China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) has officially introduced its new brand dedicated exclusively to new energy vehicles. ORA is the fourth brand under the carmaker’s roof after Great Wall, Haval and WEY and will aim their EVs at young audiences with the first model due this year.
Great Wall label ORA, or Ola (欧拉) in Chinese, had been announced some weeks ago but has now revealed details at the official launch at the Beijing Motor Show.
Their first electric cars are both planned out already. The ORA iQ5 is a sedan with a said range of 350 km and a motor output of 60hp, good for a 150kph max. Next one up in 2019 is the ORA R1, a more compact EV with a rather urban range of 300 km.
The two models stand for two lines ORA is to introduce, the iQ line with electric cars of regular size, and the R line with small city cars. They will be sold through a separate dealer network.
Great Wall also says that all the ORA models will sit on dedicated and unique EV platforms. They will be designed in a newly established R&D centre, not in China, but in Yokohama, Japan.
The carmaker had recently enlarged its steps into new energy vehicle terrain and signed a letter of intent with BMW. Together, Great Wall and the Bavarians are planning a joint venture to build electric cars under the Mini brand in China (we reported).
On the more roomy side of things, Great Wall’s premium arm Wey is expected to launch its first plug-in hybrid crossover in China this year. The Wey P8 PHEV uses two electric motors on both the front and rear axles. Paired with a petrol engine the system delivers a combined output of 250 kW and Wey promises a hybrid driving range of 660 km.
Overall, Great Wall Motors plans to pour a total of 60bn yuan (about 7.6bn euros) into the development of new energy vehicles over the next few years.
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