China NEV Weekly Episode 8: ORA is a Great Wall and Xiyate is Not a Seat

China NEV Weekly

The Chinese NEV market moves at full speed ahead, time thus for China NEV Weekly Episode 8. Today with a Seat that isn’t a Seat, an ORA, and yet another electric supercar. Here we go:

Cheap Volkswagen EV

Volkswagen has a new joint venture with JAC to make cheap EVs for the Chinese masses, and images of their first car have leaked onto the Internet. Volkswagen has had some branding problems with the government. The latest news is that the cars will have Seat badges, and will use the Chinese name for Seat (Xiyate), but not the Seat name. The first car is somewhat of a lazy effort, basically a rebadged JAC iEV7S with a Seat-ish front. The iEV7 has an electric motor with 116 hp, and a range of 280 kilometers. The brand and first car will debut in April at the Beijing Auto Show. More JAC-VW EVs will follow soon, including an SUV and a sedan. Companies are also exploring possibilities to extend the joint venture to commercial vehicles.

NIO ES8

Staying with JAC, because they also have a joint venture with NIO for building the ES8 electric SUV. It has been launched on the Chinese car market, but it is not an easy buy. NIO has only four dealers in the whole of China, and they call their dealers ‘Houses’. Two of these four houses are in Beijing, and I am planning a visit for next week. Price of the ES8 starts at 448.000 yuan and ends at 548.000 yuan ($71.090 – 86.960). A lot of money, but the specifications are impressive. The ES8 has two electric motors good for a total output of 650 hp and 850 Nm, making it the most powerful Chinese car ever made. It does 0-100 in 4.4 seconds, and it has an NEDC range of 355 kilometers.

ORA iQ5

Great Wall Motors lags far behind in the new NEV world. At this moment, they sell zero hybrids, and just one ancient electric sedan. They could have solved this by adding some NEVs to their existing Haval and WEY brands. But that is not the Chinese way, and certainly not the Great Wall way. Instead, they decided to launch a totally new EV brand called ORA, or Oula in Chinese. Their first car is the white beauty on the photo, a large SUV-coupe called the ORA iQ5, powered by 160 hp electric motor. Great Wall certainly tried to make it look like an electric, with a daring grille-less front and tiny LED lights. ORA too will debut on the Beijing Auto Show.

BYD Yuan EV360

Unlike Great Wall, BYD is launching an electric version of every car in their lineup. The latest vehicle to get the EV treatment is the Yuan, a trendy compact SUV. The EV version is called the BYD Yuan EV360, and it gets a big fake black grille to differentiate it from the gasoline version. The EV360 is powered by an electric motor with 95 hp, good for a 120 km/h top speed. The Yuan EV360 will launch next month, and it will cost about 100.000 yuan or $15.800

Range hasn’t been announced yet, but the name of the vehicle indicates 360 kilometers. Chinese car makers are wont to include range in their EV’s names. However, this range is usually based on the Chinese 60 km/h standard, and not on NEDC. The difference between this Chinese standard and NEDC is around 30% minus, so real world range of the Yuan EV360 would be about 255 kilometers.

ArcFox-7

ArcFox is a premium-NEV brand under BJEV, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Beijing Auto Industry Corporation (BAIC). The first ArcFox was a small city hopper called the LITE. The second car will be a bit more serious; ArcFox has confirmed that the ArcFox-7 electric supercar will launch in June. The ‘7’ will be powered by three electric motors, good for a total output of 612 hp and 1050 Nm. Top speed will be 260 km/h and 0-100 will be gone in just 3.5 seconds. Range will be 450 kilometers. The ultimate halo-car for the ArcFox brand won’t be cheap; price will start somewhere around 1.8 million yuan or $290,000.

More NEV next week!