In some parts of Asia, your least costly option for hopping on the EV hype train are these small vehicles. Chinese brand Wuling is a prominent distributor, with little competition. These glorified golf carts are capable of going 100 km/h at best. The range? Enough to cover your grocery runs, and a little further. It makes us wonder if these entry cars really are a worthy purchase.
Unless it is an impulse purchase, or you just plan to toy around with it, there is little practicality in these cube-on-wheels. Information on crash tests and overall safety is quite hazy, given the lack of testing from reputable organizations like the NCAP. One video pits it against a similar vehicle, and it performed much better. Still, we can’t say for sure on its safety, but we’ll assume that some testing has probably been done; they wouldn’t be legally sold if they didn’t pass inspections. But its weight is still a problem – it’s evil to think that, for every other vehicle bigger than a sedan, these look like hockey pucks. This is no road tripping vehicle, unless you travel on your own with minimal cargo; even then, you’ll find that having to stop once a few 100> kms for more or less 40 minutes (assuming you could find a fast charger) would be somewhat irritating.
Is this article meant to dissuade you from purchasing one? No. Admittedly, these Smart-inspired toy-shaped cars have their own appeal. Whatever reason their potential buyers have for getting one, it’s certainly not to be used as a regular vehicle. It’s funny to think that weekend cars, which may refer to convertibles and models you’d keep shiny in a garage, are now more of a personal electric car that seats two and stores little.
p dir=”ltr”>(Images sourced from Wuling)