A new electric version of the Chevrolet Sail was launched by Shanghai GM at the 2012 Auto Guangzou Auto Show called the Sail Springo EV. This is the first ever electric car produced by a joint venture in China. This car was developed by Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) under the ‘Green to Drive’ product strategy to produce electric and hybrid vehicles. They are also trying to promote usage of these environmentally friendly cars in China.
The drive comes from a permanent magnet electric motor, a liquid cooling system and a re-chargable energy storage system. The Sail Springo also boasts of regenerative braking. This electric motor produces 114 HP of power and a massive 510 Nm of torque with top speed of 130 km/hr and a 0 to 100 km/hr acceleration time of 10 seconds. It even has a special sport button which increases the torque by 20 per cent in low and mid range.
The Chevrolet Sail Springo has a range of 130 kms in combined driving cycles and 200 kms range at constant speeds of 60 km/hr which is perfect for a everyday use city car. This is achieved by an energy consumption figure of just 15 kWh per 100 km. Recharging this car fully takes seven hours from a 220 volt connection. It can be charged by a regular socket or even a 3.3-kW charging station. Various functions of the car as well as the charging statistics can be controlled through a smartphone application as well as the owner can be warned of any malfunction in the car through it.
Due to heavy import taxes in China, like India, imported electric cars are very expensive. So local production of this car will reduce the cost to almost half of other electric cars currently in the market. Thus even a common man can think of owning such a car and do his / her bit for the environment. In China, the Sail Springo is priced at Rs. 23 lakhs (RMB 2,58,000/-), which does not include incentives of up to Rs. 8 lakhs for using an environment friendly vehicle, offered by the Chinese central Government and Shanghai Government.
With such grave environmental and pollution problems in India, this can start a new age of electric cars even for India, where at the moment there are no electric cars available. The Toyota Prius Hybrid is available but with a price tag over Rs. 30 lakhs, it makes no sense. So after China, GM should think of bringing this affordable technology to its Indian product portfolio.