Cars > Electric

MIAS 2024: Hycan says ‘hi’ to PH automotive market

The Chinese brand brings 3 new EVs to the country

The V09 is a very interesting luxury battery-electric people mover. PHOTO BY HANS BOSSHARD

The market has been warming up, not just with the idea of the presence of Chinese-branded vehicles in the country, but to actually own one is now becoming quite acceptable. Over the years, the number of Sino carmakers in the country has been steadily growing.

At the ongoing 2024 Manila International Auto Show, another electric vehicle brand from China has entered the market. Readers, say hi to Hycan.

The EV brand is a joint venture between two carmakers: GAC Group and Nio New Energy Technology. Established in 2019, the company now already has several models that have been gaining traction sales-wise.

The Z03 is a stylish entry point to the world of battery-electric vehicles. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD

At this year’s MIAS, Hycan is showing three of its EVs. The first is the Z03. The compact crossover has a clean design that flows all around the exterior. Viewed from the side, you’d think that it’s a subcompact seven-seat MPV. The only thing elaborately styled in the car is the set of 18-inch rims.

Inside, you’d find two screens: A 10.25-inch one for the instrument cluster, and a 14.6-inch infotainment display. The Z03 may only be 4,602mm long, 1,900mm wide, and 1,645 tall, but thanks to its 2,750mm wheelbase, it offers much more interior space, including 402L of trunk space.

The quality of interior materials can match those of established brands. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD

Add the panoramic skylight and the vehicle feels so much roomier than you’d expect. It also has a long list of standard equipment. This includes several ultrasonic radars, a 360° panoramic camera system, and Smart Parking Assist.

Powering the Z03 is a permanent magnet synchronous motor that does 135kW (184hp). There’s also 225Nm worth of instantaneous torque, enabling the car to sprint from zero to 100km/h in just 7.9 seconds. Top speed is limited to 150kph.

Potent performance, a nice set of features, and an even better price. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD

The Zo3’s battery pack powers the electric motor with a range of 510km. This can be juiced up from 30% to 80% in just 10.7 hours with a standard charger. Get a fast DC charger and it’ll do that in just 36 minutes.

The most surprising about the Z03 is its price. The compact crossover retails for just P1,688,000, making it one of the most affordable yet loaded EVs available.

The A06 Pro is one sexy electrified fastback. PHOTOS BY HANS BOSSHARD AND RED SANTIAGO

Hycan’s second local offering is the A06 Plus fastback. This curvaceous sedan evokes a sense of luxury thanks to a mix of soft curves on the exterior. Lighting is an all-LED affair, while the 18-inch wheels complete the car’s sexy yet stately look.

The design language continues inside, as you’d find a combination of creases and curves on the dashboard. These flow to the door cards for a cohesive look. You’d hardly see physical buttons save for the ones on the steering wheel.

Climate and other vehicle controls are on the big 14.6-inch infotainment screen. Speaking of screens, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster can be found behind the steering wheel.

Those sleek lines continue inside the spacious and well-appointed cabin. PHOTOS BY RED SANTIAGO

It also is pretty loaded as it has a long list of standard equipment. This includes several passive and active safety features and advanced driver-assist systems.

A 160kW (218hp) permanent magnet synchronous motor sends power to the front wheels. This makes a modest 225Nm of torque, but is available instantaneously. It has an estimated driving range of 520km, thanks to a 60kWh lithium iron phosphate ceramic battery.

Despite the good styling, the impressive features, and the potent powertrain, the A06 Plus can be had for just P1,788,000.

The silhouette may be familiar, but the V09 is a gorgeously unique passenger van. PHOTOS BY RED SANTIAGO

Finally, the most intriguing model for Hycan is its V09 van. While it is easy to say that it follows the looks of a very popular luxury people mover, it also has some styling elements that make it stand out. The illuminated front emblem is flanked by sharp chrome trim on the bumper.

The P3,788,000 price tag might be hard to justify, given the negative bias that most people have with Chinese-branded vehicles. But open the doors up and the pricing will suddenly make sense. Everything about the interior is well-built. From the supple leather upholstery and the tasteful faux-wood trim to the creature comforts all around.

For a relatively new carmaker, fit and finish as well as the choice of materials are top-notch. PHOTOS BY RED SANTIAGO

It is propelled by a permanent magnet synchronous motor that produces 202kW (275hp) and 335Nm. The ceramic battery pack offers an impressive 620km of driving range.

Hycan’s models are now available for reservation while deliveries are expected to commence in the latter part of April.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.