanbao features a rear-mounted electric motor that produces 27hp and 85Nm of torque, giving it a top speed 62mph (100kph). It will be available in two battery size options. The smaller 9.6kWh battery version will deliver 75 miles (120km) of range while the 13.6kWh battery version offers 106 miles (170km).
Best of all the Yuanbao is affordable with a price tag which ranges from ¥33,900-49,900 in China. This is the equivalent of £4,165-£6,132 ($5,060-7,450/€4,843-€7,1300) and makes it direct competitor to Wuling’s HongGuang MINI electric car which had a start price of £3,125 ($ 4,100/€3,465) on launch.
The Wuling HongGuang MINI went on to be the best selling electric car in China in 2021. The company also recently announced they are launching their latest electric vehicle (EV), the Wuling Air EV, in Jakarta, Indonesia. This model, which is a joint venture between SAIC, General Motors and Wuling (SGMW), will be available to the global market.
Earlier this year Nissan unveiled its all-new Sakura mini electric vehicle (EV) in Japan. The Sakura, which is scheduled to go on sale in Japan this summer but is not so competitively priced at approximately 1.78 million yen (£11,148/€13.142/$13,909).
We are big fans of these tiny urban electric vehicles. They are ideal for town use and affordable, which is a great way of helping to speed the transition to electric cars. Unfortunately, at present most aren’t available in Europe or the US, although we do have the Citroën Ami, which is classed as an ëlectric quadricycle.