Automotive

China's cute Ora R1 electric hatch offers a huge range for less than US$9,000

China's cute Ora R1 electric h...
The Ora R1 is a tiny, cute EV delivering up to 194 miles of range at a super-affordable subsidized price point
The Ora R1 is a tiny, cute EV delivering up to 194 miles of range at a super-affordable subsidized price point
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The Ora R1 is a tiny, cute EV delivering up to 194 miles of range at a super-affordable subsidized price point
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The Ora R1 is a tiny, cute EV delivering up to 194 miles of range at a super-affordable subsidized price point

China's Great Wall Motors has announced it's hitting the local Chinese EV market with the first small car from its new Ora brand. The 2019 Ora R1 is a humble electric commuter with a long warranty, a range up to 194 miles (312 km) and a scorching government-subsidized price starting at just US$8,680.

As American innovators like Tesla push forward at the premium end of the EV market, China is going for volume at the low end, with subsidies incentivizing zero-emissions motoring. According to Forbes, the average subsidy on a long-range EV is around US$10,000, split between China's central government and local programs.

On the one hand, it's out of necessity, with China's gigantic urban populations suffering from shocking air pollution that kills hundreds of thousands a year. But in another sense, these moves do plenty to position China well as the EV wave begins to break globally.

But the benefits to the Chinese consumer are clear in vehicles like the Ora R1, which is an absolute no-brainer of an electric commuter at prices between US$8,680 to US$11,293.

According to Electrek, the R1 was launched at last year's Beijing Auto Show. It's a tiny four-door hatch, running a very modest 35-kilowatt (47 hp) motor that should be good for a top speed around 62 mph (100 km/h).

A 35-kWh battery delivers a claimed range up to 194 miles (312 km) on the NEDC test, which means that even in more spirited usage it's likely to give most urban commuters around a week's worth of urban traffic crawling between charges.

It's a cute, highly functional car at a very aggressive price, and Ora is packaging it with a three-year/120,000 km (74,500 mi) warranty for the entire car, and an eight-year/150,000 km (93,200 mi) warranty for "core components."

Part of the cost cutting appears to derive from Ora's direct-to-customer sales model, which will eliminate dealerships from the chain, replacing them with "a network consisting of ORA Home, experience centers and smart outlets in the central business districts of Chinese cities," according to Great Wall GM and Vice President Ning Shuyong.

The Ora R1 is currently only available in China, but the brand has signaled its interest in the global market, so we'll have to wait and see what happens on that front.

Source: Ora

15 comments
VincentWolf
They wont sell here well but they should sell a ton in Europe.
Nobody
This whole electric car thing has bugged me from the beginning. With fewer parts, an electric car should cost less than a gas powered one. The electric controls shouldn't cost that much either. If the government and manufactures weren't trying to extract every dollar of profit and taxes rather than trying to save the planet, the transition to electrics would progress rather rapidly. Rather than hand any money to the Paris Accord, just give 7 million American families $15,000 to spend on an electric car or solar panels for their home. IF the U.S. has the largest carbon footprint then let's spend the money here and not hand it to a bunch of global warming con men.
Nik
An original electrified 'Mini,' (not the massive vehicles with the same name, that replaced them) would have much the same appeal as the original, and this car seems to be very close to that, and ideal for city use, where the majority of the pollution is created, by IC engines. Contrary to Vincent Wolf, I think that in the highest Polluted US cities, they may arouse some interest from the commuter, and certainly in places like London that now has a 'pollution tax,' they would circumvent that tax completely and indefinitely. I agree wholeheartedly with 'Nobody's' comments.
toyhouse
Dumping a product at near bargain-basement prices is also intended to put others out of business and take over a market. A state run economy makes that much easier. And they answer to no one when it comes to dumping toxic waste in battery production - they have a track record! A cheap car from said country raises many red flags for some of us.
Jonathan Colvin
Nobody: much of the cost of an electric car is the battery. When they get cheaper, so will the cars
Aross
Personally I don't see any use for electric vehicles until they can deliver the same performance, mileage and refill speed as a conventional car and at below zero temperatures. Today I can drive my gas guzzler for 600+ kilometres, refill in 5 minutes and all at a comfortable inside temperature of 21 deg C. while in the minus temps outside. I haven't seen any E car that can do that nor tow a trailer for any reasonable distance.. Call me when they can.
Leonard Foster Jr
Good luck trying to bring it to America doubt it would pass crash testing but would sell like hot cakes under $18k
bwana4swahili
Very move to renewable energy is a small step forward. Now to get North American manufacturers on board for inexpensive electric!! $40-50,000 electric vehicles are nice for the well off and ecoterrorists BUT sure aren't going to convince the average Joe to go electric!!
icykel
This vehicle, or one very much like it will be my next car but they need to keep the cost down. My wife already drives a Nissan Leaf. My daughter too. Wonderful. These are becoming more popular here in New Zealand ' cos we have access to the second-hand Japanese car market otherwise a Leaf is way too expensive new.
Mzungu_Mkubwa
As much as I'd hate to see folks out of a job, it sure would be a huge benefit to the consumer to be able to buy vehicles directly from the manufacturer here in the States. Current dealer networks will likely never fully go away (some still prefer the services offered), but they certainly could remain as maintenance centers. Now however, the NADA lobbies are too powerful to allow this change, but I feel it is ultimately inevitable. This is particularly true with electrics on the rise (as I hope they are!) Now, where's that magical ultra-battery tech we need? ☻