Competition in the market for electric mini cars in China is heating up again. Here we have a new competitor: the Geely Panda mini. It is a two door 2+2 seat city car with a ‘cute’ design and a very low price. The Panda mini will battle it out with cars like the Wuling Mini EV, the Chery QQ Ice Cream, the Changan Lumin Corn, and the BAW Yunbao. These cars are primarily aimed at ladies, hence the cuteness and often-pink coloring.
The Geely Panda mini was originally called the Geometry M2. Geometry is another brand under the Geely Group, making affordable EVs. However, the company then decided to shift the vehicle to the Geely brand, and rename it to Geely Panda mini (吉利熊猫mini). Strangely though, the car still carries these GEOME naming, short for Geometry, we presume. The word ‘mini’ is part of the name, but Geely spells it without a capital M. A typical Geely naming mess like we have seen so many times before.
This brand new pink example was seen in a Geely shop. Geometry cars are sold via a separate dealer network. It looks very cool with a ultra boxy body and two tone paint. The rear-side window is especially interesting. Geely says design of the Panda mini was inspired by the panda. The lights are the eyes and the wheels are the claws. It is not the first time Geely launches a panda inspired car. From 2009 until 2016 the company sold the Geely GLeagle Panda. It also had headlights for eyes. GLEagle was a sub-brand, then a brand, and was then killed-off.
The Geely Panda mini is a rear-wheel drive car. The motor sits on the rear axle. The battery pack is located in the middle in the bottom. The charging port is at the front. Geely sells two variants of the Panda mini. The base car has a 27 hp / 85 Nm electric motor and a 9.61 kWh battery pack. Top speed is 100 km/h and range is 120 kilometers CLTC. The top-spec variant has a 41 hp / 110 Nm electric motor and a 17.03 kWh battery back. Top speed is 100 again and range is 200 kilometers CLTC.
The Panda mini is a minuscule car: 3065/1522/1600, with a 2015 millimeter wheelbase. It is relatively light: the 9.61 kWh version has a curb weight of 715 kilo and the 17.03 kWh version a curb weight of 715 kilo.
The interior is as pink as the exterior. There are a lot of plastics but it all comes together nicely. It has a 9.1 inch letter box instrument panel and an 8 inch screen for the infotainment. The drive selector is located on a small platform between the seats.
The rear axle and motor.
The steering wheel and seats have GEOME branding too. The seats in the back are just big enough for the kids. The seats do look nice in this two-tone pink-white color scheme. Even the handle of the mechanical handbrake has a pink trim!
The shape of the opening is interesting. Wider atop than at the bottom.
Time to talk about money! These cars are cheap. Very cheap. The 27 hp version starts at only 39,900 RMB (5,879 USD) and the 41 hp car starts at 49,900 RMB (7,353 USD). That isn’t much money for a four-seat city car with a range of 120-200 kilometers.
Yes, I can see a panda there.
Images via Autohome.
I cannot understand WHY, in such a small, City-Car, the designers would WASTE, the space behind the two front seats by installing two more USELESS, TINY, seats in the rear, of such a TINY vehicle..? Why not simply make it a far, more, user-friendly vehicle, by simply increasing, the amount of leg-room that is available for the two front seats, and then just leave the space behind them, available as a larger, amount of Cargo space, for carrying the owners groceries, and other shopping items..??
Children. These cars are sold to people at that age where they are new parents or may become a parent during their time with the car.