Forget that story that the cheapest is not good. This does not apply to JAC E-JS1. On sale for R$149,990, the hatch has just arrived in Brazil as the cheapest electric car in the country. It has a range of 300 kilometers and refinements inherited from Volkswagen, which I will explain below.
The dear reader must be wondering: how does a Chinese electric car have Volkswagen’s refinement?
It all started in December 2020. Volkswagen bought part of JAC to develop electric cars in the Chinese market. The partnership resulted in a brand called Sol. It is the company that produces the E-JS1, which arrives in Brazil under the tutelage of JAC.
That explained, let’s go to the car. From JAC, the E-JS1 uses only the chassis and body, inherited from the J2 subcompact, sold here between 2012 and 2016. Volkswagen has applied its experience in suspension, interior, dynamics, finishes, among other parts.
The result of this is a very interesting cart, but with an urban footprint. It only takes a few seconds on board the model to notice how the joint venture with Volkswagen has done the JAC well.
Dynamically, the E-JS1 is almost a VW up! electric. Its engine, mounted on the front axle, has 45kw, something around 62 hp. The torque is 15.3 kgfm, very close to the 17 kgfm of the up! TSI.
Just press the accelerator pedal all the way down to feel the torque delivering all its power instantly to the front wheels.
The suspension is from Volkswagen and appears to be identical to the one used in the up!. Despite the tight fit, the car is not uncomfortable. The steering wheel is electrically assisted and is very light, as in other JAC models. On the move, however, the steering becomes a little stiffer and improves handling.
Boris Feldman talks about the partnership between JAC and VW:
The tiny electric motor is under the hood. With a considerably lighter front, the model has a very agile behavior in curves, but we were not able to go very fast due to the limits imposed by daily traffic in São Paulo.
This set is more than enough to run in the city. The Chinese is smart and doesn’t get tight in any situation, not even on steeper climbs, as in the test path.
According to JAC, the E-JS1 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/l in 10.7 seconds. But don’t get too excited. The model has a maximum speed limited to 110 km/h to preserve battery life.
E-JS1 battery has a 5-year warranty
Speaking of battery, the E-JS1 has a 5-year warranty. According to JAC, after 4ooo cycles (recharges), which is equivalent to 800 thousand/1 million kilometers traveled, the battery will have lost 25% of its charge capacity.
When it’s time to recharge, the E-JS1 comes standard with a portable charger. When connected to a 220v socket, it recharges the battery in up to 12 hours and has the consumption equivalent to that of an iron.
Due to the standard socket in China, which is not used in Brazil, JAC provides, together with the charger, an adapter to use the European standard. In other words, with it, it is possible to recharge the battery at any charging station available in Brazil.
Internally, the E-JS1 is filled with plastics in the finish. They are spread throughout the cabin, in different tones and textures. The cool look draws attention, as does the quality of the fittings. There are no burrs or flaws. The armrest on the door is the only area where there is fabric and softness.
In all, there are 6 tones for the body, ranging from a light pink, to two options of blue, avocado green, ruby red and a basic white.
The steering wheel is the same used in other JAC models. The difference is in the instrument panel and the multimedia center, represented by two screens.
The instrument panel is 6.2 inches and displays basic car information such as range, speed and other alerts. With good resolution, the only thing is for the brightness, which is weak under strong sunlight.
As they were still pre-series models, all units available at launch still had the multimedia language and on-board computer in Mandarin. Despite the difficulty in configuring some functions, it was possible to adjust the air conditioning without major difficulties. Controls for cabin cooling are made directly on the screen and are easy to handle.
The seats are the same as the European UP, made of fabric and have a differentiated design, which fits well with the car’s proposal. They are more comfortable than the national Up and have greater lateral support, ideal for not slipping in sharper curves. Windows and locks are electric and there’s even a reversing camera to help park the little electric.
The gearbox is activated through a lever behind the steering wheel. This part, by the way, is very similar to the one used by Mercedes. There is even an induction cell phone charger in the center console. Just support the smartphone and the recharge happens like magic.
Good option for the city
For R$ 80 thousand less than the Renault Zoe, the second cheapest electric car in Brazil, the JAC E-JS1 is a good option for those looking for an electric cart to walk around the city.
With a five-year warranty, revisions that don’t cost more than 150 reais and a cool look, I have no doubt: I’d have one in my garage to keep my 1972 Fuscão company.