The All-Electric GWM Ora Funky Cat Hatchback: The Complete Guide For The UK

GWM Ora
Price: £31,995
Type of electric vehicle: Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 48 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 193 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 0g (CO2/km)


Overview


GWM Ora, though, not a brand we immediately recognise in the UK, is owned by the Chinese automobile manufacturer, Great Wall Motor Co., Ltd. GWM is the eight largest automobile manufacturer in China and was founded in 1984. Yes, the company is named after the Great Wall of China and is headquartered in Hebei, China.

The Ora brand was announced by GWM in May 2018. According to the manufacturer, Ora stands for ‘open, reliable and alternative’. The brand is dedicated 100% to electric vehicles (EVs). The brand’s entry into the European and UK markets has been very recent: 2022. In the UK, the company currently sells the following electric vehicles (EVs):

  • The all-electric Ora Funky Cat

The company has announced its intention to launch a pure electric saloon in the UK in early 2024.



Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The All-Electric GWM Ora Funky Cat Hatchback


Though the pure electric Funky Cat is new to our market, its exterior design has a sense of familiarity. A blend of styling from other family cars familiar to us: the all-electric Mini, the Porsche 911, VW Beetle and more!

For some reason, it works and results in a rather attractive (cute) family compact electric hatchback. However, we are not as convinced with the name, which has its genesis in the GWM China portfolio, further tweaked for the UK/ European markets.

Like the Vauxhall Corsa-e (50 kWh), the Ora Funky Cat electric car has incorporated a smaller onboard EV battery (48 kWh), which serves well for day-to-day commutes and shorter distance motorway driving. Not all electric vehicles (EVs) need to have a large EV battery.

Do keep in mind that the larger the EV battery, the heavier the vehicle weight, the greater the impact on efficiency and electric range. The Funk Cat has a 1540 kg minimum kerb weight. However, the manufacturer may introduce this model with a larger EV battery in due course (63 kWh).

GWM claims an e-range up to 193 miles (WLTP) on a single charge. Even adjusted for real-world driving conditions (165 miles), the e-range is ample for city and shorter motorway driving. It is worth noting that the Corsa-e has a slightly higher claimed range (222 miles). Having said that, the Ora electric does offer more e-range than the all-electric Mini (144 miles) and the all-electric Honda e (137 miles).

The manufacturer has kept its entry into the UK market simple: the Ora Funky Cat is available in only one premium trim level (First Edition – 4 body colours), and priced similar to other premium mid-sized electric hatchbacks currently available, but not as cheap as family electric cars like the MG4 EV. An interesting approach by GWM, given the nascent nature of the Ora brand recognition in the UK.

The five-door five-seat e-hatchback is not as compact as it looks. In fact, in terms of size it is closer to the all-electric VW ID.3 (length: 4261 mm) and the all-electric Cupra Born (length: 4322 mm). But despite this, the Funky Cat (4235 mm) offers a much smaller boot (228 L), compared to the ID.3 (385 L) and Born (385 L). Moreover, the Funky Cat boot does have a high lip. The Ora does not have a frunk. The EV cable can be stored below the boot.

In terms of performance, the front-wheel drive (FWD) GWM Ora electric is not as nippy as the all-electric Abarth 500e (0-62 mph: 7.0 seconds), but the Ora does deliver a decent performance. The electric vehicle (EV) can achieve 0-62 mph in 8.3 seconds (maximum power: 171 PS/ torque 250 Nm). The top speed is 99 mph. The EV has regenerative braking and offers one-pedal driving.

Though the Ora electric family car only offers DC charging up to 64 kW DC, given the size of the onboard EV battery and the fact that most charging is done at home, the 64 kW DC charging speed is just fine. According to GWM, the EV battery can be charged 15%-80%: 42 minutes. For home charging, using a dedicated residential single-phase EV charger, the EV can be fully charged in 5 hours and 24 minutes.

Interestingly, the EV incorporates a 3-phase AC onboard charger as standard. For those with access to three-phase (11 kW) charging, the electric car can be fully charged in 3 hours and 12 minutes. In general, we at e-zoomed recommend a topping up approach to charging an EV.

This way, charging times are shorter and it is also better for the long-term maintenance of the EV battery. GWM offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles EV battery warranty. This has now become the de facto standard for electric cars!

The GWM Ora has already achieved a 5 Star NCAP Safety Rating. The EV offers a host of safety features, to include: auto emergency braking, pedestrian & cyclist detection, blindspot detection, lane keep assist, lane centring function, ADAS safety package, reversing camera, 360 degree surround cameras, rear traffic cross alert & brake and more!

Other technology onboard includes: a 10.25″ infotainment display, 10.25″ instrument cluster, wireless charging and voice assistant. Interestingly, the e-hatchback also offers a facial recognition system, which recognises the driver and automatically adjusts the settings to the drivers preference.

The Funky Cat is not the first EV to incorporate this technology and we can expect it to become commonplace in due course. Surprisingly, it does not offer Apple Car Play or Android Auto (will be installed via over-the-air updates in due course).

Despite the compact size, the EV has ample headroom and legroom, but a tight squeeze for three adults at the back. Also limited is the rear-view visibility and there is no windscreen wiper. The interior quality is to a good standard and finish. It is available in a dual-tone colour scheme. However, the EV does not have heated seats, usually a must for markets like the UK.

We will need to wait to assess if UK consumers believe the proposition of the EV reflects the premium price tag, given the very limited brand awareness. But we do believe that Chinese automotive manufacturers like GWM, are well positioned for long-term success in the UK and European markets.

Company-car drivers can take advantage of the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-2%) tax rate, given the zero-tailpipe emissions. Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet. You can lease electric vehicles at very competitive prices via e-zoomed!



PROS CONS
Decent all-electric range. 11 kW AC onboard charger as standard Limited brand awareness
Appealing exterior styling Cheaper alternatives available
Good level of safety and technology Available in only one trim

Gallery


The All-Electric GWM Ora Funky Cat Hatchback (credit: GWM Ora)


At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Body Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (1 Option)
GWM Ora Funky Cat First Edition (from £31,995)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 48 kWh
Charging:64 kW DC rapid charging (15%-80%: 42 mins). Onboard charger 11 kW AC (15%-80% : 3 hrs 12 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type: Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
EV Battery Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 16.7 kWh £2.40
Battery net capacity : 30.0 kWh£4.32
Battery net capacity : 39.2 kWh£5.64
Battery net capacity : 45.0 kWh£6.48
Battery net capacity : 50.0 kWh£7.20
Battery net capacity : 64.0 kWh£9.22
Battery net capacity : 71.0 kWh£10.22
Battery net capacity : 77.0 kWh£11.09
Battery net capacity : 90.0 kWh£12.96
Battery net capacity : 100.0 kWh£14.40
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
  • Note 1: SoC: state of charge

Dimensions
Height (mm):1603
Width (mm):1825
Length (mm):4235
Wheelbase (mm):2650
Turning Circle (m):11.2
Boot Space (L):228

Ora Funky Cat
EV Battery Capacity:48 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):193 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):16.5 – 16.8
Charging: 64 kW DC rapid charging (15%-80%: 42 mins). Onboard charger 11 kW AC (15%-80% : 3 hrs 12 mins)
Top Speed:99 mph
0-62 mph:8.3 seconds
Drive: Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):171 (126 kW)
Torque (Nm): 250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Kerb Weight (kg):1,540
Colours:4
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.


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Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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