One of the most frequent criticisms of electric cars is their price, it’s all too often high and beyond the reach of normal drivers. Whether buying outright, increasingly unusual these days, or on some kind of personal lease scheme, the costs are still prohibitive for many drivers.
The other issue is our poor infrastructure in the UK, EVs are great to drive but only practically useful as commuter cars in the main, unless you have the funds to buy more premium models with a long range. Hence those higher prices are still dissuading a lot of motorists from taking the EV route, unless they also keep a combustion engine car on the drive.
You will struggle to find an EV for under €23,832/ £20,000 with only Fiat’s chic 500 Electric promising a decent range of 199 miles, but bear in mind, as with all EVs, this is a perfect conditions scenario.
However, there is a potentially very useable new EV about to start prowling the roads with the launch of the ORA CAT. Due next year, and priced from around €29,790/£25,000, it has a promised range of 261 miles for the larger battery model.
It will perhaps be no surprise that the ORA CAT is from a Chinese company, Great Wall Motor who are best known in the UK for pick-ups.
Two battery options are listed, 48 kwh with a predicted range of 209 miles, and 63 kwh that will offer the aforementioned 261 mile range.
The ORA CAT reaches the benchmark 62mph in a relatively spritely 8.5 seconds and then on to a maximum speed of 100 mph. Technology includes a 10.25 inch screen with infotainment, Apple Car Play and Android Auto, rear parking sensors, lane keep, autonomous parking, facial recognition for fatigue and distraction detection, 360-degree camera integration, 12 ultrasonic radars and updates over-the-air a’ la Tesla style.
Additionally, there are full LED headlights, 18-inch alloys and safety wise six airbags.
Customers will have a five-year vehicle warranty and an eight-year warranty on the battery.
Pre-orders of the ORA CAT 01 will begin in December 2021. While exact details will be revealed later this year, indicative pricing for the entry level trim version suggests the vehicle will be available to purchase for around £25,000.
First deliveries of the ORA CAT are scheduled for the first half of 2022 and additional models and variants will be announced in due course.
Facts at a Glance
• Model: ORA CAT
• Engine: all-electric with 48kwh or 63kwh battery options
• Price: €29,790/£25,000 estimated
• Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 8.5 seconds/Maximum Speed 160 kph (100 mph)
• Economy: Range 209 miles for 48kwh version and 261 miles for 63kwh version
• Emissions: 0 g/km
Model quoted is UK-specification and equipment and final version specification and prices may vary.