The Auto Guangzhou 2012 running through December 2nd has highlighted successful R&D efforts by Shanghai General Motors. The Shanghai-based automaker provided an overarching Green Drive Technology Strategy that envisions broader EV adoption by 2020. This strategy includes more dynamic showrooms around China, a customer education center as well as a stronger commitment to battery-electric vehicles. A cornerstone of the Green Drive Technology Strategy should be the Sail SPRINGO EV presented during Auto Guangzhou 2012. This all-electric vehicle is the result of extensive collaboration between Shanghai GM and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center.
The heart of the Sail SPRINGO EV is an 85 kW electric motor that provides ample power for daily driving. Shanghai GM focused on ensuring driver safety with high-strength steel beams from front to back that meet international safety standards. These beams also provided ample protection for the battery pack, motor and electronic controls that can be dangerous when severely damaged. The Sail SPRINGO EV leverages regenerative braking, smart electronic controls and low-rolling resistance tires for an eco-friendly drive. Drivers can download a mobile application called Shanghai OnStar to observe battery recharging, analyze vehicle performance and modify climate controls from their phones.
A major selling point for the Sail SPRINGO EV is the relatively low cost of operation. Shanghai GM estimates that the vehicle uses about 15 kWh every 60 miles. The projected cost is $0.74 per 60 miles based on off-peak charging costs. A driver can travel about 81 miles per charge on highways though a 120-mile range is possible at speeds under 35 MPH. Commuters could not only complete several daily trips without charging but keep household budgets from dwindling under the stresses of high fuel costs.
The Sail SPRINGO EV is versatile enough for Chinese consumers looking for affordability, range and power. A top speed of 81 MPH might not be necessary for urban commuters but demonstrates enough strength for highway travel. This all-electric model hits 60 MPH from a dead stop in around 10 seconds based on Shanghai GM testing. A driver itching for more acceleration can boost motor power by 20% while sacrificing range in Sport mode. The Sail SPRINGO EV recharges fully in seven hours using a standard household outlet. The Shanghai GM/PATAC design team included three charging options including immediate charging, time-delayed charging and charging based on utility rates.
Shanghai GM, the City of Shanghai and the Chinese national government are coordinating on initial trials of the Sail SPRINGO EV starting next year. A retail price of $41,460 per unit would place this EV out of reach for almost all residents of Shanghai. The national government will provide $9,642 for each participant in the first round of trails to offset the cost. The City of Shanghai will chip in an additional $6,428 for each Sail SPRINGO EV for early adopters.
Shanghai GM also notes that a small group of buyers will obtain free license plates to further defray upfront costs. The Green Drive Technology Strategy presented at Auto Guangzhou 2012 highlights the need for collaboration to achieve greater EV adoption.