The Hong Guang MINI EV has experienced strong sales in China since it was first released in the market back in 2020, with the automaker selling over 200,000 examples of the battery-powered city car in just 12 months of sales.
Priced from the equivalent of just over $4,000 USD in China, it’s easy to see why the Hong Guang MINI EV has been such a sales success, although there is one catch to that absurdly low sticker price. According to Chinese car site XCar, GM’s Chinese joint venture partner Wuling makes just 89 RMB on each new Hong Guang MINI EV it sells – equivalent to just $14 USD.
As XCar points out, there’s a little more to this story than meets the eye. China runs a green car credit program that awards automakers with credits for producing eco-friendly cars like EVs and takes them away for producing regular internal combustion engine vehicles. Companies that cannot meet their targets are allowed to purchase credits from other automakers, enabling those companies that have credits in excess to make a small profit off them. One credit is worth about 3,000 RMB, equivalent to around $460 USD, and each Hong Guang MINI EV produced nets Wuling two credits.
The Hong Guang MINI EV is a four-seat hatchback with around 105 miles of driving range. It’s powered by a single front-mounted electric motor producing 17.4 horsepower and 62.7 pound-feet of torque, giving it a top speed of 62 mph. SAIC-GM-Wuling also recently unveiled a new version of the Hong Guang MINI EV called the Macaron, which comes with additional equipment, including more active safety features, LED headlamps, vintage-look wheel covers, a more powerful 27 horsepower electric motor and a range of bright exterior colors developed by Pantone. Pricing for the MINI EV Macaron starts at $5,750.