Which is the best small EV in China? We Rank the top small electric cars.

Which is the best small EV in China? We Rank the top small electric cars.

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The small electric car segment was the best performing class in the Chinese EV market in 2017, accounting for nearly 50% of all EV sales. The Chinese consumer is spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting which small electric car to buy for city use. In 2017 there were 20 A0 class EVs to select from. Consumers in 2018 are in for a treat as many of these models are to get battery upgrades providing electric ranges up to 320km (200 miles). Take into account though that this is not real world distances as most Chinese manufacturers like to quote a range at a constant speed of 60km/h.

Automakers target the youth and ride sharing markets with the A0 class EVs, presenting the EVs in bright colors and selling them through mobile platforms and hip Tesla like showrooms.


The top-performing EV in 2017 was BAICs EC180, which set a couple of EV firsts such as having the most sales for a single model in a particular month. The BAIC EV180 extended its run into 2018 and is updated to the EC220 with a range of over 200km / 126 miles. It is fascinating to see brands such as Kandi which paved the way for the A0 class segment failed to capitalize on its commanding position going into 2017. 2017 saw some auto brands entering the A0 class with one or two models. BAIC’s overall lead in the Chinese EV sector and the world for that matter is tied completely to the success of the BAIC EC series, which contribute 55% of the companies total EV sales from 6 models. BAIC’s other A0 EV, the Arcfox Lite has failed to live up to its expectations. The Arcfox Lite represents a new bread of small EVs which is packed with technology and gadgets for the younger generation.


Which is the best small EV in 2018?

So which small EV will give the BAIC EC series a run for its money in 2018? The BAIC EC180, now the EC220, is still the best performing EV for the first four months of 2018 but has not been able to breach the 10,000 mark per month which it so easily did in 2017. A couple of models recently received significant upgrades in their performances, one of which is the JAC iEV6E sports edition which now boasts a range of over 300km or nearly 200 miles. You can buy the JAC iEV6E for much less than the BAIC EC220 and get a much better range for your buck making the iEV6E a car to watch in 2018.

Kandi is not the only top performer of 2016 and 2017 that is failing in the segment where it once ruled. The ZhiDou D2 was the second best seller in 2017 but is now slipping down the rankings as it fails to keep pace with the improved ranges and luxuries of the new entrants. Zotye, which partnered with Ford to produce EVs, has also lost market share as its small EVs also fail to keep pace. It seems though that Changan has learned a thing or two making the Benni EV another contender. The Benni EV which has been around since 2016 received a range upgrade early this year and now leads the class with an electric range of 316km / 198 miles. The Changan Benni also does not cost much more than the JAC iEV6E and far less than the BAIC EC180.


Safety is a factor for Chinese EV brands.

When talking about Chinese EVs detractors, the first avenue of attack is claiming that Chinese EVs are inferior when it come’s safety standards. This might have been true in years past, but the Chinese automakers are trying hard to lose the label. JAC created a safety technology brand this month called AN+, aiming to produce vehicle technology which will eradicate fatalities by 2025. Below are pictures of one of the cheapest EVs, the SAIC Baojun E100 taking an Audi Q7 head-on and coming out to bad with the driver not sustaining serious injuries. The Baojun E100 cost below $5,000 after subsidies in certain cities.


New small EVs to expect in 2018.

You might incorrectly think wattEV2buy is a Chinese focused website, I just like to write about EVs in general and wish I could write a blog post like this on small EVs by the large auto manufacturers in the West. Unfortunately, all the action is in China, leaving me no choice but to research this exciting market. 2018 will see an explosion of EV models in China from some new and old auto brands. The trend is also to pack the cars with technology, take the Sitech DEV1 for instance. The DEV1 was showcased at the 2018 Beijing Auto Show and will be the A0 class EV with the longest range when its released later this year. DEV stands for DATA ELECTRIC VEHICLE. The DEV1 has two LCD screens, an 8-inch instrument panel and 10-inch touchscreen for the multimedia system. The DEV1 uses SiTech’s D-OS operating system which includes face recognition for entering and operating the vehicle. The SiTech DEV1 is targeted as a ride-sharing and was developed with the help of Beijing Mobike, a bike sharing company.

Other new models include two small EVs from the neighborhood EV manufacturer YGM. YGM has been manufacturing NEVs since 2009 and now shifted to producing highway capable mini vehicles.


SiTech DEV 1, YGM E-Cheng, YGM E-Line

Ranking the top small electric car to price and range.

I have listed the small EVs in China according to range and price below. Decide for yourself which EV should take the crown in 2018 and share your thoughts and reasoning in the comment section below.



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