By Shaan Khan
Image Courtesy of hongqi-auto.com
The EU has become the fastest adopter of commercialised Electric Vehicles (EVs) worldwide with its shifting economy towards sustainable energy and their proactive populations stirring away from fossil fuel cars. In fact, EVs in Sweden make up 46% of annual vehicle sales, while EVs in Norway make up a shocking 80% of annual vehicle sales!
Holding back the mass adoption of EVs in Europe is the lack of accessibility due to expensive pricing and manufacturing supply shortages. EV lithium-ion batteries are becoming a fought-over commodity in the Western world amongst vehicle manufacturers.
With China upholding the title of ‘The World’s Factory’ for decades now, Chinese manufacturers aim to continue the legacy by capitalising on the demand to supply Europe with EVs and their car parts through the power of Chinese production.
Chinese companies in total, currently hold one-third of the globe’s EV lithium-ion batteries. China is also the largest seller of EVs in the world with globally emerging EV companies such as BYD, SGMW, Chery, GAC, NIO, Geely and XPeng.
Veteran Chinese automaker, Hongqi, are officially stepping into the global EV market, bringing forth their experience and luxury branding to rival the best-in-class European car brands while benefiting from their domestic manufacturing advantage.
Hongqi historically built cars with an exclusive reputation for domestic purposes only that were commonly used by high-up officials at national events and ceremonies.
Hongqi’s first EV under their brand is the E-HS9. The model is an SUV car type that’s fully electric. The 90.0 kHw battery of the E-HS9 manages a driving range of 355 km with fast charging capability.
The E-HS9 keeps up with the most powerful EV SUVs on the market, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and with a top speed of 200 km/h.
Performance aside, the EV comes in 3 variants: Executive, Deluxe and Flagship. The interior for all variants includes a front, middle and back section seating plan. Inside, you are greeted with premium wood & leather, with fully auto-adjustable seats that offer heating, cooling and massage functions.
Spread around the interior are four individual climate control zones that provide passengers with self-catered temperatures. Passengers get to enjoy a panoramic view from the overhead skylight and can relax knowing that each passenger has an airbag on standby.
The exterior design has been described as ‘The Rolls Royce of EVs’, sharing similarities, particularly with the eye-catching grill. The vehicle also includes advanced technology, such as retracting door handles and greeting lights that project onto the ground when entering the car.
Pricing & Conclusion
Overall, the E-HS9 offers a complete package that bolsters the technology of the latest EVs on the market, while offering a luxury design that rivals European competition and undercutting their premium £300k+ price points with a starting price of £74,200.
The E-HS9 is shaping up to be a worthy contender to Western EVs and will showcase the vehicle to the European market at the eCarExpo that takes place in Göteborg, Sweden, from December 2nd to the 4th in 2022.