Great Wall Motor South Africa unveiled the full lineup of the Ora Good Cat’s range in Johannesburg. The Good Cat is known as the Funky Cat in the UK and several other markets, but Great Wall Motor has gone with “Ora 03” in South Africa. This is also the name used by Great Wall Motor in Brazil, Nepal, and some other places.
Here is the full list of the models available in South Africa:
Starting from the equivalent of $37,610, the Ora 03 becomes the lowest priced EV in South Africa, taking the title from the Mini Cooper SE that starts from around R780,000 ($42,736). So, the Ora 03 is a whole $5,000 cheaper than the Mini. On top of that, the Ora gives you double range plus more doors compared with the 3-door Mini.
It is great to see that South Africans are starting to get more lower priced options with decent range when it comes to EVs. For a long time, the market only had premium brand EVs starting from well over 1 million rand, with a good number of them being large SUVs and sportier models priced from well over 2 million rand. The good news is that another small hatchback EV is set to be launched South Africa very soon by another OEM, and hopefully it will land at a price lower than this Ora to give consumers another affordable option.
The South African EV market is starting to show some significant traction after a terribly slow start caused by a limited selection of models as well as the high prices of EVs, fueled in part by South Africa’s high import duties for EVs. The good news is that sales of battery-electric vehicles are set to double this year to over 1,000 units, up from 502 sold in 2022.
To really move the needle though, South Africa needs more affordable models. AutoTrader South Africa issues regular reports including surveys highlighting customer sentiments. In one of its Electric Vehicle Buyers Surveys, results showed that 64% of respondents stated that they would purchase an electric vehicle within the next 5 years. 72% of consumers are willing to spend up to R600,000 ($33,000) on an EV. This shows interest in electric vehicles is growing in South Africa, but the majority want EVs below $33,000.
Perhaps South African stakeholders can look to what is happening in India to catalyze adoption. India is another promising market where the growth in EV sales (four-wheelers) was very slow, but is now starting to show real traction due to the introduction of EVs in the $10,000 to $30,000 range. Sales are being driven by sub-$20,000 models from Tata and other OEMs. India is a right-hand drive market just like South Africa. It’s time for the South African authorities to invite Tata to seriously consider introducing its affordable EVs to South Africa if they now have capacity to export on top of meeting demand back home in India.
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