2022 Ora Cat 01 electric car revealed: prices, specs and release date

The Ora Cat 01 is a five-door budget-focused electric hatchback with an official range of up to 261 miles, and here's everything you need to know about it...

Ora Cat 01 front view

On sale: Spring 2022 | Price from: £25,000 (est)

China is the world's largest producer and buyer of electric cars – and one of the best-selling Chinese models, the Ora Cat, is heading to the UK aiming to shake up the market.

The Cat is a five-door fully electric hatchback, and will go on sale in December. UK specifications have just been confirmed by the manufacturer.

Ora is the pure-electric sub-brand of Great Wall Motors in China, and was established in 2018. The Cat has been available in the Chinese market for around a year, and has become one of the country’s top-selling electric cars. When it goes on sale in Europe, it will be a small electric car rival to the Fiat 500Mini Electric and Volkswagen ID.3.

Ora Cat 01 rear view

UK buyers will be offered a choice of two battery sizes: 48kWh or 63kWh. The batteries are expected to have official WLTP ranges of 209 miles and 261 miles respectively.

AC charging and 80kW rapid charging will be standard across the range. With an 80kW charger, a 10-80% charge should take approximately 40 minutes (for the smaller battery) and 50 minutes for the larger one. Power comes from a single electric motor which drives the front wheels and produces 169bhp and 184lb ft of torque. The Cat's 0-62mph is said to be 8.5sec for both battery sizes.

Ora Cat 01 boot

At 4.2m long, 1.8m wide and 1.6m tall, the Cat is a similar size to the Volkswagen ID.3. What Car? has had the chance to sit in one already, and the space inside is decent by small electric car standards – rear legroom is especially impressive, although headroom is a bit tight for tall adults.

Boot space is less impressive, and the 228 litres of capacity is on the small side for the small electric car class. It’s bigger than the tiny boots on offer in the Mini Electric and Fiat 500, but some way off the generous ID.3. There’s no front boot (or ‘froot’) either, but there is a little bit of room to store charging cables under the boot floor.

Ora Cat 01 interior

While it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s expected that three trim levels will be available on the Cat, with the option of a sporty GT styling pack on the two upper trim levels. The styling pack will add a different alloy wheel design and a carbon fibre effect on the front and rear bumpers, as well as a rear spoiler. On the upper trims, you can also have a two-tone colour finish for the interior, but the entry-level trim is black.

The build quality is a bit mixed. It feels fairly robust inside, and there are some soft-touch materials on the dashboard and tops of the doors, but there are also lots of cheaper-feeling plastics around. All the buttons and dials feel good quality, though, and overall it isn’t far off what you find in an ID.3. 

Ora Cat screens

Standard features include a large 10.25 inch infotainment screen, a 10.25 digital driver’s display, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, full LED headlights and a 360-degree camera with rear parking sensors. The Cat will feature plenty of safety equipment as standard, including lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot monitoring.

It will also get an autonomous parking function, and a facial recognition system designed to monitor driver fatigue will be available on the higher trim levels. All models will be offered with a five-year vehicle warranty as well as an eight-year warranty for the battery.

Ora Cat back seats

The Cat, which will be put through the Euro NCAP crash safety test, is fitted with six airbags, the latest ESP systems and an automatic e-call crash and breakdown system.

Prices are said to start from around £25,000, although it's unclear whether that figure includes the UK Government plug-in car grant of £2500. First deliveries are expected to begin in the first half of next year. 

It’s also thought that Ora is in talks with Nissan to purchase its Barcelona production facility, where it would open its first manufacturing plant outside China. However, that's not been officially confirmed. For now, any Cats bought in the UK will be built in China.

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