What do Chinese electric cars look like?

Apart from MG, Chinese electric brands are still little visible. In 2024, despite the new regulations which deprive models imported from Asia of the ecological bonus (reduced from 5,000 to 4,000 euros), they will multiply the models and begin to establish themselves in the automotive landscape. What do these “watts” look like? Quick overview of the models that are already available or are about to join the catalog of brands from China.

The style, original but consensual

Often placed under the leadership of a foreigner (BYD and Zeekr are headed by a German stylist), the design of the Chinese models seeks to assert its difference, but while striving to be consensual, because the issue is to Pleased on all continents.

The MG4, sold in France in more than 20,000 units in 2023, presents an alternation of plunging curves and sharp edges, a recipe adopted by most contemporary models. Unlike its spectacular two-part rear spoiler.

Zeekr, the high-end signature of the Geely group, to which Volvo also belongs, is playing the differentiation card by adopting a raised station wagon architecture for the 001 “crossover”. The strategy aims to attract the youngest segment of car buyers “premium” electrics.

At BYD, we prefer reassuring curves. If the Atto 3 SUV looks like a bar of soap, the medium Dolphin sedan does not soften its shape too much, although it is a little shy nonetheless. Designed to counter Tesla, the Seal (sports sedan) and Seal U (family SUV) are sharper without being totally extroverted.

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Another particularity, the colors. The color combinations are sometimes surprising in our latitudes (the BYD Dolphin combines duck blue and gray) and certain choices (the bright orange of the MG4) lack chic but allow the car to attract attention.

Battery and autonomy, strong points

Chinese cars have almost all opted for lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, a less expensive and cobalt-free technology, to which all manufacturers are in the process of joining. On the other hand, these batteries are heavier, less efficient and their recyclability seems uncertain.

Overall, the consumption level of the Chinese models that we were able to drive turned out to be low and their autonomy is within a good average (400 km to 500 km depending on the battery). Without, however, outpacing the best Europeans and Americans.

Infotainment, neat and sometimes boring

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