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China Is Exporting Its Obsession with Tiny Electric Vehicles

Saturday February 25, 2023. 07:34 PM , from Slashdot
Long-time Slashdot reader destinyland shared this report about the boxy little Wuling:

Priced at around $5,500 and famously outselling Tesla in China, it's a tiny, comically square car, produced in joint partnership with General Motors and SAIC. The micro EV has been fodder for articles and YouTubers — even while it's remained unavailable outside China.

Until last summer, that is, when Wuling attempted to go international. First stop: Indonesia. With its Air model selling at a mere $16,000 — less than half the price of alternatives — the minimalist EV was depicted in advertising as a gateway to the future, a slick solution for busy Indonesian city-dwellers.

Six months later, the Wuling Air now dominates EV sales in the country, according to the Association of Indonesia Automotive Industries (Gaikindo). Since entering Indonesia last August, it's sold some 8,000 vehicles. The number may be small compared to the manufacturers' sales figures in their home turfs of the U.S. and China, but it's equivalent to 78% of the EV market in the Southeast Asian country....
It's not perfect; customers complain of battery failure and the anxiety of finding charge points. But the price tag counts for a lot.... A $48,000 Nissan Leaf or Hyundai Ioniq is way out of most Indonesians' price brackets. But a Wuling — $16,000 for standard range, which lasts 250 kilometers on a full charge, and $20,000 for long-range, at 450 kilometers — is achievable.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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