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If You Own The Wuling Hongguang Mini EV in Harare, Let's Talk

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This post has hadnotable changes:


The other day I went to Spur at Sam Levy’s and I noticed a tiny boxy car. Looking closer, it looked like the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, the cheapest new EV you can’t buy since it’s only sold in China. It’s the best selling Chinese EV since it cost 6K (up from 5K due to inflation). It initially had no airbags but it has them now. Range is about 120–170km (75–106 miles) which isn’t much, but should be plenty as a city car even though it takes 6 hours to charge. It’s earns them just $14 profit a car, but it’s worth it given all the tax credits they get for it.

A light blue, boxy two-doored card parked outside a building

Image ripped from Wikipedia. Created by David290 and licensed under the CC-SA-4.0 license.

I find the car fascinating as it’s an EV that’s actually cheap. It’s far perfect1, but with Zimbabwe’s car duty, it’ll come out to 10K before shipping, which while pricy compared to used cars (including hybrids), it’s much cheaper to run. Here’s a comparison with 3 cars. My initial comparison was very wrong, so here’s the updated version:

Carkm/energyEnergy CostCost for 1000km
Wuling Hongguang Mini EV 9.2kWh (100km)10.87km/kWh0.14/kwH$12.87
Honda Fit Hybrid (New)22km/l1.54/l$70
Honda Fit Hybrid (Used)16km/l1.54/l$96.25
Mazda Demio (My Current Car)11km/l1.54/l$140
{#comparison}

I’d like to apologize for initially making these comparisons more competitive than it actually was. The Wuling EV descroys everything and it’s not even close. Even if ZESA doubles tarrifs and we half petrol costs because of Mukukyu, it’s still ahead by 35%.

Nobody reads this blog but if you do and you happen to own that car, get in touch at gandiyafarai at gmail.com. Let’s have an interview.

Update

As I was migrating my blog, I wanted to add a picture of the car. In doing so, I discovered that Remeredzai at Clean Technica managed to find the owners. They’re a couple who run the environmental consultancy the Unbelievable Company and are taking orders to import the car. They had a picture of the car, but it’s a bit shit so I didn’t use it.

I thought the EV I saw was blue instead of white as the article’s picture shows, so if I did then that means that there’s two cars. Again, we can talk.


  1. Even with the inclusion of an airbag, I don’t trust it’s safety and it’ll be slaughtered in a car crash. The rear seats are pointless as well and no long distance trips, especially with 6 hour charge time. ↩︎