Uncovering the GiGi EV

At the 2023 Pakistan Auto Show (PAPS), perhaps the only thing that caught the attention of the visitors was the small electric mini called the GiGi EV, which has been introduced to the market by a new player named GuGo Motors.

GIGI EV is priced at PKR 46.5 lac and can only be obtained through pre-order, with an estimated 30-day delivery time. Currently, the vehicle is being offered as CBU however the company said in the future it intends to assemble the vehicle locally.

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The electric mini is equipped with a 30 kW (40hp) / 100 Nm Permanent Magnetic Synchronous electric motor that drives the rear wheels and a 16.8 kWh (112VDC) Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery which requires up to 5 hours to fully charge using a standard 220V power supply.

GiGi EV displayed at PAPS 2023

Features include a multi-function steering wheel, climate control, electronic shift mode (Economy and Sport), and an 8.8-inch infotainment system. Safety equipment consists of driver’s side airbag, power cut-off protection during a collision, seatbelt warning, ABS with EBD, ESP, Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), ASR/TCS/TEC, ARB, auto-hold brake, Event Data Recorder (EDR), reversing camera, tire pressure monitor, parking sensors and anti-theft mechanism with remote control.

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Being a Chinese electric vehicle, many might be curious about the vehicle’s origins. In contrast to the Rinco Aria, a previously introduced Chinese-made mini EV that was touted to have American origins, the GiGi EV is, in fact, a rebadged DFSK Mini EV. If you visit the official website, you will note that the DFSK Mini EV comes available in three trims— each with a different electric motor— and the one introduced in Pakistan is the most equipped version.

Seres Mini EV Nepal NADA Auto Show 2023 Launched 1

The website also reveals more details about the vehicle, first is the driving range which shows that the EV can run up to 200 km before the battery dries up. Acceleration time (0-50km/h) is 5.1 seconds. The charging time however is 7.5 hours max as opposed to the 5 hours claimed by GuGo Motors. It is a genuine 4-seater with 2 doors and with rear seats folded down, thanks to 50:50 split seats, you can avail a generous 843 liters of luggage volume.

DFSK E1 e1692101450994

Interestingly, Regal Automobiles have recently introduced the Seres 3 EV SUV which is another electric vehicle that relates to the same principal company— DFSK. In some markets, the DFSK Mini EV is also marketed as the Seres Mini EV/ Seres E1.

2023 GIIAS DFSK Seres E1 4 850x567

More interestingly, a Regal Auto official during the unveiling of Seres 3 informed us on the condition of anonymity that the company is planning to introduce a small electric hatchback in Pakistan which will likely be a 4-door version of the DFSK Mini EV and will be priced lower than the GiGi EV. However, no information regarding the launch timeline was given.

DFSK Seres E1 PEVS 2023 1

In general, the GiGi EV is a better product—at least when measured against the EV models that were previously released in Pakistan. The public, however, still appears hesitant to buy EVs due to high electricity bills, unpredictable power supply, and a lack of EV infrastructure. But it’s encouraging that automakers are bringing electric cars to Pakistan, which is much needed given the high cost of fuel import bill the country has to bear and the worsening environmental conditions around us.

dfsk seres 1 2

Still, GiGi’s price tag of PKR 46.5 lac which is almost 75% more than that of the hotselling Suzuki Alto VXR (PKR 26.12 lac) seems too much on the higher side. Even if we take into account the EV consumption and a zero-maintenance advantage as claimed by the company, it will require almost a decade for anyone to reap the true benefits of having a small EV in terms of savings on fuel.

Related: Are Electric Cars Viable for Pakistani Consumers?

The government needs to put in a lot of effort to make small, fuel-efficient cars, including EVs, accessible to the general public. Till then, only time will tell if these pricey little EVs will be successful in our market or not.

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