If you believe electric cars are expensive in Europe and the USA, take a look at what China is doing. China leads the world in EV technology and infrastructure. The country is home to many EV car manufacturers; inevitably, not all Chinese EV brands will survive—some will go bankrupt, and many will be absorbed into giant conglomerates. For now, China’s EV market is buoyant and offers consumers some of the cheapest EVs anywhere in the world. Take the Wuling Starlight (Xingguang in Chinese); this Mondeo-sized EV starts at just $15,000 (9109,800 yuan).
The Wulign Starlight sedan is set to debut in both plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and all-electric (BEV) variants. Initial deliveries will prioritize customers opting for the PHEV version, with the BEV version scheduled for release in early 2024.
In its PHEV iteration, the vehicle will house an LFP battery pack, the exact capacity of this power unit is not yet known. Performance is propelled by a 100 kW motor and complemented by a 78 kW internal combustion engine.
Distinguishing itself across variants, the entry-level PHEV is equipped with a 9.5 kWh battery, granting an impressive 70 km CLTC range. Meanwhile, the top-tier trim level steps up with a substantial 20.5 kWh pack, providing a commendable 150 km range in BEV-only mode.
The Starlight boasts a chassis measuring 4835/1860/1515 mm, supported by a 2800 mm wheelbase. The EV variant is driven by a 75 kW motor. The Starlight achieves a top speed of 150 km/h, all while maintaining a trim curb weight of 1600 kg.
Wuling is part of a Sino-American collaboration between GM, SAIC, with Wuling also serving as the eponymous brand under the SGMW umbrella. Positioned in direct competition with the BYD Seagull, this affordable hatchback attempts to solidify SGMW’s presence in the Chinese automotive market.