Chinese automaker Great Wall is set to introduce its ORA R1 electric car. The R1 is no Tesla, not by any stretch of the imagination. But it has 4 wheels, a battery, and an electric motor, and can travel almost 200 miles on a single charge according to The Express. Best of all, the company says it sells for between $8,680 and $11,293 after deducting EV subsidies available in China.
According to Ning Shuyong, general manager of ORA and vice president of Great Wall Motor, “As a new market entrant, ORA R1 delivers an unprecedented experience to drivers. ORA replaces the traditional sales, service, spare parts and surveys dealership-centered model that is common in China with a network consisting of ORA Home, experience centers, and smart outlets in the central business districts of Chinese cities.”
“In addition, the big data cloud that is created as the result of the information collected from the ORA app, the ORA shopping site, and the Tmall e-shop opens the way to the development of multiple scenarios for offline sales and services as well as new transportation services for both drivers and passengers.”
The ORA R1 has a 33 kWh battery pack with a range of up to 194-miles of range on a single charge. That number is computed using the hopelessly optimistic NRDC driving cycle. Real-world range will probably be closer to 140 miles — about the same as a 2018 Nissan LEAF that retails for double the price. The car has a relatively modest 33 kW electric motor, so it’s unlikely it will be featured in many videos racing supercars of the world.
Even though there is no comparison between a Tesla Model 3 and an ORA R1, Great Wall has clearly been influenced by Tesla in its design of the R1. Notice the single horizontal touchscreen on the dashboard. The direct-to-customers sales model is also an idea pioneered by Tesla.
At roughly a quarter the price of a Model 3, will the R1 find any customers? Oh, yeah. You betcha. It is unlikely the R1 will ever travel across the Pacific to America, but it will potentially see a similar number of sales in China.
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