2022 Imperium SEV First Drive Evaluation


Most of the world’s high automakers have discovered themselves in a catch-up as regards to battery-electric autos. Firms like Normal Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen have solely had one electrical car for the previous 5 years, and none of them have been a very sizzling vendor in Canada. This presents a chance for numerous EV firms in China to try to doubtlessly steal some clients from proper below the noses of some Western manufacturers, which is actually what we discovered ourselves behind the wheel of the 2021 Imperium SEV. had received.

The Imperium SEV is a battery-electric mid-sized crossover manufactured by the newly established automotive arm of the Shenzhen-based electronics firm Skyworth Group. Imperium Canada, which is predicated in Surrey, BC, and already sells a variety of electrical scooters and e-bikes, will quickly start importing these autos into Canada and promote them by means of a community of brick-and-mortar dealerships. Medium – the primary that’s set to open in Quebec early subsequent yr.

24 hours in shenzhen

Our temporary 24-hour take a look at drive of the Imperium SEV was spent behind the wheel of a prototype mannequin, so we had been requested by Christian Dubois, president of Imperium Motor Canada, to take our impressions with a small grain of salt. For instance, the infotainment display menus weren’t in English as a result of car’s early construct situation, so we could not actually take a look at how the navigation system labored round our suburban Toronto neighborhood. Aside from that, our take a look at car was nearly an identical to the mannequin we’ll be rolling out right here in Canada beginning in 2022.

The SEV, which is marketed in China because the Skywell ET5/Skyworth EV6, is powered by a single front-mounted electrical motor that produces a claimed 204 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. This motor provides the SEV a stunning quantity of straight-line efficiency for its dimension and the sort of immediate acceleration that many EV consumers are searching for – although it does not encourage matches of laughter like your neighbor’s Tesla Will do

Energy supply is considerably unsophisticated when making use of full throttle at low speeds, with heavy torque inducing a major quantity of steer and wheelspin, however we think about most efficiency-minded EV consumers will not flooring it typically. Traction management additionally appeared crude when driving on snow-covered roads, selecting to chop energy nearly completely as a substitute of utilizing torque-vectoring to imitate the efficiency of the entrance differential. These issues may be solved with higher tuning or higher tires, as our tester had a set of low high quality all-weather ones.

How about that battery?

Our take a look at car was a premium trim stage mannequin, that includes high-end choices like a bigger 12.3-inch touchscreen, heated entrance seats, entrance fog lamps, and most significantly a 72-kWh battery pack, which delivers a claimed vary of 520 km. determines. Very liberal and at all times lifelike of limits on the European Check Cycle (NEDC).

The fleet administration firm forgot to plug it within the night time earlier than we noticed the car, so our 24-hour take a look at drive started with the battery sitting at round 35 p.c capability, and an indicated vary of about 150km on the digital. instrument cluster. In our observations, the estimated vary was principally correct for real-world distance journey, though the 6.6-kW onboard charger was extraordinarily gradual, including barely 20 p.c vary when plugged in in a single day for a 10-hour interval, although it Additionally it is fairly unique to onboard chargers from different automakers. We might advocate any future Imperium consumers (and all EV drivers, actually) purchase a Degree 2 charger for his or her house if they do not stay close to a handy or reasonably priced quick charging station. Imperium says the SEV can cost as quick as 70 kWh, filling 50 p.c of the vary in about half-hour.

Not flashy, however purposeful

The outside and inside styling of the Imperium SEV can greatest be described as simple, however the design of the car isn’t outstanding, however the construct high quality is noticeable. Overlook any preconceived notions you may need a few made in China automotive – the Imperium SEV is constructed to the identical customary as many different budget-friendly automobiles on sale right here right this moment. The touchscreen is aware of enter as nicely, whereas the digital instrument cluster is crisp, clear and straightforward to learn. The back-up digicam is an enormous disappointment, although, relaying a blurry and uneven feed to the 12.3-inch touchscreen that makes it laborious to make use of.

Different features of the cabin are spectacular as nicely. The seats are comfy and well-sturdy, the rotary dial gear selector is responsive, and the stitched leather-based steering wheel has nice feel and appear. A spacious backseat (rear legroom is extraordinarily vital for a lot of automotive consumers in China) and a spacious cargo area on the rear of the second row be certain that the SEV has loads of room to hold a household alongside.

Pricing and Availability

The usual Consolation trim stage, which carries a base worth of $40,195 together with vacation spot, comes customary with a smaller eight-inch show display and 55-kWh battery pack with a claimed NEDC vary of 410 km.

As compared, the premium trim will price $47,170 inclusive of vacation spot. This pricing construction is just like that of different battery-powered crossovers just like the Hyundai Kona Electrical and Chevrolet Bolt EUV, however the Imperium SEV is a piece above these two fashions and affords extra passenger and cargo area.

These costs additionally don’t issue into federal and provincial incentives. In Quebec, the place the SEV would qualify for each a $5,000 federal and $8,000 provincial EV incentive, an Imperium SEV premium would price an inexpensive $35,000 pre-tax and after authorities incentives.

The primary two Imperium dealerships will open in January 2022 in Laval and Quebec Metropolis, with extra storefronts to be introduced later. The corporate hopes to finally develop into British Columbia, Ontario and different Canadian provinces, however as Quebec buys the majority of EVs in Canada, it is sensible for Imperium to focus its efforts first. Dubois expects the Imperium to obtain about 1,200 examples of the SEV for the 2022 mannequin yr.

closing ideas

We encourage Canadian EV consumers to take a look at any preconceptions they could have about lesser-known automotive manufacturers like this one, and if they’ve the means, test-drive the Imperium SEV. It’s a nicely constructed, comfy and comparatively reasonably priced household EV that’s hitting the market at simply the correct time. It is backed by an encouraging eight-year/160,000-km battery guarantee and a five-year/160,000-km powertrain guarantee, which ought to assist ease any worries they might have about shopping for an EV from a brand new automaker. On the very least, the SEV is an fascinating addition to the Canadian automotive market that simply may put extra established automakers on discover.

Pricing & Specs: 2022 Imperium SEV

Base Value
$44,995 (Premium)


a/c tax

vacation spot

worth as take a look at

motor sort
Single, front-mounted electrical motor

horse energy
204 HP

320 lb-ft

55 kWh (Consolation)
70 kWh (Premium)

410 km NEDC Estimated (Consolation)
520 km NEDC Estimated (Premium)



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