CleanTechnica’s China sales monthly updates from Jose Pontes are part of the highlights of every month for me. That’s because I have always been looking for affordable EVs with a decent range. I am constantly looking for which models can break out and begin to push significant volumes consistently in China. This would be a good indication of which models and startups are scaling nicely, which would be a good sign for potential exports. Some of the affordable EVs I have been following over the years include the Cherry eQ, the BYD e2, the Leap Motor T03, the Changan Ben Ben EStar, and Ora’s collection of Cats! Great Wall Motors’ Ora Black Cat has sold over 34,000 units this year so far from January to July. Now, the Ora Good Cat is going to Europe as announced recently.
This group of affordable of EVs are in a price range that could really excite consumers around the world and could really help catalyze mass adoption of EVs. This is why I have been patiently looking out for news of significant exports. I like to call this group of EVs ICE Killers, because they could land in foreign markets at reasonable prices that could tempt a lot of people to switch to electric.
Over the past few months, I have been looking out for the Hozon Neta. The long-range entertainment version is equipped with a 55 kW motor producing a maximum of 175 Nm of torque. It has a top speed of 100 km/h, and a 6.6 kW on-board charger, as well as DC fast charging from 30-80 % in 30 mins. The 38.54 kWh LFP battery by CATL is good for about 300 km in the WLTP cycle. All this from just $12,000.
A look through the Hozon Neta webpage summarizes the vibe Hozon Auto is creating around this vehicle. It is not just a car. It is more of a cool tech product or gadget on wheels. Its brand vision is to “Make high quality electric vehicles within reach.” The brand’s image is centered on “warmth, youth and intelligence.” The company sees itself as providing intelligent entertainment and being the “most in fashion smart equipment, leading unique trends.” This approach and the price tag will certainly appeal to young consumers as well as small families.
A look at the vehicle’s interior reinforces this. In Tesla style, the Hozon Neta V has a fairly minimalist interior punctuated by a 14.6-inch center screen and a 12-inch instrument screen. Hozon emphasizes that there is no need to press any buttons, as drivers will have full control via the central touch screen. The Neta V also comes with the “Xiao You” AI digital companion as well as built-in apps — including Tiktok! The company is selling a lifestyle in an appealing affordable package. Now, Hozon Auto wants to take this global starting with ASEAN countries. Several member states in this part of the world, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, are part of the right-hand drive market and hence the Hozon Neta V gets a right-hand drive international version.
It’s really good to see that these types of vehicles will soon be exported. With a sticker price of about $12,000 without factoring in subsidies it will really get significant attention. If these vehicles can be available for around $20,000 or less in the export markets as well, it would be a gamechanger. I get really excited whenever I get news of right-hand drive vehicles. This gives us hope that sooner or later these vehicles will find their way to East and Southern Africa where we also keep left and need RHD vehicles.