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It is amazing to note how innovative the Chinese are producing and to market these lighter cars. That topic, however, is too confusing in terms of the different manufacturers. Would it be possible to get the same kind of division of different manufacturers than the big passenger side?
 

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Some progress has been made in this direction by the creation of the "Alternative fuel vehicles" sub-forum. When the mini EV thread started, there was no sub-forum as such and it was placed in the General Discussions thread.

The nature of the mini EV sector is that it is very fragmented and there are many kinds of participants in this trade - manufacturers, assemblers, and mere re-sellers - but every firm tries to give the impression that it is a manufacturer. The mere existence of a brand does not mean that it is from a legitimate manufacturer - almost every model is cross-badged, with the same car being sold under many different brands and model names, so the situation is not so cut-and-dried as is with the larger, established players. This point has been mentioned often in that thread itself. Moreover, Erik* has estimated the existence of anywhere between 600 and 1000 makes (brands) and new ones are sprouting up even as we speak. There is also no way of knowing which brands are dying out, as it is such a fluid situation. The firms are very poor at disseminating information; if they have websites they are seldom updated timely or updated at all, and even websites dedicated towards EVs in China do not report on new product launches -- only very rarely and mostly for the top 3-4 manufacturers. It is only with luck that one might come across new vehicles when searching through trade sites like Alibaba or Taobao -- as I have.

So there is the problem -- would it less of a mess if there were to be a "mini EV" sub-forum with hundreds of child forums for each brand (akin to the large, mainstream manufacturers) with several threads for each model, complicated by the fact that the same model has to be covered in several other threads as it turns up with different names under many other brands. There will have to be cross-references too to let readers know that Model X of Brand A is also to be found as Model Y of Brand B, Model Z of Brand C and so on, with cross-thread hyperlinks.

In the mini EV thread you will find more than 200 vehicles mentioned (roughly), now think if they were all to have their own threads -- that's more than 200 separate threads alone. Also there does not seem to be much to discuss about each particular model or manufacturer -- so the point of a "thread" is really not there very much. Discussions that have taken place in that mini EV thread have largely circled around the mini EV industry as a whole, as you will see, and scarcely about individual manufacturers.

Thanks for your suggestion, nonetheless! At least we have the "Alternative fuel vehicles" sub-forum and a few EV cars do have their own threads now. Some mini EVs are also to be found under the "big manufacturer" sub-forums, e.g. Jiangling E100 and Dongfeng-Weisiman EV3. If there is more organization/consolidation in the mini EV industry down the road, with all the new laws/regulations etc. coming up, and the overall scenario becomes more "manageable", maybe the mods would like to take a decision then.

Also, thanks for taking interest in this often-overlooked section of the Chinese car industry.

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*Erik has been compiling an online catalog of mini EVs which is available by subscription. See:

http://www.chinesecars.net/content/catalogue-chinese-electric-cars
 
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