EV Morning News: Xpeng, Wuling, LG, MG And More

We’re back for another installment of EV Morning! Need I say it at this stage?…grab a cup of coffee and settle in for the news! We’re spanning three continents across four stories today from China to the US, through the UK and back to China again! Stay tuned for the details.  

Wuling Wonder! 

As much as I’d love a Model Y for the family, or a road trip across the US in a Lucid Air Dream Edition…there’s something in me that gets really excited by a funky little car like the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV! 

Yes, sales of the Wuling are getting stronger all the time, and total sales of the car have just passed the 400,000 mark. It’s an incredible number for the diminutive beast. With sales of just over 35,000 in September, it remains ahead of the Model Y and keeps its crown as China’s best-selling EV!  

And what’s just as exciting is that they are working on an upgraded version that is expected to nearly double the range to 300km from an upgraded battery of 26kWh and a motor increased to 30kW. Let’s hope the price doesn’t rise too much at the same time…and fingers crossed I can buy one here in the UK soon! 

MG ZS EV Refresh!  

The MG ZS EV shook up the market a little when it was launched, especially where I am here in the UK. It offered decent charging specs, good internal space and pretty good range for a very low price compared to what else was on offer.  

But now they’ve issued a refresh for the 2022 year, and the details are impressive! Aesthetically it’s a nice step up inside and out. They’ve made a huge change at the front with a sleek and moulded nose, thankfully not punctured by a closed off grille anymore. 

But the highlights of the refresh are probably the boost in range and the V2L capability. The bigger battery will now get you a WLTP figure of 440km, which is not far off 300 miles. The V2L functionality goes up to 2.2kW, and we love this! It’s starting to really expand the utility of EVs, and especially puts that utility into the hands of more people at a much lower price! 

LG to cover $1.2 billion Bolt costs  

Well, it’s been a sorry affair for the EV industry that continues to rumble on. And one of the topics of discussion when it came to the Bolt battery fire risk was who would pick up the tab for fixing this problem. 

It looks like LG have agreed to contribute $1.2 billion to the fund. LG Chem is offering up $620million, and LG Electronics will be contributing $480million. 

About 140,000 cars are expected to have their batteries replaced, or at least inspected and faulty modules replaced. The estimated cost for this was nearly $2billion. It’s a huge financial cost to the companies involved. But also there is a heavy reputational cost. The negative news is bad for the EV industry as well as GM. And although the public will associate the problem mainly with GM, it’s LG industrial reputation at risk with car manufacturers. The wider industry is watching to see how they support and stick with their partners. 

Hopefully we see an end to this story soon, but something tells me that it may go on for a while, and it may be years before reputations and relationships are smoothed out. 

XPeng hits 100,000  

We’re going to head back over to China briefly because XPeng have just made their 100,000th vehicle in the last few days. XPeng are in a very strong growth period, not just in terms of numbers of cars manufactured, but also in their geographic expansion. They are beginning to export to Europe, starting with the EV hub that is Norway. 

Although sales of the first 100,000 cars were mostly the impressive P7, their growth is likely to be represented by a larger selection. They are introducing another model to their lineup, the XPeng P5. In addition, they will be opening other manufacturing sites across China and may well hit annual production of 400,000 in the next few years. 

The wave of Chinese EVs to western markets is really only heating up at the moment! 
 
Summary 

So, let us know in the comments what you think! 

Is LG doing enough to smooth over the Bolt fire risk problem? 

Are you impressed with what Wuling and XPeng are achieving?

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