Lichi A01 Electric Car Is One Sweet EV!

Like Daimler AG's Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, the Lichi A01 seats two and runs on electric power drawn from an onboard battery. Unlike its “smarter” European competitor, however, the Lichi A01 is smaller, less expensive and dare we say... more fashionable.

Shandong Lichi New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. of Dezhou, located in China's northeastern Shandong province, was founded in January of 2011 and presently employs about 1,500 people at its self-contained manufacturing plant and HQ.

The company's self-stated mission/vision is “To create the world's first brand of the fashionable electric vehicle and provide the common people with affordable, high-end and fashionable electric vehicle reaching the standard of low-carbon and eco-friendly.” Hmm, they said “fashionable” twice and the car's advertising tagline is “Fashion Your Life”... OK, we get the message!

Indeed, the Lichi A01 is certainly stylish while somewhat surprisingly (for China) is not derivative of other established electric car designs. Admittedly the compact two-box format expressed by most ultra-compact EVs doesn't offer much leeway in terms of styling but the Lichi A01 stands on its own design-wise.

The Lichi A01 is offered in a choice of two trim levels – Happy Style and European Style – though the differences between the two are neither stated at the company website nor obvious to a casual glance. Mechanically, the Lichi A01 “integrates the safe and advanced technology including frameless body, CNC mould, Macphersan independent suspension, four-wheel disc brake, movable frameless door, etc., and provides consumers with the safe, intelligent and fashionable vehicle.” There's that word again.

According to the manufacturer, the Lichi A01's 48V/4.5kw electric motor and lead-acid gel battery provide a top speed of 50 kilometers per hour (31 mph) and a range of 150 kilometers (93.2 miles) at an average speed of 35km/h or 21.75 mph. Its dimensions are 2,250mm by 1,399mm by 1,634mm (88” by 55” by 64”) with a wheelbase of 1,560mm (61.5”) and a curb weight of 700 kg or 1,543 pounds.

Shandong Lichi New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. has already begun selling the Lichi A01 and a slightly larger and more powerful model dubbed the B01 is currently being developed. In the meantime, Chinese buyers can lock up a Lichi A01 from 46,800 yuan or about $7,540.