China NEV Weekly, Episode 4: Pickup Your BingGo

China NEV Weekly

Welcome to Episode 3 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. This week with pickup trucks, a Hozon, and we are going to play bingo!

Kawei EV7

The Kawei EV7 is the first mid-size electric pickup truck by a Chinese car maker (smaller mini-pickup trucks have been around for a while). Kawei Auto became famous overnight in 2014 when they cloned the Ford F-150, they are still making that truck, and the EV7 is based on it.

The EV7 is a large double-cab truck with five seats. It is 5.6 meters long and can carry a 700 kilo load. Power comes from an electric motor with 140 hp and 210 Nm. Range is a very decent 350 kilometers, and top speed is 100 km/h.

Price including subsidies will start at 173.800 yuan, or $26.200. Whether it will be a success is a big question. Most pickup trucks are sold in small cities and the endless countryside, and that is exactly where the availability of chargers (and reliable power) is the lowest.

Roewe iEV5

The Roewe Ei5 is a small electric wagon with a big ‘n shiny grille. The Ei5 is based on the Buick Excelle GX . There will be a petrol-powered version too, which will be called the Roewe i5, without the ‘E’.

Roewe’s parent is the Shanghai Auto Industry Corporation (SAIC), also GM’s partner in the Shanghai-GM joint venture. GM has long been supplying SAIC’s own brands with platforms and technology.

The electric version however was developed solely by Roewe; there won’t be an electric Buick variant. The Ei5 has 116 hp, good for a 145 km/h top speed. Range is 300 kilometers.

FAW BingGo

Bingo! No. BingGo. With two G’s. BingGo is a new EV brand under First Auto Works. The vehicle on the photo is the brand’s first car. Name is yet unknown, so I humbly suggest ! I win!. The vehicle is draped in the usual blue detailing, and comes with razor sharp lights.

The first BingGo however is somewhat of a lazy effort. FAW did not really design it. They bought the entire car from another manufacturer, changed the front, rear, and badges; and a new car was born.

This kind of ‘vehicle development’ is very common in China, especially at the very cheap end of the EV market. Power comes from an electric motor with 47 hp, good for a 100 km/h top speed. Price will start around 70.000 yuan

Hozon E-Take

Another new brand: Hozon Auto. Not owned by a conglomerate but an independent startup, based in Zhejiang Province.  Earlier this year, they showed a fancy concept with gull-wing doors, and the E-Take is their first production car.

The E-Take will be officially unveiled in December and launch on the Chinese car market before the end of the year. The company claims a range of no less than 500 kilometer, which would make the E-Take the longest-range EV made by a Chinese brand.

Hozon Auto says their factory is almost ready. Initial annual capacity of the factory is 50.000 units. However, the company has set a sales target of 100.000 cars by 2020. That is ambitious considering the lack of brand recognition and the absence of a dealer network. But the E-Take is a good looking car, and if it really can go 500 kilometers on one charge, there will be buyers.

SouEast DX3 EV

The SouEeast DX3 EV is a compact electric SUV, based on the petrol powered DX3. SouEast is an ambitious player in China’s EV-land. They are also the owner of the DearCC EV brand we met in Episode 2.

The DX3 is dressed up in blue as well, but it is not the sky blue of most Chinese EVs, it is more a purple kind of blue. Nice to see them trying something wild.

SouEast was kind enough to announce the motor code in their media statements: TZ230XS090. Got to report what they say, right? Output is 122 hp, good for a 130 km/h top speed, and range is 310 kilometers.  The DX3 EV will hit the market in early 2018 for about 90.000 yuan or $13.560.

WEY P8

Even Lexus is impressed with the big black grille of the new WEY P8 PHEV. WEY was launched last year as a new ‘premium SUV’ brand under Great Wall Motors, positioned just above the Haval brand.

The P8 is based on the petrol-powered WEY VV7, a car with a more conventional grille. It has a lot of power, the hybrid drive train combines a 2.0 turbo petrol engine with an electric motor. Total output is 340 hp and 524 Nm, and that makes it China’s second-most powerful hybrid after the manic BYD Tang.

The P8 will be the flagship of the WEY brand, that is, until the larger VV9-series arrives. Nothing is forever. The P8 will launch in the first quarter of 2018, priced at about 200.000 yuan or $30.000. The grille alone is easily worth that.

More NEV next week!