The first images of the Baojun Yep (YueYe in Chinese) – a mini electric SUV made by a joint venture between GM, SAIC, and Wuling (SGMW) – have surfaced in China. The two-door compact SUV bears a resemblance to a Ford Bronco, only fun-sized.
GM JV’s mini electric SUV, the Baojun Yep spotted in China
The SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture (JV) is best known for the Wuling Mini EV, the best-selling fully electric vehicle in China in 2022.
Wuling Mini EV sales reached over 500,000 in 2022, accounting for nearly 10% of all pure electric vehicle sales in the rapidly expanding Chinese EV market.
The Wuling Mini began outselling Tesla in the Chinese market in 2021 after its launch the previous year, with an ultra-low starting price of just 28,800 yuan ($4,112). The small electric vehicle comes in 14 variants, with the smallest body size being 2920 mm long, 1493 mm wide, and 1621 mm tall.
Another mini electric vehicle is set to join the automaker’s lineup next month. According to Car News China, GM’s joint venture manufactures the Baojun Yep mini electric SUV, but it’s positioned under the automaker’s second brand, Baojun, which is viewed as a step up from Wuling.
The SUV will be a two-door plus trunk with the following size dimensions:
- Length: 3381 mm
- Width: 1685 mm
- Height: 1721 mm
SAIC-GM-Wuling’s micro electric SUV will be roughly 2 feet (0.6 meters) shorter than the gas-powered Suzuki Jimmy, for which Suzuki recently debuted new EV concepts of its own.
With a single, rear e-motor, the GM-made EV will deliver 68hp maximum power output with a peak torque of 103 lb-ft (140 nm) and a top speed of 62 mph. A lithium iron phosphate battery provides a driving range of 188 miles (303 km) under CLTC conditions.
From the images, the Yep resembles the exterior of a rugged SUV like the Ford Bronco, but it’s much smaller in person.
The Yep mini electric SUV will make its official debut in April, with deliveries to begin in May.
Can GM bring the mini electric SUV to the states? The Yep would be perfect for local trips, like to the beach, for example.
I know many love the bigger trucks and SUVs in the US, but a mini electric SUV may have a market. Interest in SUVs in the US continues to grow, and along with it, CO2 emissions. Despite rising EV sales, CO2 emissions from SUVs alone reached nearly 1 billion tonnes last year, according to the IEA.
A smaller, more efficient SUV can provide the perfect medium for those that want an SUV but don’t necessarily want to commit to something as big as what’s on the market today.
Tesla (TSLA) surges on strong sales in China
Tesla (TSLA) stock is surging amid data coming out of China, showing that the automaker will likely deliver a strong quarter in this important market.
At the time of writing, Tesla’s stock is up 6%, while the market is up about 1%.
This surge comes after the China Merchants Bank International released car insurance registration data.
The data shows 106,915 new Tesla vehicles registered in China between January 1 to March 19.
It is tracking ahead of the last quarter, which was a record quarter for Tesla in China, with 122,038 cars delivered.
With almost two weeks left in the quarter and Tesla often delivering more vehicles over the last few weeks of a quarter, the automaker is expected to beat its latest record in China.
China is a critical market for Tesla and electric vehicles in general. Tesla’s performance in China often makes the difference in whether it has a good quarter.
The increase in sales comes after Tesla slashed prices globally. The price cuts came to China first in early January.
Everything points to Tesla having a great quarter for deliveries in Q1 2023.
However, the attention is going to be on Tesla’s gross margin. The price cuts successfully boost sales, but they will negatively affect its gross margin.
The good news for Tesla is that it had industry-leading gross margins. They are large enough to eat the price cuts, but the investors are hoping for Tesla to still be in the double digits gross margin.
In Q4 2022, Tesla had a record of 405,000 deliveries globally. Investors are hoping for Tesla to beat that – likely only marginally.
The company has the capacity to produce about 2 million vehicles in 2023, and it wants to 10 times that by 2030. Not many people outside of Tesla fans believe that it is possible, but there weren’t many people who believed Tesla would get to a capacity of 1 million people. But it did – and more.
The world saw a record 9.6% growth in renewables in 2022
By the end of 2022, global renewable generation capacity amounted to 3372 gigawatts (GW), growing the stock of renewable power by 295 GW or 9.6%, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Renewables produced an overwhelming 83% of all power capacity added last year.
Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023, released today by IRENA, shows that renewable energy continues to grow at record levels despite global uncertainties, confirming the downward trend of fossil fuels.
Francesco La Camera, director-general of IRENA, said:
This continued record growth shows the resilience of renewable energy amid the lingering energy crisis.
The strong business case of renewables coupled with enabling policies has sustained an upward trend of their share in the global energy mix year on year. But annual additions of renewable power capacity must grow three times the current level by 2030, if we want to stay on a pathway limiting global warming to 1.5C.
While many countries increased their renewable capacity in 2022, the significant growth of renewables is concentrated in Asia, the US, and Europe. IRENA reports that almost half of all new capacity in 2022 was added in Asia, resulting in a total of 1.63 terawatts (TW) of renewable capacity by 2022. China was the largest contributor, adding 141 GW to Asia’s new capacity.
Renewables in Europe and North America grew by 57.3 GW and 29.1 GW, respectively. Africa saw an increase of 2.7 GW, slightly above 2021. Oceania continued its double-digit growth with an expansion of 5.2 GW, and South America had a capacity expansion of 18.2 GW. The Middle East recorded its highest increase in renewables on record, with 3.2 GW of new capacity added in 2022, an increase of 12.8%.
Although hydropower accounted for the largest share of the global total renewable generation capacity with 1250 GW, solar and wind continued to dominate new generating capacity. Together, both technologies contributed 90% to the share of all new renewable capacity in 2022. Solar led with a 22% (191 GW) increase, followed by wind, which increased its generating capacity by 9% (75 GW).
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Watch Hyundai’s new AI-based robot charge an IONIQ 6 [Video]
Hyundai revealed Tuesday it has developed an EV charging robot that automatically plugs in using a 3D camera-based AI algorithm. Watch how it works on the IONIQ 6 in Hyundai’s latest video below.
The Hyundai Motor Group, including the Kia and Genesis brands, became the third largest automaker globally, surpassing GM, Nissan, and Stellantis in annual volume in 2022. But it didn’t happen by chance.
Hyundai took a risk, unveiling a progressive new approach with its first dedicated electric vehicle, the boldly designed IONIQ 5.
The IONIQ 5’s success has surprised even its top leaders, attracting premium buyers from other brands. As Michael Cole, president and CEO at Hyundai Europe, explains, “after the success of the IONIQ 5,” the company is more willing to take bolder risks.
Hyundai carried the unique design to the IONIQ 6 electric sedan released last July as one of the most efficient and aerodynamic EVs to hit the market.
Together, the IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 recorded over 100,000 sales globally last year as Hyundai accelerated its EV rollout.
Hyundai plans to change the game with another bold idea, an EV charging robot.
Hyundai’s EV charging robot charges an IONIQ 6
The Hyundai Motor Group revealed its latest innovation Tuesday, the automatic charging robot (ACR) for electric vehicles.
The ACR is a one-arm robot that uses a 3D camera-based AI algorithm to plug into EVs and charge them automatically. Check out how it works with an IONIQ 6 in the video below.
The video starts with the IONIQ 6 autonomously parking itself via Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA) with the wireless charging cover control opening by itself.
The robot then gets to work with charging port recognition to detect where to plug in the vehicle. Once the charging is complete, the robot removes the charger, returning to its upright position while closing the car’s charging port.
The company’s robotics lab considered many variables for the ACR, including the car’s parking spot, the weather, potential obstacles, and the weight of the charging cable for an ultimate experience.
As a result, the robot can operate in all environments with a waterproof and dustproof grade of IP65 and can even detect possible accidents.
You will be able to see Hyundai’s newly released ACR at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show from March 31 to April 9.
Hyundai isn’t the only one developing a robot to charge your electric vehicle automatically. Ford tested a robotic EV charger to help the disabled, elderly, and others who need assistance plugging in.
Ram also unveiled an autonomous robot charger for its first electric pickup, the Ram 1500 REV. Tesla tossed around the idea of a “snake charger” several years ago.
The point of the matter is robot chargers likely won’t serve a purpose on a large scale but for those that need it (disabled, elderly, fleets), it could potentially be helpful.
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