Volvo parent Geely reveals $9,000 Geometry EV for China, bullish on battery swapping

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Chinese automaker Geely Auto Group, the parent company of Volvo, recently unveiled a new electric car for its home market that will start at the equivalent of just $9,200.

The Geometry EX3 is the latest model from Geely\’s all-electric Geometry brand. At 157.6 inches long (with a 97.6-inch wheelbase), 69.2 inches wide, and 62.0 inches tall, the five-seat crossover is about the same height and width as the current United States-market Honda HR-V, but substantially shorter.

A 37.2-kwh battery pack provides 200 miles of range on the NEDC testing cycle, according to Geely. The NEDC cycle is a bit more optimistic than the EPA testing cycle, so a comparable U.S. range figure would be somewhat lower. DC fast charging will enable an 80% charge in less than 30 minutes, according to Geely.

 

Geometry EX3

Propulsion is provided by a 70-kw (93.8-horsepower) electric motor, which also produces 132 pound-feet of torque. A Geely press release said EX3 is \”on par with traditional gasoline vehicles in terms of performance,\” although it\’s unclear which specific vehicles it\’s referring to.

The EX3 also gets some basic tech features, including a 10.25-inch LCD instrument cluster, 8.0-inch touchscreen, and built-in WiFi.

Back in 2018, the owner of battery supplier AESC predicted that in China EVs would be cheaper than gas models by 2020. While that didn\’t quite happen, cars like the Geometry EX3 show that economy cars are not the exclusive domain of internal combustion.

The Renault CIty K-ZE has gone on sale in China for even less than the EX3. Geometry has also shown a larger, Tesla Model 3–sized EV that shares the Volvo/Geely CMA platform that underpins the XC40 recharge, C40 Recharge, and Polestar 2.

 

Geometry EX3

In the U.S., the market growth has been among premium EVs, or mid-market ones. But there are some that are significantly lower than today\’s average price of around $40,000.

Geely also plans to build 5,000 battery-swapping stations in China by 2025, according to a recent Reuters report. That would allow Geely to overtake Nio, which already has a substantial network of these stations in operation. Nio plans to have 4,000 stations in operation by 2025.

Battery swapping hasn\’t gained traction in the U.S., but startup Ample has announced plans to set up stations for taxi and delivery vehicles. Ample has said its stations, which rely on a purpose-built battery architecture, can complete a swap in 10 minutes.

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