Geely Emgrand EV, Chinese electric car, driven by British reviewer


Geely Emgrand EV

Geely Emgrand EV

Enlarge Photo

China is now the world's largest new-car market and—thanks to generous government incentives—it's also one of the largest markets for plug-in electric cars.

However, most of the electric cars sold there aren't available in the U.S.

Despite a few tries, Chinese carmakers have been unable to establish a significant beachhead in the U.S. market.

DON'T MISS: BYD electric-car sales may triple this year, Chinese maker says

So are we missing out on anything?

Not exactly, according to a recent review of the 2016 Geely Emgrand EV sedan published by U.K. car magazine Auto Express.

The reviewer found the Emgrand EV to be a competent electric car, but not a world beater.

Geely Emgrand EV

Geely Emgrand EV

Enlarge Photo
Geely currently owns Volvo, as well as the London Taxi Company (LTC), maker of the iconic London black cab.

But now the Chinese company wants to sell cars in Europe under its own brand name.

The Emgrand EV is essentially an electric version of the Emgrand EC7, which Geely tried unsuccessfully to launch in the U.K. in 2012.

ALSO SEE: London's black cabs go plug-in hybrid; maker Geely issues bonds to fund work

In place of the EC7's gasoline 4-cylinder engine, the Emgrand EV uses an electric motor with 127 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, and a 44.8-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.

The sedan will do 0 to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 87 mph, per Auto Express.

Geely claims a range of 253 kilometers (157 miles), as measured on the notoriously-optimistic European testing cycle.

Geely Emgrand EV

Geely Emgrand EV

Enlarge Photo
Auto Express found that real-world range was far below that figure.

The magazine said the steering was "well balanced" with good feel, the ride was comfortable, and acceleration was better than in the gasoline Emgrand EC7.

MORE: Volvo will build compact electric car in 2019, along with larger model

It also noted aggressive regenerative braking, something many electric-car drivers have come to prefer.

The exterior styling was deemed bland, while the interior received some praise for its soft-touch materials, but nothing else.

Geely Emgrand EV

Geely Emgrand EV

Enlarge Photo
With its fairly dated platform, the Geely Emgrand EV was likely never going to be much more than a placeholder.

But Geely is expected to use Volvo's new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform for future models, some of which may get plug-in electric powertrains.

Perhaps those models will prove more competitive outside of China's heavily-incentivized market.

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