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The Developing World’s Answer to Tesla: China’s Great Wall Motor’s ORA R1 $8,680 BEV

For those who think that the Indias, Brazils, Southeast Asias, Western Chinas, Central and South Americas, and Western and Southern Africas will go decades still buzzing around in coal rakers while we 30 second mega supercharge with our brand new 2035 Teslas, I have news for you: the Electric Car Revolution is already coming to those parts, and the ORA R1 mini electric car is the kind of vehicle that’ll proliferate like hotcakes there NOW, like the Model 3 is already doing here.
Posted: January 7, 2019 - 6:09AM
Author: Al Castro

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While the Tesla Model S and X populates most of the fully industrialized garages of the second estates as the Model 3 takes care of most of the bourgeoisie, it is the mini BEV that will take care of the third estate of most developing countries. And it is the kind of vehicle like the Great Wall Motor’s $8,680 all-electric ORA R1 BEV that will enable car makers to hurry them along:

  • China’s Great Wall Motor’s $8,680 all-electric ORA R1 BEV is the third world wave of the future.
  • Mega electrics like VW Group, BYD, and Great Wall see potential in emerging markets with mini BEVs. They will take advantage of it.
  • It is these kinds of vehicles, not a Model 3, or Bolt, or even the cheapest electric car sold in industrialized markets that’ll proliferate like mini BEVs in emerging markets.
  • ORA is a $9-$12k vehicle that’s a perfect price point for many working class in these markets as either their first car or first electric car.
  • A 200 mile range (more like a Nissan Leaf 150 mile range which for a mini car in this market is still good) makes them perfect for remote areas where charging might be a challenge or dense cities where parking is a premium.
  • The vehicle is equipped with only a 35 kW electric motor, which is small, but suitable for scale of economies.
  • Possible top speed of about 100 km/h (~62 mph), suitable for urban and the occasional highway driving.
  • Selling point is it’s price: The Great Wall Motor says that the “subsidized price of the new model, ORA R1, ranges after incentives from 59,800 RMB to 77,800 RMB (USD 8,680 to USD 11,293, per the CNY/USD rate as of Dec. 25, 2018).”
  • The vehicle is going on sale right now but only in China for now.
  • Comes with a three-year or 120,000 km guarantee for the whole vehicle, and an eight-year or 150,000 km guarantee for core components.

As the BEV electrification race accelerates and intensifies in the fully industrialized parts of the world to see electric cars come much sooner and gas cars eliminated even more swiftly than anticipated, so too it will come to bear in the developing parts as well. It may may not come in the form of a proletariat Model 3 for the world market, but something perhaps way smaller and more affordable, and known as the mini-BEV will substitute for it.

China’s Great Wall Motor’s $8,680 all-electric ORA R1 BEV is the third world wave of the future. Only available in China at the moment, this is the perfect car China needs right now to get its lagging western half of the country up to speed in China’s quest to fully develop its entire country.

And the ORA R1 is the perfect vehicle to become developing nations’ global car in that process. Underpowered and probably not as crash worthy for American regulators, this microcar sits at the right size at the right power and at the right price for the right moment for places like India, Brazil, Central and South America, even in industrialized places like Hong Kong and large European cities where parking comes at a premium and traffic holds up the speed limits in the first place.

What do you think of the ORA R1? :Let us know below!

Photos from the Great Wall Motor

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Leif C (not verified)    March 19, 2019 - 11:28PM

Hi there. I am two months late with my reply. Well the reason is, I bought the Ora R1 27th of January.
Living in China since 2016 and have followed Chinese auto industry for the last 2 years. Interested in the development of the EV market here. There are actually more EVs here that can be classed as similar size and price but of them only 3 is built on a dedicated EV platform and Ora is the only one so far, made from an old carmaker Great Wall, I think will commit to the service and guarantees so I bought one, and the first one in the Province of Guangxi in Southern China. More big carmakers here is following with dedicated EV platforms under 2019.
Being 180 tall 85 kg Swede, and have many friends in the same size here I can tell you it is extremely roomy for its small exterior. No complaint, comfortable seats both front and back for big guys this is also with driver seat far back so that I can have straight arms to the steering wheel. The boot space is not big but can fit a 3 ordinary backpack or the family weekly groceries, well the backseat can be folded forward if bigger items need to be transported.
Performance still amazes me after 2500 km driving only charge once a week and drive 300 km on a charge with 15-20 % left on the battery. This is driving in heavy city traffic, many read lights and it takes between 800 to 900 w/h 10km. When driving 8+ degree C heavy rain lights and wipers and heater on max he takes 1300 W/h 10km this is also with occasional aircon defroster on. (for info 1 mile is 1.61 km)
Travel suburban area at 60 to 80 km/h he was down to 820w/h 10km not too many stops for lights. This would give a range of 390 km before the battery is drained.
Did a Highway rum to the coast here 150 km in speed about 100Km/h took 49% of charge. Interesting is the small 35kw engine that on the highway in 100km/h (62 miles) only showed 1100w/h 10km on the meter. This is in 100km/h constant 11kw on the motor this mean you have another 24kw to use and it correspond to 1,7 m uphill per second- or 4,5-degree uphill run before the speed slows down. You could with the 32,8 kw/h battery run an uphill in 100km/h to a height of 5500 meter if you can find one. If you have a similar size petrol car you look at the engine performance let say 70Kw/h. when do you get this 70kw? At the revs of 5 to 6000 you normally only use it up to 3000 and it is probably les than 35kw. An electric motor has nearly 100% of its power from standstill, this is why Oran perform like a big engine car and is fun to drive.
It also recovers energy when motor braking. You have 3 settings low medium high. I have the medium on and most of the time at 50km/h and stop at the read light it recovers up to 15kw which is less than the battery can take, at quick charge. I don’t know how much loss it will recover, but it does help in stop and go traffic.
This is why this poor car with its poor motor still at 990kg weight and 1300 total loaded swift, faster than most cars when starting at a green light overtake at speeds of 70-80 is a breeze. Top speed is preset at 107 but it does the same uphill and downhill on the freeway with full load.
This is one of the most comfortable cars I have driven and with my 40 years+ of driving and owed about 25 cars a can compare. I am waiting for summer with temperatures around 35+C and always aircon on but I think it will surprise me again or maybe not. I know it is a good car and are pleased as it is.