All-Electric SAIC Roewe E50 Hits the Market at US$37,589

Those expecting China to produce cheap but world-class EVs may be disappointed by this: the pure-electric Roewe E50 from SAIC, officially released today, comes with a price tag comparable to that of the Nissan Leaf but offers less utility. The four-seater subcompact hatchback, powered by an 18kwh battery pack, sells for 234,900 Yuan (US$37,589) before incentives.

saic roewe e50
saic roewe e50

saic roewe e50

Unlike most current EVs that are created by electrifying the powertrain of traditional models, the E50 is said to be based on an all-new platform SAIC developed specially for small pure electrics. Sitting on a 2305mm wheelbase, it is 3569mm long, 1551mm wide, and 1540mm tall. Due to extensive use of special lightweight materials, it weighs only 1080kg. About 1/3 lighter than the Nissan Leaf, the E50 employs a smaller battery pack and an electric motor delivering less power.

SAIC is pretty vague on the crucial issue of driving range. Ideally, that is, when driving at a constant speed of 60km/h, we are told, the E50 can cover up to 180km on one charge. In the real world, we expect it to reach about 110km.


SAIC Roewe E50

Nissan Leaf
Price before incentives
About US$36,000 in the US
Battery Capacity (kwh) 18

Length/Width/Height (mm) 3569/1551/1540 4445/1770/1550
Wheelbase (mm) 2305 2700
Seating Capacity 4 5
Curb Weight (kg) 1080 1521
Electric Motor: Max. Power (kw) 52 80
Top Speed (km/h) 130 150
Range 180km at a constant speed of 60km/h 76 to 169 km

The central government provides a subsidy of up to 60,000 Yuan per EV. Cities and provinces usually add 10,000-65,000 Yuan to that amount. In Shanghai, where the government is especially supportive, the E50 costs about 120,000 Yuan after all the incentives are applied. The automaker offers a 5-year or 100,000kg warranty for E50’s battery pack.

SAIC aims to deliver 200 E50s before the year-end, most of which will go to pilot programs rather than private buyers.

  Roewe E50 EV from Shanghai Auto (SAIC)
Price: MSRP (Chinese Yuan) 234,900 (before incentives and subsidies)
Date of Market Launch November 5, 2012
Battery Type LiFePo4
Battery Capacity (kwh) 18
Electric Motor Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Motor
Peak Power (kW/rpm) 28/3000
Rated Power (kW/rpm) 52/8000
Max. Torque (Nm) 155
0-50km/h Time (seconds) 5.3
0-100km/h Time (seconds) 14.6
Suspension Front MacPherson
Suspension Rear Trailing arm
Drivetrain Front wheel drive
Brakes (front/rear) Disc/drum
Top Speed (km/h) 130
Driving Range at a Constant Speed of 60km/h (km) 180
Charging Time Fast mode: 30 minutes for 10%-80%; slow mode: 6 hours
Steering EPS
Overall Length (mm) 3569
Overall Width (mm) 1551
Overall Height (mm) 1540
Wheelbase (mm) 2305
Curb Weight (kg) 1080
Tires 175/60 R13 
Front Fog Lamps S
Alloy Wheels S
One-touch Start S
One-touch Power Windows S
Power Door Locks S
Steering Wheel Multi Controls S
Smart Hold S
Digital Entertainment System S
6.5-inch Touch Display, SD/USB/AUX-IN S
Air Conditioner with Pollen Filter S
Telematics S
Energy-absorbing Steering Column S
Dual Front Airbags S
Front Row Seatbelt Pretensioners and Reminders S
Electronic Anti-theft System S
Child-proof and Crash-sensing Door Locks S
Backup Radar O

S=Standard, O=Optional, N=Not available