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This cutesy little car has been going viral in Malaysia’s social media space, even amidst breaking news such as the banks’ U-turn on not charging interest on car loans over the moratorium period, and even our PM’s announcement of the more relaxed Conditional MCO that will start next week. So, what’s this all about, then?
Well, one only has to look at the leaflet below to understand why this Mini EV X2 has been shared by thousands of Malaysians. If it is to be believed, you can own one of these from just RM13,800 (a huge saving over the normal price of RM18,800). And better yet, you can even purchase it with instalment plans of as low as RM159.98 per month over nine years!
A little bit of digging around led us to a Malaysian website miniev.online (no, we’re not going to link it, but you may take a look if you wish), where we found a rather comprehensive set of images and details. Now, we too are intrigued.
The brochure speaks of an “electric revolution”, with the Mini EV X2 claimed to have a homologated all-electric range of up to 120 km. It can be charged with a simple domestic power plug (up to 80% charge in five hours; a full charge takes eight hours), is rear-wheel drive and believe it or not, even has front and rear disc brakes – take that, Honda City.
Other interesting bits include a fully digital instrument cluster, automatic LED headlamps, a big nine-inch touchscreen, reverse camera and a massive 850 litre cargo space behind the two seats (85L seems more likely if the standard method of calculation is employed). It’s available in six colours too, each with matching interior panels to out-MINI the real thing.
But beyond that, the performance figures are slightly less exciting. The EV X2 accelerates from 0-50 km/h (not 100 km/h) in a full 25 seconds, has a top speed of 50 km/h or a heady 80 km/h for the “High Speed” version, and is only rated for 800 complete recharge cycles. On that last bit alone, better think twice before taking up a nine year loan, folks.
Now, dig a little deeper and the Mini EV X2 hails from China (yes we know, very surprising), courtesy of a company called the Zhejiang Today Sunshine New Energy Vehicle Industry. Back home, the citycar is called the Mine M1 – obviously an homage to its design “inspiration”.
The company also has a presence across Europe (marketed there as the Today Sunshine M1), if its rather swanky website is to be trusted. In fact, the brochure you see here comes directly from those markets, as it even claims that the Mini EV X2 can be “driven by everyone” from 16 years and up with a B1 Driving Licence. Such a pass doesn’t exist here in Malaysia, obviously.
Back to reality, should you be excited over this cute, incredibly affordable all-electric city car that is the Mini EV X2 in Malaysia? Well, it’s a no for now, as the local website is rather thin on documentation and contact numbers, though it does include a CIMB Bank account number to make payments to. Proceed at your own risk, people.
Beyond that, our media friend Abang Gan of PanduLaju.com.my has informed us that upon checking with the JPJ, there has not been any application, let alone any official green light for such a vehicle to obtain a valid Vehicle Type Approval (VTA) certificate. In short, the Mini EV X2 strictly cannot be driven legally in Malaysia.
So, what do you all think of this now? To be honest, we are shocked of the positive reception this has received, compared to the usual wrath that other China copycat models are met with here. Has Geely really paved the way for all Chinese carmakers to come to Malaysia, or is it all about the low price point? Do discuss in the comments section below.