(Just Occasions / Laith Muhammad)
China is a world of wonders and nearly 100 electric vehicle brands. Big names continue to add sub-brands to every possible market niche and new joint ventures compete with brand new startups for every part of the ever-so-crowded electric vehicle landscape. According to what was mentioned by the arenaev website.
Ruilan 9 is an example of this drive to conquer every possible segment and the brand is the result of a joint venture between Geely and Lifan and was only established in January this year. While the catch line here is the ridiculously low $15,750 price tag, there’s a lot more to this car that makes it really fun.
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The most expensive version will set the buyer back $18,600 at current exchange rates and then there is a 4-year, 150,000km warranty with 8-year battery cover with the same 150,000km limit.
The most interesting thing – in my humble opinion – is another battery-swappable technology and Ruilan 9 is based on the brand new GBRC Crystal architecture – it stands for Global Battery Rapid Change and allows quick battery change of 1 minute or DC-quick charging from 40 toe minutes.
The GBRC platform comes with an upgradeable capsule-type battery which means that as technology advances, vehicle owners can simply upgrade their battery in just one minute while keeping the vehicle – in theory – running for many years.
The car features a ‘super’ heat pump system which appears to offer one of the widest operating ranges from -30 to +43°C (-22°F to 109°F). Slow charging is of course also supported with home charging up to 7kW or even at a slower speed 2 kW is possible.
The reason the Ruilan 9 is so low in price is because it doesn’t include the cost of the battery pack. Ruilan is another company trying its luck with the subscription business model. Customers can get the car for less, but they have to lease the battery for the equivalent of $128.70 a month. $1,030 for the larger battery and $8,600 for the smaller battery for the price of the car.
The car itself is a simple, mid-sized, seven-seat SUV powered by a single 150kW electric motor and the design has been limited to ensure the car appeals to as many buyers as possible and the car offers up to 2,360 liters of boot space with lower all the rear seats.
The interior is again very nice and restrained. The center screen is only 12.3 inches and the instrument cluster is only 8 inches in diameter – both are quite thin which makes the cabin feel airy and spacious and the air vents are nicely integrated into the lower part of the dash to complement the overall feel of quality.
When it comes to driving the Ruilan 9, according to a very optimistic CLTC standard, it can drive up to 380 km with the smaller battery and up to 470 km with the larger battery. Battery swaps take place at a Ruilan-designed battery swap station which the company promises will be available in 100 cities across China by 2025 – 5000 units are planned which should be enough for future customers.
Battery swapping seems to be getting better and Nio has been the clear leader here, but other companies are jumping on board – CATL has their own brand and now Geely is joining the ranks and the subscription model is also gaining traction Many people like the idea of lower costs up front and prefer monthly payments for a battery that is free The concern is about as long as they keep the car.