Dongfeng, the Chinese automaker that has a habit of churning out brand names like a bakery fresh buns in the morning, has graced us with another moniker. Enter: Nammi. With its plans to enter the small electric car market, the brand isn't exactly treading on unfamiliar territory. But, you know what they say - the more, the merrier.
Derived from the Chinese term 纳米 (Nami, or Nanometer), the name Nammi has cheekily tossed in an extra 'M', supposedly representing "Me." The emphasis here is on the user experience, as if Dongfeng is winking at us and saying, "This one's for you." Or perhaps they're just taking a page out of the "think of a brand name and then slap on some sentiment" handbook. Who knows?
So, what's Dongfeng promising this time? They've vaguely mentioned that Nammi EVs will be based on the "first national pure electric architecture." This left us scratching our heads since several Chinese automakers have already been down that road. Nice try, Dongfeng, but it might be time to get a new PR team.
Laid out with a roadmap for 2023-2025, Nammi plans to churn out a handful of models. The first one, set to debut in late 2023, is the Nammi 01. It’s a petite electric hatchback that, at first glance, feels eerily reminiscent of the Smart #1. Okay, eerily might be an understatement. They are strikingly similar. But, hey, Nammi's version appears to be a tad smaller and less rounded. That counts as originality, right?
The interior of this car seems promising, though. There's a floating screen (because why let screens be grounded?), a two-spoke steering wheel, and leatherette-covered center console and door cards. The presence of a wireless phone charging pad also hints at an effort to keep up with the modern-day necessities.
Performance-wise, the Nammi 01 is propped up on a new electric platform. The car is expected to be fitted with L2 active driving assistance features. Moreover, under its hood lies a 163 hp electric motor. The real show-stopper here is the battery.
Nammi 01 boasts a sodium solid-state battery that promises a charging capacity of 124 miles in just 8 minutes. But here's the thing, while this detail makes us sit up, we're yet to receive more specific details on this battery. In the past, Dongfeng trialed solid-state batteries on their Aeolus E70 sedans, which had an energy density of 157 Wh/kg. We're left wondering if the Nammi 01 will follow suit.
Dongfeng's latest venture, Nammi, might sound like just another name in the ever-growing list of EV brands. However, with the Nammi 01's unique features and ambitious promises, and that first solid-state sodium battery - this EV has a chance to usher in a new era. Providing this is all true and not just the PR team being liberal with their words. It wouldn’t be the first time.