Soon, the Philippines will introduce Ice Cream, a well-liked electric vehicle with a small footprint in China. The car can be purchased in China in three variations, each with the hilarious names Pudding, Cone, and Sundae (you can probably guess which is the top variant). Prices start at $5,000. It is produced by Chery, a Chinese automaker.
The vehicle will be introduced at the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), the country’s version of the Los Angeles Auto Show, but more compact. However, when it debuts, it won’t be promoted as a Chery. CleanTechnica sources at The car will be sold in the Philippines under Jetour, one of Chery’s many international brands that have only recently established itself there, according to Chery Holdings, which confirmed that it may arrive there without a badge.
This white-labeled EV will still retain the Ice Cream name and will come in the most varied array of “delicious colors,” as one of our sources at Chery describes it.
And the adjective to use is delicious. The Joyous Peach is the most recent variation in China. The Ice Cream is also an experiment in marketing, as the parent company allows the local distributors to market it in various ways as long as they stick to the “fun” and “dynamic young” image that the car was molded in.
The Ice Cream has what Chery refers to as a “city range” which roughly defined is having enough juice to do daily city commutes running with conveniences like air conditioning and radio. A typical car in Manila travels 15 to 20 kilometers (9 to 12 miles) per day and idles in traffic for 30 to 1 hour during non-rush hours and twice that amount during rush hour. In China, there are two variations of the Ice Cream: one that travels 120 kilometers (74 miles) and another that travels 170 kilometers (105 miles) on a single charge.
The Ice Cream was introduced in China in December of 2021 after undergoing development improvements for the export market. Chery did not declare and actually export the vehicle until July 2022, but it did not stop black market importers from bringing it into several nations without any after-sales support.
Philippine-based Chery Motors Inc. did not comment on these grey market imports coming into the Philippines, but one Chery dealer did say that they were not equipped with the tools, testing equipment, and skills to service the Ice Cream when it starts to “melt.” The car will be introduced at the MIAS alongside Jetour’s ICE-powered SUVs, according to company officials. Jetour is a separate entity from the country’s Chery distributor.
Interestingly, the Philippines received the Wuling Hongguang Mini EV first, in late 2021. Compared to the Ice Cream, it is nearly identical in size and shape. This is a recurring theme in Chinese automobile designs, and the cause is taste. It appears that the Chinese entry-level car buyers—the ones who buy these small EVs—are more concerned with functionality than aesthetics.
The rear solid axle transmission of the car is directly connected to a 27hp/20kw motor that powers the Ice Cream. The front of the vehicle’s controller box is connected to the floor-mounted lithium-ion battery pack.
The Chery Ice Cream will be exempt from import duties under current regulations, which could lower the cost. However, the Philippine Electric Vehicle Industry Development Act (EVIDA) recently received a boost when President Marcos, Jr. signed an order to remove tariffs on imported battery-electric vehicles. This translates to zero taxes on fully constructed EVs. The same order will result in lower rates for parts and components. For a five-year period, all electric vehicles are exempt from the requirement.
Chery repeatedly tried to break into the US market, which is a reference to the brand for readers in that country. It signed an agreement with Chrysler in 2007 to import the Chery A1 and market it under both brands. That failed.
The company then launched the Vantas brand with automobiles created to satisfy US requirements and fit into the 2.5% tariff bracket in 2010, just before the pandemic. However, deteriorating relations with China, particularly under the Trump administration, imposed an additional 25% on goods sourced from China.
Both the trade situation between the two countries and the pandemic suffered greatly. When it comes to preventing improved trade relations with China, the Biden administration has kept the country’s high tariffs on Chinese imports and added security and human rights issues as additional barriers. After HAAH Automotive Holdings, its alleged distributor, declared it would be filing for bankruptcy in July 2021, Chery gave up on its plans to enter the US.