We are all dreaming of getting that perfect electric car that has something for everybody. By this, we mean an electric car that has decent power and range and is also, crucially, under Rs 10 lakh. Till now, this has been impossible due to the high taxes and lack of volumes that would justify local production of EVs.
However, we are seeing a steady influx of electric cars into India of late, with the impressive MG ZS EV being the latest — but this is likely to be around Rs 25 lakh on-road. So, an affordable EV is something that has still eluded us.
Now, China is planning to enter this rather competitive field and they may do to the EV market what they did to the mobile sector — alter the concept of value for money. Great Wall Motors is a Chinese car giant and it will not be subtle in its operations in India as it would want to instantly grab a major market share, along with putting up a strong fight against Maruti.
How will Great Wall Motors do that? By launching an EV at a price which would disrupt the market. Meet the Ora R1, a brand of EVs owned by Great Wall Motors. Thus, you can expect this car to be around Rs 6-8 lakh.
The Ora R1 well is the cheapest EV in the world and the top-end has a claimed range of around 350 km, which is fantastic. It has a 35kw motor with about 50 bhp, but the real deal is the construction and the economies of scale which have made it an affordable car.
The Ora R1 is based on a bespoke EV platform and seats four. It has a lot of features, including cloud connectivity, touchscreen infotainment and more. For reference it has a length of 3.5m. It also has fast charging and a standard charge takes nearly 10 hours.
So where have the corners been cut? Clever use of materials and a new concept of eliminating dealers is one area. In China there are no dealers for this car as there is a direct to customer sales model being used while there are space efficient areas where the car is displayed.
This is a new way of selling cars and also an EV at this price is bound to disrupt the market. No doubt, interesting times lie ahead for the Indian car market. You can see this car at the upcoming Auto Expo too!
Would you consider this car? Let us know in the comments section below.