Tesla’s Model 3 has been beaten by the Hong Guang Mini EV to bag the prize of being the top-selling electric vehicle in the world in January and February this year, not a small feat for the relatively new hatchback. In January, compared to about 21,500 Model 3s, more than 36,000 of the tiny cars were sold and the Hong Guang led the February total as well by selling just over 20,000 units compared to just under 13,700 Tesla 3s.
China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, Wuling Motors, and US carmaker General Motors are all under a joint partnership to manufacture the diminutive vehicle that is locally referred to simply as Wuling. The Hong Guang Mini EVsells in China only for 28,800 yuan (approximately $4,500). Its features are no match for a Tesla Model 3 but so is its price.
The Hong Guang Mini EV claims to get 170 kilometers (approximately 106 miles) per charge and can reach a top speed of 100 km/h or 62 mp/h (so no drag racing in this thing). Its specs, according to The Verge include “a wheelbase of 76.4 inches, and it is just under 115 inches long, 59 inches wide, and stands about 64 inches tall. Its total weight is about 1,466 pounds.”
In other words, the electric vehicle is tall but skinny. Still, it is a four-seater and the rear seats fold down if you need storage space.
On the other hand, the 2021 base model of Tesla’s Model 3 EV gets more than 250 miles (or 400+ kilometers) per charge, and its sticker price starts at just under $40,000. “It has a wheelbase of 113 inches, is 185 inches long, 73 inches wide and about 57 inches tall. The base Model 3 weighs around 3,500 pounds.”
The Hong Guang Mini EV launched last summer, sold only in China, for the time being, was a surprise success. Some reports suggest that it may come to other markets eventually, but with the US-China relationship at this point, the US is likely low on the list.