Technologically competitive, cheaper, truly ambitious… Chinese electric cars arrive. Chinese manufacturers have been worrying the industry for years, suddenly they’re here. We have selected six cars that will mark the French market.
Chinese automakers have long planned to invade the European market. It’s done, you will see more and more Chinese cars on French roads. After the entire auto industry has been worryingly whispering for years that the Chinese are coming, suddenly they are here. We have made a selection of cars that we believe will mark the French market.
pray funky cat
The Ora Funky Cat, from the Great Wall group, located in Norway, is a 100% electric city car that adopts a retro design with smooth lines on the exterior and two large bulging eyes with matrix LED technology as headlights. It is a very serious alternative to the Peugeot e-208, the Renault Zoé or even the future MG4.
Two versions will be offered, a small battery with a capacity of 49 kWh, which should allow 300 kilometers according to the WLTP standard. The large battery stores 63 kWh for 400 kilometers. The more powerful of the two electric motors with 126 kW (171 hp) will make it possible to do a 0 to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds. As for the small engine, it has an output of 105 kW (143 hp).
The Funky Cat’s little extra is its on-board system. The software part is, in fact, remarkably fluid and the design very convincing and hyper-colored. There’s a 10.25-inch screen for the instrument cluster, as well as a similarly sized (and fully touch-sensitive) second screen for infotainment, in the middle of the dash.
The great unknown remains the price and availability in France. In the UK, the Ora Funky Cat will be available later this year at a price of 30,495 pounds, about 36,000 euros.
In March 2022, Xpeng (Xiaopeng Motors) opened its first orders for its P5 sedan in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. It will have a very short shelf life, XPeng finally has the P7 to break into Europe.
The new XPeng P7 is a Chinese sedan designed to attract customers interested in the Tesla Model 3. Although the P7 is, in reality, halfway between the Model 3 and the Model S. But considering the prices, it is an adversary for the Model 3. .
The P7 is based on XPeng’s B platform, codenamed ‘Edward’, which was co-developed and engineered under contract with Porsche. It has (almost) nothing to envy Tesla, be it its performance (655 Nm of torque and 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds) or its autonomy (up to 530 km in WLTP combined cycle), or its speed of load (up to 100 kw).
The Xpeng P7 also has its own OS, with OTA updates, as well as driving assistance modes, to enable level 3 autonomous driving where possible.
For its arrival in Europe its price is 42,500 euros in Norway. We can already see it in the Oslo showrooms, Maxime Fontanier was able to prove it. In France you will surely have to pay a little more… Since Norway does not charge any tax on electric cars.
MG is already very present in France, and the latest announcement is the MG4. The MG 4 (MG MG4) has opened its order book, it is the first model in the range to be based on the new MSP (Modular Scalable Platform) platform developed by SAIC.
The Chinese compact starts from a 51 kWh battery, which allows it to travel 350 km according to the WLTP cycle, according to the manufacturer, while the power is displayed at 170 horses. A version 2ᵉ will also be offered, with a 65 kWh battery that offers a range of 450 km for a power of 204 horses. It then rivals the 220 version of the Mégane E-Tech, with its 60 kWh battery.
Subsequently, other versions equipped with four-wheel drive will also see the light. For now, the most efficient variant achieves 0 to 100 km/h in less than 8 seconds, for a top speed limited to 160 km/h.
MG has announced that the MG4 will be sold at 30,000 euros in its entry-level version. A more than attractive price, which does not take into account the ecological bonus of 6,000 euros still in force until the end of the year to go to 5,000 euros next year. By way of comparison, the MG 4 will then cost at least 5,000 euros less than the Renault Mégane E-Tech, exhibited from 35,200 euros in its 130 horsepower version and with a 40 kWh battery.
Please note that the MSP supports battery swapping, as Nio already offers in China and Norway. The brand does not specify if the MG will be equipped with this function, but we know thatwill be equipped with semi-autonomous driving through the MG Pilot system. The compact will also support remote OTA updates.
With the same approach as many new car manufacturers, Nio has decided to land in Norway to market the ET7 sedan and ES8 SUV. Note that Nio is often spoken of. The Chinese brand offers the change of batteries in a few minutes in dedicated stations. The one that caught our attention the most is the ET7.
The ET7 is in a way the standard-bearer of the brand in Europe, since it is a large electric saloon that is positioned as a rival to the famous Tesla Model S.
The car has several batteries, one among 70 and 75kWh with an autonomy of 500-550kma second of 100 kWh with an autonomy of 700kmand finally a semi-solid battery of 150 kWh allowing the car to claim approximately 1000km range on the Chinese CLTC cycle on a single charge.
The car is equipped with two electric motors that develop a combined power of 480kW (about 653 hp) and a maximum torque of 850Nm. The front one is a permanent magnet motor, while the rear motor is an induction motor. These two motors allow to obtain a 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
At the moment, the prices in Germany have not yet been revealed, but Nio is targeting the premium ones, namely Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW. The brand ensures that the price will be substantially equivalent to that of a Tesla Model 3 Performance today, that is around 65,000 euros. After Germany, the manufacturer will seek to launch itself in the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, three countries where electric cars and infrastructure are much more democratized than in France.
Finally, let’s finish with the best-selling category in France: an SUV. This is not the Aiways U5, which is already available, but the U6. It is an SUV with a coupé profile, with a 160 kW front engine, and three battery capacities: 63, 72 and 88 kWh. With estimated autonomy, in CLTC cycle, between 450 and 600 km (WLTP).
It is still early to know the prices of the U6. However, these should remain fairly close to those of the U5, which sit at €39,990 and €44,990 excluding the eco bonus.
Then there’s BYD (“Build Your Dreams”), currently the world’s largest electric car maker. It could start with the recently presented BYD Seal, an electric car in the format of the Tesla Model 3 and with a range of about 500 kilometers.
It is an electric sedan that obviously intends to compete head-on with the Tesla Model 3, which is currently still the best-selling fashion model in Europe.
In total, no less than three versions will be offered within the range for this BYD Seal. The less efficient version will then display a power of 204 horsepower from its single engine, while the variant that crowns the catalog will combine two electric motors. Between the two, an intermediate version of 313 horses will be offered, only in propulsion.
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