Unlike the vehicles displayed by the other Chinese automakers present, LSGM's plans for the U.S. involve so-called neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs), of the type you'd drive around a gated community, campus, or dense urban area at low speed. Each of the models shown uses an all-electric propulsion system with a choice of lead-acid or lithium-ion batteries. Prices would range from $3800 with lead-acid cells up to $9200 with sophisticated lithium ion ones. Top speed for each is about 45 km/h, or almost 30 mph. Range is about 160 km (100 miles) with the lead-acid batteries.
This all might seem laughable, but representatives of the company were determined to be back here at Detroit next year with production examples of these vehicles — which were rough-edged but showing a lot of potential — ready for sale.
Though we're still not sure if and when a full-fledged Chinese car will go on sale in the U.S., NEV makers, such as U.S.-based GEM, beware. The Chinese are coming very soon.