Chinese P220,000 budget electric car takes on Tesla

A 220,000-peso Chinese budget electric vehicle is now outselling Tesla’s more upmarket cars.

The compact car is a big hit for state-owned SAIC Motor, China’s top automaker.

The Hong Guang Mini EV is being built under a joint venture known as Wuling with US car giant General Motors.

Last month, sales of the budget electric car in China were around double those of Tesla, which was questioned over safety issues.

While the Hong Guang Mini is the most popular model, SAIC has an upgraded one with air conditioning for just over 245,000 pesos. The cars are being marketed as “the people’s commuting tool.”

Car experts have said that while it clearly lags well behind Tesla when it comes to its battery, range and performance, its convenience and low price have made it one of China’s bestselling “new-energy” vehicles.

Launched last year, the basic model has a top speed of 100 kilometers per hour and can accommodate four people at a squeeze.

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