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GM Unveils $5,300 Baojun E100 Electric Car for China-only Release

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【Summary】GM plans to offer the E100 in several regions across China. Many analysts view the move as a way to solidify the automaker’s presence in the area, before Renault-Nissan releases its low-cost EVs in the country.

Michael Cheng    Aug 21, 2017 1:08 PM PT
GM Unveils $5,300 Baojun E100 Electric Car for China-only Release

The Chinese EV market is heating up; and its needs cannot be met by Tesla alone. Because of this, both local and international automakers are busy creating battery-powered vehicles specifically for tech-savvy Chinese consumers. For the local EV market, General Motors (under SAIC-GM-Wuling, the company's joint venture in China) recently unveiled the Baojun E100.

The all-electric unit boasts an affordable price tag of $5,300 – after incentives. Before government incentives, the car is priced at $14,000. Individuals who are looking for extra features can get the upper Zhixiang grade, which includes keyless entry, additional air filters and a touchpad.

Read on to learn about GM's latest effort to cater to the evolving Chinese private transportation industry.

Under the Hood

Under the hood, the E100 is just like other cars on the road today. Pedestrian alert warns the driver about obstructions around the car, while electronic and parking sensors guide the vehicle into tight parking slots. The entry-level variant comes with Wi-Fi and a widescreen infotainment system (LCD). Inside the vehicle, there is plenty of space for two adults.

"The E100 has an independent front-wheel suspension and single-arm rear suspension. Its impressive list of safety features includes anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, electric power steering, an electronic parking brake, parking sensors, ISOFIX locks for child safety seats and a pedestrian alert system," said GM, during the launch of the EV.

The E100 is powered by a lithium-ion battery, capable of providing up to 96 miles of range in a fully charged state. Recharging the power cell takes 7.5 hours (fast charging doesn't seem to be available for the car). Top speed for the EV is 62 mph, which comes from a single motor, cranking out 100 Nm of torque and 29 kW. To reduce energy consumption, regenerative braking mechanisms push power back into the unit during operation.

Can't Beat the Price

As mentioned earlier, the highlight of the EV is its astonishingly low price. At this range, the two-seater cost less than high-end luxury watches and airline tickets for long-haul flights. Perhaps what matters more is that the car is very usable around cities. Other very low priced EVs have major flaws, when it comes to battery performance, safety and top speeds (some max out at 25 mph, which great for neighborhoods – but isn't fast enough for most main roads).  

For future support on the road, it also helps that the companies responsible for releasing the vehicle have decades of experience in the competitive auto manufacturing industry.

"On July 10, SAIC-GM-Wuling began limited pre-sales of the E100 in Liuzhou, Guangxi. More than 5,000 people registered for the first 200 vehicles. Another 500 vehicles will be available starting tomorrow, with sales initially limited to Guangxi," explained the automaker.

GM is in the process of scaling operations and plans to offer the E100 in several regions across China. Many analysts view the move as a way to solidify the automaker's presence in the area, before Renault-Nissan releases its low-cost EVs in the country. 

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