After another 40,000 units or so in November, the total number of Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV soon will reach 500,000 - in just 18 months.
But is it safe? Recently we came across a crash test conducted earlier this year in China, which might give us glimpses of what to expect.
The Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV was crash tested against another EV - an ultra-cheap neighborhood electric vehicle (with lead-acid batteries) that's hilariously trying to resemble the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
The cars crashed at 64 km/h (40 mph) each, with a 50% offset, which turned out to be deadly to the red neighborhood electric vehicle, despite both being similar in size and weight (560 kg Wuling vs 568 kg red EV).
The neighborhood EV was completely destroyed, not giving the occupant's a chance to survive (at least the front row).
However, in the case of the Wuling Hong Guang MINI EV, things look much better. It's a small vehicle, without fancy safety systems, but the SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture envisioned a front crumple zone.
The driver would have a chance to survive with some leg and head injury. It was difficult to open the doors of the Wuling, but the battery appears to be mostly intact with only some damage.
The results: left - driver, right - passenger in the rear:
Well, if this is the result of a 50% frontal crash with a light neighborhood electric vehicle, it's scary to think what would happen if it would be a standard car (1,200-2,400 kg).
A few-times heavier standard car would potentially destroy the Wuling in a similar way as the neighborhood EV was destroyed. We believe that most of the Wuling Hong Guang MINI EVs are driving on the streets and there is always a risk that such a crash might happen.
Gallery: Wuling - Hong Guang MINI EV
Wuling - Hong Guang MINI EV specs:
- Two battery/range options
120 km (75 miles) of range using 9.3 kWh battery
170 km (106 miles) of range using 13.9 kWh battery
- top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph)
- electric motor: 20 kW peak and 85 Nm
- 4 seats
- 741 liters of space with the rear seats folded down
- 2,917 millimeters long, 1,493 millimeters wide and 1,621 millimeters high, with a 1,940-millimeter wheelbase