The Hong Guang Mini EV edged out Tesla’s Model 3 as the top-selling electric vehicle in the world in January and February, not a small feat for the relatively new hatchback. More than 36,000 of the tiny cars sold in January, compared to about 21,500 Model 3s, and the Hong Guang sold just over 20,000 units last month, compared to just under 13,700 Tesla 3s.
The diminutive vehicle is made under a joint partnership between China’s state-owned SAIC Motor, Wuling Motors, and US carmaker General Motors, and is locally referred to simply as Wuling. The Hong Guang Mini EV sells in China only for 28,800 yuan, or about $4,500. It claims to get 170 kilometers (roughly 106 miles) per charge, and can reach a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour or 62 miles per hour (so no drag racing in this thing). Its specs 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, it’s tall but skinny. Still, the manufacturer claims it can seat four people, and the rear seats fold down if you need storage space. For something very small, presumably.
The 2021 base model of Tesla’s Model 3 EV on the other hand, gets more than 250 miles 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 and was a surprise success, but is still only sold in China. Some reports suggest that it may come to other markets eventually, but the US is likely low on the list.
It is cute, though.