SAIC Motor is known in China as one of the “Big Four” Chinese automakers. In 2011 alone, for example, it produced 3.97 million vehicles. Through its luxury brand Roewe it is now getting into electric cars, unveiling earlier this week the Roewe 50 at the China Industrial Fair.
The Roewe 50, reported China Daily, will price between 220,000-240,000 yuan, or upwards of almost $38,500. Like incentives being offered in the United States through federal and state governments to help bring green technology car prices down, those being offered by Chinese governmental agencies could help one conceivably pick up this mini electric car for as low as 120,000 yuan, or just over $19,200.
SAIC Motor noted its new Roewe 50 will have a top speed of around 80 miles per hour, a 0-62 MPH acceleration of 14.6 seconds and have a range under “uniform test conditions” rated at around 111 miles. It is propelled by an electric motor with a maximum power of 52 kw and has a motor peak torque of 155 Nm, according to its technical specifications.
This electric car’s lithium iron phosphate battery has a capacity of 18 kWh and can fast charge at a higher level EV charger in 30 minutes at 80 percent energy storage capacity. A regular AC outlet, meanwhile, can fully charge the Roewe 50 in about six hours.
Not a particularly large car, the Roewe 50 looks mainly to be an urban commuter, like so many other electric vehicles we’ve seen. It targets primarily a Chinese audience that drives around 30 miles or so on a daily basis. It makes use of what SAIC says are “vehicle thermal management systems and other advanced components” to help it be a zero emissions car.
While this electric car does seem to have a lot going for it, electric car sales in China in general are struggling to meet goals set by the national government for a greener consumer fleet. A recent report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that whereas it was hoped there would be 500,000 cumulative EV sales by 2015 and 5 million by 2020, it has been something more akin to just 13,000 or so sold between 2009 and 2011 – and that total includes public sector vehicles such as buses.