Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors introduced its most affordable electric car, the Ora R1 earlier this year. But somehow due to COVID19 pandemic the launch is delayed. We expect to see the car in major Asian markets on the first quarter of 2021.
But Indo-China crisis is now a big issue for this car to enter India. However we can still take some inspirations from this car as it has great potential to provide an affordable and eco-friendly transportation to lower-middle classes.
The car comes with a compact design and somewhat inspired by Renault Kwid. It has dual-tone body color, alloy wheels, and body coloured electronically adjustable ORVMs with mounted turn indicators. The look is complimented by rounded LED headlights, LED fog lamps, blacked-out B-pillar, and a neat rear profile with a spoiler and square-ish LED taillights.
Ora R1 gets a five-seater cabin with body-colored accents around the instrument panel, AC vents, and the three-spoke multifunctional steering wheel. The electric car offers a 9-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system with support for connected car technology, as well as standard safety features like ABS with EBD, a reverse camera with parking sensors, and dual front airbags.
A 33kW electric motor is powering this car. The floor of this car is packed with 33kWh Lithium-ion battery. The motor is capable of producing 48PS of maximum power and 125Nm of peak torque. The fully-electric car has a top speed of 100kmph and it promises a range of 350km on a single charge. A higher model has option of regenerative braking too.
The emission-free car is one of the world's cheapest electric vehicle. The starting price of R1 is just $8,600 USD (approx. Rs. 6.2 lakh). With that price, one can only expect an entry level hatchback with bare minimum safety features. In India, the minimum cost of an electric car is now around Rs. 12 lakh.
At present, Indian auto manufacturers have to import lithium-ion batteries from countries like China, Taiwan and Korea. However, many foreign and local auto majors have started working on setting up battery manufacturing plants in India. This will significantly reduce the cost of battery.
We might not get our hands on Ora R1, but in next couple of years, we can expect a better and cheaper alternative from Indian manufacturers.