Perhaps you've been curious how these extraordinarily inexpensive Chinese electric cars stack up, not to mention what the "rules" are in China surrounding a driver's license and driving?
One of our avid readers that tends to share about the Chinese EV market on a regular basis recently shared a video of an American living in China and owning/driving a new "Beijing" BAIC EV160. Whether or not it interests you, we were truly fascinated by the information gleaned from the share.
Spartan interior yes ... but it does the job, and no American company can even come close on price!
We don't know everything, and there is such an immense amount of information out there, especially on a global level, that we can't possibly track it all down.
Anyhow, we're not here to say that this car is luxurious, spacious, or has a long range, but it does what it's set out to do, and does it well. The American market has not trodden in this territory whatsoever, though it could and should.
For ~$9,000 USD, it's actually pretty incredible. Yes, it has a Spartan interior and exterior and not a lot of bells and whistles, but that's not the point. There's not a single new ICE car in the U.S. for that kind of money, and in terms of EVs in America, it's a whole other story.
The 2018 Nissan LEAF, which is considered very inexpensive in American terms, costs over three times as much. The cheapest BEV on our shores is the smart fortwo ED ($23,800), and it's over 2.5 times as expensive as this Chinese model. Not to mention it has only two seats and is a budget-friendly city car.
According to Reuters:
"In Shanghai last year, a two-door battery electric Chery eQ cost around 60,000 yuan ($8,655) after subsidies. Without subsidies, the eQ would cost an additional 100,000 yuan or so. At this week’s Detroit auto show, General Motors showed off its latest Bolt EV, which costs around $30,000 after a $7,500 federal tax credit."
It seems that if a Chinese EV company can pull this off, any huge American company could also do so if they choose. But, sadly, it's just not the same.
The best part about this lengthy video and comprehensive review is that he shares intimate details surrounding the situation in China, purchasing the EV, driving it, getting a license, rules and regulations, etc. No matter what your country, interests, financial situation, or overall background, as an EV advocate this is truly informative. At InsideEVs, we take pride in these deep-dives, to bring you information that other publications refuse to cover. Let us know your thoughts.
Nonetheless, we found the video very enlightening and chose to share it with you. Please ... if you track down an interesting story or video, share it with us in the comment section or via email. InsideEVs has an unmatched community and we can all learn from each other.
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Video Description via Extraordinary Ugly Couch on YouTube:
This is the Beijing EV160, an electric car made in China. China is doing what American EV manufacturers by and large aren't: making a simple, practical electric car for normal people. Affordable and not fraught with all kinds of fancy technology and driver aids, the EV160 is an unpretentious electric car that's still a joy to drive.
Hat tip to Alaa!