Supporting Motors


Electric Ora is one Funky Cat!

By Gerry Murphy

Electric vehicles coming from China has not yet reached invasion levels – but we can expect more to come in the coming decade. The Japanese did it in the 70’s and the Chinese are kicking-off their assault now. One of the more recent compact electric cars that is new to Ireland, Ora is a Chinese car brand from the Great Wall Motor Company. Their first model here is the Ora Funky Cat.

What of the name? Cats are said to be lucky in China and this is why Ora has named it so. We are told there are more to come such as the Good Cat and the Lightening Cat!

Its quirky name, stylish looks, charming interior and choice of two batteries offering ranges between 300 and 400 kilometres – as tested – make up the some of the reasons that make the Funky Cat is a car to be reckoned with in the small EV sector.

Inside the space is quite generous and four adults will sit comfortably with plenty of leg room, head space and elbow room. Basic versions come with a black interior but, the two-tone interior that in the test car is rather catching. The bright teal over cream furniture is modern and unique compared to what is available in other European cars. A small boot might be a bit of a draw back and is only capable of carrying the shopping and little else.

There is a choice of two batteries. The Funky Cat 48kWh has a promised range of up to 310 kilometres while the more expensive 63kWh promises up to 420 kilometres of range. Both use the same 171hp motor driving the front wheels. On the test drive in the 400km version I was really impressed the difference between the promised range and the real-world figure was about 90%. That’s a real plus and better than I would expect from any EV.

What will generate a lot of debate is the tech interface with the user. The screens are attractive enough but using them is fidgety although there is the option to use voice control for some activities.

One other are that kind of bothered me is the face recognition system that acts like big brother; keeping you aware of your driving and reminding you constantly to pay attention. This is very annoying and although it can be switched off, this has to be done every time you start a new journey.

All in all, the Ora Funky Cat will attract many buyers that like a bit of style and want a car that stands out from the crowd and delivers on its promises when it comes to range. It also comes with a full five-star EuroNCAP safety rating.

Prices start at €31,995 for the 300 PRO with the 400 PRO+ priced from €39,995.

There are only a small number of dealers for the Ora so far with Connolly’s in Ballybrit representing the brand in Galway.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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