Even if Evergrande Auto is not currently causing a headache at Tesla. You shouldn't write off the Hengchi brand and the billions in investments too quickly. On September 3rd, the Chinese officially ended the summer test cycle with Hengchi 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7. As always, it was about the superlative. Bringing five battery-electric cars to series production at the same time sets new standards for the auto industry. Theoretically. But it also has to go into production afterwards.
Summer test cycle under extreme conditions
The tests were conducted in Xinjiang Autonomous Province and Hainan Province in the Qionghai area. The Turpan Depression in Xinjiang Province in particular is known for its extreme environmental conditions. It places the highest demands on technology. In Turpan, the temperature climbs to 80 degrees Celsius in summer and hardly ever drops below 45 degrees. In Qionghai, the average relative humidity is 90%.
70 days and 500.000 kilometers
The Evergrande Auto test team was on the road for 53 days with 5 vehicles from 70 series. 500.000 kilometers. 20.000 hours of tests totaled for the batteries and the suitability to survive on extreme long distances. Dust, heat and extreme humidity affected the vehicles. All passed the test cycles with flying colors. The knowledge gained is incorporated into series production.
Last practical test before production
For the first time, the manufacturer publishes images that show test vehicles in a design that is close to the series. The summer test cycle was the last major test before the start of series production. In fact, testing continues on public roads (Update follows), these journeys are primarily used for fine adjustment.
It remains to be seen whether and when the vehicles will be launched on the market. The will to do it is still there. It could be exciting to watch how this new brand will prevail against the competition out of nowhere. Hengchi's proud lion logo conceals a great deal of European know-how and Evergrande is the technically best that German suppliers offer, just good enough for the shopping list.
For this reason alone, it would be nice to see the Evergrande factories (including those in Sweden) producing from 2022 or 23. In a stable financial environment, if possible. According to Evergrande, US $ 3,85 billion has so far flowed into vehicle development. Maybe that would cause one or two worry lines on Elon Musk's forehead at Tesla.