GWM to launch cheapest electric car in South Africa – pricing and features

 ·15 May 2023

Chinese automaker GWM plans to launch its new electric hatchback – the GWM Ora – in South Africa toward the end of the second quarter/start of the third quarter of 2023.

The manufacturer has announced that the battery-electric Ora will retail from a starting price of R716,900, with the top-spec model coming in at R915,900, reported TopAuto.

This would make the new GWM the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) on the new-car market in South Africa.

Currently, the cheapest EV available is the Mini Cooper SE, which retails at R742,102 – meaning the Ora will undercut the previous title holder by R25,202.

The new GWM Ora will be unveiled this week at Nampo Harvest Day from 16 to 19 May in Bothaville, Free State.


GWM has confirmed that the new Ora will be driven by an electric motor producing 126kW and 250Nm, powered by a 48kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

A maximum driving range of 400km is on the cards – far higher than the Mini Cooper’s 217km – and the power module can be recharged with an AC or DC outlet. Using an 80kW DC plug, it fills up from 10% to 80% in 41 minutes.

“This is a significant step for GWM South Africa, especially as the car uses a Dragon Volt battery from SVolt Energy Technology Co. that is cobalt-free, as well as being long-lasting and extremely durable,” said Conrad Groenewald, Chief Operations Officer of Haval Motors South Africa.

Expected features

The manufacturer has yet to confirm the Ora’s standard equipment or South African model line-up, which is expected to happen either at Nampo or when the EV officially launches toward the end of the second quarter/start of the third quarter of 2023.

However, TopAuto looked at its Australian spec sheet for a better picture of what it might offer in South Africa.

According to the spec sheet, it boasts leatherette upholstery, electric seats, automatic air conditioning, LED lights with high-beam assist, wireless charging, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment display, all-round parking sensors, 360-degree cameras, and smart keyless entry.

On the assistance front, the EV offers adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, lane-keep assist, autonomous emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking, and traffic sign recognition, noted TopAuto.

Read: Toyota’s big plans for South Africa – including a hybrid Hilux and Fortuner

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