Hongqi, a Chinese brand known for its luxury cars, has recently unveiled details about its new electric cars, the Hongqi E001 and Hongqi E202, which are expected to hit the European market soon. The Shanghai Motor Show provided an opportunity for the brand to offer more information about its latest offerings, which promise up to 1,000 km of autonomy and a one-minute recharge, an impressive feat in the world of electric cars.
Hongqi unveils new electric cars with impressive autonomy and fast charging times
The Hongqi E202 is a large electric SUV, while the Hongqi E001 is a sedan. The former boasts CATL's Qilin battery, which allows it to travel up to 1,000 km on a single charge. However, the brand has not yet revealed the technical specifications of the vehicle. Meanwhile, the Hongqi E001 sedan is based on the FMEs platform and features wheels that can turn up to 90 degrees, which should make maneuvering the vehicle easier. The car has an estimated autonomy of 850 to 900 km on the European WLTP cycle.
The brand has not disclosed the price of its new electric cars, but industry experts anticipate it will be competitive in the market. Hongqi is also targeting exports to Europe, with Germany, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and France among its target markets.
The Hongqi E001 and Hongqi E202 are still in the concept stage, but the final versions are expected to look similar to what has been unveiled. The Hongqi E202 SUV will be launched in China in February 2024, while the Hongqi E001 sedan will be released in November 2023.
The 1,000 km autonomy promised by the Hongqi E001 sedan is currently based on the Chinese CLTC cycle. Which is known for its optimistic figures. The initial version of the car will have a 600 km autonomy on the same cycle, which can be recharged in just one minute through a battery exchange system, similar to that of Nio. This system allows drivers to exchange their car's battery at a designated station for a fully charged one, much like filling up a traditional vehicle with fuel.
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Future electric cars: 1,000 km range and a 1-minute recharge time
The Hongqi E202 SUV features an 800-volt architecture, similar to the Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan, and can recover up to 300 km in just 5 minutes. However, we do not know the maximum charging power. The SUV has also an autonomous driving system, thanks to a LiDAR installed on the roof. This allows the car to reach level 3 autonomy, which means it can manage most aspects of driving. But still requires a human driver to be present and take over in certain situations.
Hongqi is not the only Chinese brand targeting the European market with its electric cars. Newcomer Zeekr already offers electric cars with a range of around 1,000 km. The Hongqi E202 SUV could be a rival to Zeekr's 001 sedan and electric van, the 009. An importer in the Netherlands has already signed an agreement with Hongqi, and Norway markets its products.
The development of the network of charging stations around the world has accelerated. But autonomy remains a significant obstacle to the purchase of electric cars. However, solid-state batteries could revolutionize the automotive industry by enabling a single charge to cover greater distances. Several manufacturers already offer models with a range of around 1,000 km. And Hongqi's new electric cars could be a welcome addition to the market.
In conclusion, Hongqi's new electric cars, the Hongqi E001 and Hongqi E202, offer impressive autonomy and fast charging times. The cars are still in the concept stage. They could be competitive in the market. They may be a welcome addition to the European market. Autonomy is a significant concern for potential buyers. Manufacturers need to develop new technologies to address this issue.