Roewe E1, a small pure electric car from Shanghai Automotive (SAIC), will hit Chinese market late next year without any extensive demonstration. When China Car Times colleagues tested the new MG3 last week, it is confirmed by a staff of SAIC corporate communications dept.
The E1 Concept was unveiled at Beijing Auto Show in April 2010 and became an important exhibit in Chinese national pavilion of Shanghai Exposition, which was held from May to October 2010.
Unlike most Chinese electric cars, the stylish E1 has a specially designed body and chassis, rather than plagiarizes from some global makersâ€™ conventional cars. Because the inner combustion engine disappears, the hood is very short, like BMW i3, to increase the interior room.
The E1 prototype came with an electric motor which produces an output of 47 kW. It is not very powerful, but enough to push the prototype of 1040 kg to reach 120 km/h. E1 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 16 second. Powered by a 16 kWh li-ion battery, the car can travel 135 km theoretically. The parameters of the production version are unknown, but they should be similar to the prototype.
Although SAIC is a Chinese leading carmaker and E1 looks very nice, we cannot help recalling the miserable fates of other Chinese electric cars. The BYD F3 DM, the so-called first mass produced extended-range electric car in the world, hit the market on 12 Dec 2008, but we still cannot buy one in most cities today. As for the BYD e6 pure electric car, the sales are more limited. In fact, many Chinese electric models were aiming to hit the market, but we can hardly find a dealer to buy one â€“ they are only for small-scaled demonstration or just making political achievements.
Can we buy a real E1 one year later? It is very hard to say, since Shanghai is not a leading EV demonstration city in China. The quantity of charging stations and charging posts is much less than Shenzhen and Hangzhou. To build a citywide charging network for E1 and some other EVs in just one year is impossible, the Shanghai Municipal Government has some task ahead of it if it plans to take polluting cars off the roads.