An increasing focus on cutting down the use of fossil fuels and the hunt for sustainable transport options is steering many countries towards electric vehicles, especially cars. India is one of the countries which are exploring the sector and are introducing new policies to meet this goal. In fact, the Indian government has time and again reiterated its resolve to increase the density of electric vehicles on the country’s roads over the next few years.
Given the interest that this segment of vehicles has garnered, many international automobile giants are planning operations in India. China’s Great Walls Motors is one of them. The company recently showcased its ORA R1 – touted to be the world’s cheapest electric car – in the 2020 Auto Expo in February. The company had announced its entry into Indian markets via a tweet from its official Twitter handle. According to reports, the company is looking for a production site in Maharashtra and the car is expected to be launched in June 2021.
The wide range of features that this car sports along with its affordable price make ORA1 a great buy. The hype around the car has created a ripple in Indian markets, as eager buyers wait for the car’s launch. The car’s estimated retail price is around Rs 7 lakh.
This vehicle comes with a host of features that have managed to grab attention worldwide. According to Great Wall Motors, ORA is an acronym that stands for ‘open, reliable and alternative’. The company aims to please the youth living in cities with their new product.
The car is likely to be launched in two variants– the base-spec variant and the long-range variant. Talking about the battery range, the base-spec model comes with a 28.5kWH pack, while the other one comes with a 33kWH pack. The manufacturers claim that the battery range would be around 300km.
The car’s 48PS electric motor boasts of torque of 125Nm. The torque is adequate for revving up the car up to 0-50kmph in a span of just 5.6 seconds.
Its other features include a touch screen infotainment system with a nine-inch screen, reverse parking sensors, and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The car also comes with a camera.
There are several features that add to the electric vehicle’s safety. Apart from the airbags on the front and side of the vehicle, the car sports an electronic parking brake, controls for traction and hill ascent and an electronic stability programme (ESP). An ESP is a computerised technology which boosts a vehicle’s stability by gauging and minimising traction.
If one uses a household plug to charge the ORA R1, it would take around 10 hours. What’s more, is that you can reduce this time by up to 80% and wrap up the process in just 40 minutes by opting for DC charging.
ORA R1 can give you a mileage of up to 351km on a single charge while running via its 35-kilowatt motor. It is also equipped with an Artificial Intelligence-backed feature and a connectivity feature. So, when you hop into the car, you and wake it up with the greeting “Hello, Ora.”
The electric vehicle boasts of a top speed of around 100 km/ph. The company has also offered free servicing for three years or up to 1.20 lakh kilometer and eight years or 1.50 lakh kilometer.
Apart from ORA R1, there are several other electric cars in Indian markets that are garnering a lot of attention. Tata Tigor is one of them. The sedan’s ex-showroom price in India is Rs 5.75 lakh and its exterior is pretty similar to Tata Motors’ recent hatchback launch — Tiago. One of the features upgraded in this car that wasn’t there in Tiago is the fog lamp housing which has been retrofitted with LED DRLs.
It is powered by a 1.2-litre engine which delivers a power of 86PS and a torque of 113NM. Along with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, it comes with a three-spoke steering wheel.
One of the best features of Tata Tigor is its safety. It received a four-star rating for its adult protection from Global NACP. As far as protection for child occupants goes, the car received a three-star rating.
It comes with, dual airbags and EBD, along with push buttons for starting and stopping the car. You have the option of choosing from five colours– Arizona blue, Deep red, Pure silver, Daytona grey and pearlescent white.
A car which has lured many buyers in the electric vehicle category in India is Kona Electric by Hyundai Motors. It has the distinction of reaching the highest altitude by an electric vehicle. The car made it to Guinness World Records by reaching an altitude of 5,731 metre — the highest by an electric car– at Tibet’s Sawula Pass in January 2020. The previous record was of 5,715.28 metre and was held by N10 ES8.
Kona Electric comes with an electric motor of 136ps and a torque of 395Nm. Its ex-showroom price for Indian buyers is Rs 23.71 lakh. One can rev up the car to 0-100km/hr in 9.7 seconds and it has a maximum speed of 154 km/hr. It can be charged up to 80% in 57 minutes and its motor is powered by a 39.2kWh battery pack.
The car sports some quintessential features which are a part of most Hyundai cars, like a digital driver’s display, a touchscreen infotainment system with an eight-inch screen, a satellite-linked navigation system, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming IRVM.