Review: JAC E-JS1, cheapest electric car in Brazil, has its attractions, but needs improvement

The partnership with Volkswagen is clear even before we enter the JAC E-JS1. The bumpers and headlights bring a “what” of the German brand. It is still today the cheapest electric car in Brazil – the Kwid E-Tech went on pre-sale this week and it will be cheaper, but it doesn’t really arrive until August. Even so, paying a high R$164,900 for a subcompact is absurd, it still costs much less than similar models of the comparison of entry trams of our special (read here).

Similar, but not so much: the size of the E-JS1 may even be the same as the Fiat 500e, but the Chinese one costs about R$90,000 less precisely because it also offers less. In the cabin, we see a simpler finish, albeit with a charming design, and less equipment – there’s not much besides wireless charger, LED headlights and digital air (but not automatic). Rear seat space is better than in the 500e and Mini, but at the cost of a trunk of just 121 liters.

Above, the cluster with digital speedometer, the gearshift lever on the steering column and some options on the center display (in Chinese on the unit evaluated). On the side, the start button and the electric handbrake.

strictly urban

Finding a good driving position isn’t easy: there’s no steering wheel depth adjustment or driver’s seat height adjustment. The instrument panel resembles that of the Mini, with essential information, and the gear lever – identical to the Mercedes-Benz – is located on the steering column.

On the move, the cheapest electric car in Brazil is the “1.0 of the electric ones”: the power is 62 hp, almost half of that seen in the Fiat 500e, but the 150 Nm of torque is equivalent to that of a 1.5 engine, and, in a light car, guarantee optimal starts and 0-100 km/h in 10.7 seconds. ]

With little power, a maximum limited to 110 km/h, light steering and soft suspensions, the E-JS1 is even more urban than the electric cars of the comparative.

Its motor-generator excels in regeneration and allows driving with just one pedal at medium/high speeds, braking well until it almost stops – when it lets the driver decide to stop altogether or take advantage of the inertia, according to the flow of traffic.

The logic of combustion cars is repeated here: less power, less consumption. And being ecological is spending less, right? Considering the power, it could be even more economical: we scored 8.8 km/kWh in the city and 7.7 km/kWh on the highway.

Was it your cheaper lithium-iron phosphate battery to blame? Finally, the official range is 302 kilometers, but in our tests we did not go beyond 240.

The surprising rear space, the tiny trunk and the charging port

fine tuning question

Despite being a very “OK” urban car, the JAC E-JS1, the cheapest electric car in Brazil, lags behind the others tested in this edition, mainly in terms of fine tuning. When regeneration stops, the “real” brake does not always respond promptly (stay tuned).

Steering with a pedal is more boring, as the response to the right foot is not well modulated. The suspension is too soft and poorly calibrated, “giving stop” all the time. ESP is sensitive and interferes too much, cutting power.

The brake light does not come on in the regeneration phase, giving those who come behind scares. And the charging standard is different, requiring an adapter for use in fast chargers – sold for R$13,900.

In the end, even far from being a perfect electric car, the E-JS1 can be a good option for those who want a simple battery-powered model for everyday use in the big city.

But remember: for R$40,000 more, you can buy a Renault Zoe in the basic Zen version. There the French offers more space, power, comfort and autonomy, making it an almost irresistible upgrade.


Basic price BRL 164,900
Car rated BRL 178,800

Motor: electric with permanent magnets (synchronous), front
Fuel: the battery
Power: 62 hp
Torque: 150 Nm
Exchange: gearbox with fixed ratio
Direction: electric
Suspensions: MacPherson (d) and torsion axis

From China to Europe (and Brazil)

To compete for the title of “popular” tram, more news is coming. Chery will have a factory in Argentina, which should take a while.

But, in a few months, the electric Renault Kwid arrives in Brazil, which promises to be the cheapest on the market. In Europe, like Dacia Spring, it has 44 hp. Here, there must be more. We had a brief contact with him, which we told in the last issue. Check it out by clicking here.


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