Nammi 01

Is An $11,000 EV Worth Buying?

Chinese automaker Dongfeng recently launched the Nammi 01 electric vehicle (EV) hatchback that allegedly comes with up to 200 miles of driving range and a starting price of around $11,000 after conversion rates.

According to a report from Motor Trend, the Nammi 01 EV hatchback has roughly the same dimensions as the Chevy Bolt and calls to mind Chevy’s soon-to-be-discontinued EV in both its size and price point (though not even the Chevy Bolt is as cheap as the Nammi 01.) Given how successful the Bolt became after a round of price cuts, it begs the question of how a super cheap EV like the Nammi 01 would fare here in the United States.

The Nammi 01 EV Hatchback

While Dongfeng’s new EV hatchback starts at an enticing $10,530, its Quantum Architect S3 platform and e-motor setup only generate about 94 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque. The automaker claims the Nammi 01 has a top speed of 87 miles per hour, though as Motor Trend points out in their report, that’s a very generous top speed estimate for a vehicle with so little horsepower.

While American consumers love a good deal, they also love speed, so even at a price as low as $10,530, many potential buyers might have reservations about purchasing a car with so little horsepower.

Even the higher trim version of the Nammi 01, available for $14,750 after conversion rates, only comes with increased driving range, not horsepower. According to Motor Trend, Chinese buyers can choose between 31.5 kWh and 42.3 kWh LFP battery packs with as much as 205 miles or 267 miles of driving range, according to the Chinese efficiency test cycle.

The Nammi 01 has an interior that Motor Trend describes as a “pocket-sized Mercedes” aesthetic, or at least that’s what they were going for. Its color scheme is primarily black, with a handful of gray or white accents. The Nammi 01 features a sizable 12.8-inch infotainment screen on the dashboard and a 5-inch driver display. It also comes with solid Level 2 driver assistance technology such as lane keep assist, autonomous parking, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, and forward collision warning.

According to Motor Trend, Dongfeng has plans to sell the Nammi 01 (along with other EVs in their fleet) in the European market as early as this year. However, jumping to a different market will result in a price hike that could see the Nammi 01 start at around $28,000. The reason the Nammi 01 is so inexpensive in the first place is that Chinese-produced EVs benefit from the local production and gathering of materials. Still, as soon as you factor in border taxes and fees, the Nammi 01 becomes much more expensive.

There’s no chance this EV will find itself stateside due to trade agreements. However, Chinese automakers are making serious moves to produce and sell EVs in countries like Mexico, which some believe could be part of a long-term move to break into the US market.

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

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