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GM launches Menlo electric car with 250 miles of range for just ~$23,000, but you probably can’t buy it

GM has now officially launched its new Menlo electric car with 250 miles of range and confirmed a starting price of just ~$23,000, but you can’t buy it unless you are in China.

The new EV from the American automaker is sure to make some people jealous in other markets.

In October 2017, GM outlined its “All-Electric Path to Zero Emissions” and announced a new electric offensive with 20 new all-electric vehicles to launch by 2023.

The automaker also, in particular, promised to launch 2 new electric cars based on the Bolt EV within the next 18 months:

“In the next 18 months, GM will introduce two new all-electric vehicles based off learnings from the Chevrolet Bolt EV.”

As we reported last year, it has now been more than 18 months and we have yet to see those new electric vehicles.

GM disagreed with our report and claimed that they already released those two vehicles: the Buick Velite 6 EV and Baojun E200, two China-only vehicles produced by joint-venture partnerships in China.

The problem is that neither of those vehicles has anything to do with the Chevy Bolt EV and they are both only available in China.

A few months later, GM unveiled the Chevrolet Menlo EV electric car.

That vehicle seemed to be a much likely successor to the Bolt EV, but the automaker said it was only going to make it available in China – confirming a range of over 200 miles last November.

Now GM is officially launching the Chevrolet Menlo in China and making it “available in four variants priced from RMB 159,900 to RMB 179,900 after national subsidies for new energy vehicles.”

It results in roughly a starting price of ~$23,000 for buyers.

Here are a few new pictures of the Chevrolet Menlo electric car released by GM this week (not too shabby?):

Here’s the full press release from GM:

Chevrolet Menlo Electric Vehicle Launched in China

  • Has electric range of 410 kilometers
  • Offers smooth, quiet and natural driving experience

SHANGHAI –The Chevrolet Menlo sporty-looking sedan, the brand’s first fully electric vehicle in China, was launched today. Initially being offered in Beijing, the Chevrolet Menlo is available in four variants priced from RMB 159,900 to RMB 179,900 after national subsidies for new energy vehicles.

“Along with being a new energy vehicle, the Chevrolet Menlo inherits Chevrolet’s sporty DNA that dates back to its founding by race car drivers,” said Scott Lawson, general director of Chevrolet for SAIC-GM. “It will meet the performance and styling demands of our customers and at the same time provide the efficiency that new energy vehicle owners expect.”

Dynamic Design and Roomy Interior

Inspired by the Chevrolet FNR-X all-purpose sports concept vehicle, which exemplified the brand’s passion for innovation and ingenuity, the Chevrolet Menlo has lean muscularity with a fashionable blend of crossover and sporty coupe styling.

Its distinguished sharp split LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED taillights enhance the styling as well as safety. The “floating” roofline is complemented by 17-inch two-color five-spoke sport wheels.

Its interior has a stylish multi-layer center console. A 10.1-inch ultra-thin suspension type center control LCD touchscreen, 8-inch full-color TFT LCD instrument panel and multifunctional dual-width steering wheel offer a sense of science and technology while inspiring driving passion.

The Chevrolet Menlo comes with 28 storage spaces and up to 1,077 liters of cargo space. Its 1.147-square-meter panoramic skylight contributes to the feeling of spaciousness. Laminated glass provides sound insulation and heat insulation, while effectively blocking 96% of UV rays.

Efficient and Safe Electric Drive System

The Chevrolet Menlo incorporates GM’s class-leading battery technology and a new-generation highly efficient pure electric drive system that ensures a smooth, quiet and natural driving experience. It generates 110 kW of maximum power and 350 Nm of maximum torque, with electricity consumption of 13.1 kWh/100 km.

The vehicle has a constant-speed range of up to 410 km under New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) conditions on a single charge. Its battery can be fully charged to 80% of capacity within 40 minutes using a direct current (DC) fast charger.

The Chevrolet Menlo has three driving modes and three energy recovery modes. The economical, normal and sporty driving modes support base acceleration, standard acceleration and enhanced acceleration depending on users’ preferences. The energy recovery modes of light free recovery, medium efficient recovery and strong energy recovery likewise support personal preferences for a balance between driving performance and energy consumption.

In addition, the Chevrolet Menlo received certification for meeting Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) D – the highest integrity requirement for vehicles.

Advanced Connectivity and Safety

The Chevrolet Menlo features the new-generation MyLink+ infotainment system with OnStar. It not only supports over-the-air (OTA) updates, Apple CarPlay and Baidu CarLife, but also offers functions such as virtual car key, remote control and intelligent voice recognition.

Safety is a priority in the Chevrolet Menlo. Its advanced technologies include Bosch’s 9.3 Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Forward Collision Alert (FCA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Side Blind Zone Alert (SBZA), Automatic Parking Assist (APA), Following Distance Indicator (FDI) and the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

Customers are entitled to 100G of free OnStar 4G LTE data service every year and a quality assurance warranty of eight years or 160,000 km for the battery, motor and electric control systems. The warranty remains effective if the vehicle’s ownership changes, ensuring high residual value.

Electrek’s Take

I simply can’t understand why they are not launching this in other markets. It’s basically a Bolt EV but in a much more popular form factor and arguably better design.

As we previously reported, it would likely do very well in the US and Europe.

Now that we know the price is also fairly cheap, although it would likely be a little higher outside of China, it makes even more sense.

I think GM is dropping the ball big time (yet again) by not making this car available everywhere and instead focusing in China for regulatory reasons.

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