Technologically competitive, cheaper, truly ambitious… Chinese electric cars are coming. Chinese manufacturers have been worrying the industry for years, suddenly they are here. We have selected six cars that will mark the French market.
Chinese automakers have long been planning to break into the European market. Now it’s done, you’ll see more and more Chinese cars on French roads. After the entire auto industry has been whispering with concern 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.
Ora Funky Cat
The Ora Funky Cat, from the Great Wall group, which we found in Norway, is a 100% electric city car that adopts a retro design with smooth lines on the outside and two big googly 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 over 400 kilometers. The more powerful of the two electric motors with 126 kW (171 hp) will allow you to do 0 to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds. As for the small engine, it has a power 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-coloured. 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 dashboard.
The big question remains price and availability in France. In the UK, the Ora Funky Cat will be available later in the year at a price of £30,495, or around €36,000.
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 lifespan, XPeng is finally counting on the P7 to enter Europe.
The new XPeng P7 is a Chinese sedan designed to appeal to customers interested in the Tesla Model 3. Although the P7 is actually halfway between the Model 3 and the Model S. But considering the prices, it is an adversary of the Model 3. 3 .
The P7 is based on XPeng’s B platform, codenamed ‘Edward’, which was co-developed and designed under contract with Porsche. There is (almost) nothing to envy to Tesla, either its performance (655 Nm torque and 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds), its autonomy (up to 530 km in the WLTP combined cycle), or the its charging speed (up to 100 kW).
The Xpeng P7 also has its own operating system, with OTA updates, as well as driving assistance modes, in order to allow, when possible, level 3 autonomous driving.
For your arrival in Europe, your price is 42,500 euros in Norway. We can already see it in Oslo showrooms, Maxime Fontanier was able to try it. In France, you will certainly 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 ad 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) developed by SAIC.
The Chinese compact starts with a 51 kWh battery, allowing it to travel 350 km according to the WLTP cycle, according to the manufacturer, while power is displayed at 170 horsepower. A 2ᵉ version will also be offered, with a 65 kWh battery offering a range of 450 km for an output of 204 horsepower. It then rivals the 220 version of the Mégane E-Tech, with its 60 kWh battery.
Later, other versions equipped with all-wheel drive will also see the light of day. For now, the most efficient variant reaches 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 sell for 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 effect until the end of the year before going to 5,000 euros next year. By way of comparison, the MG 4 will cost at least 5,000 euros less than the Renault Mégane E-Tech, shown from 35,200 euros in its 130 horsepower version and with a 40 kWh battery.
Note that the MSP supports battery swapping as Nio already offers it in China and Norway. The brand does not specify whether the MG will be equipped with this function, but we know thatwill be equipped with semi-autonomous driving via the MG Pilot system. The compact will also support remote OTA updates.
Same approach as many new car manufacturers, Nio decided to land in Norway to market the ET7 sedan and ES8 SUV. Note that Nio is often spoken about. The Chinese brand offers battery replacement in a few minutes at dedicated stations. The one that stood out to us is the ET7.
The ET7 is in some ways the flagship of the brand in Europe, as it is a large electric sedan that positions itself as a rival to the famous Tesla Model S.
The car has several batteries, one between 70 and 75kWh with autonomy of 500-550kma second of 100 kWh with autonomy of 700kmand finally a semi-solid battery of 150 kWh allowing the car to claim approx. 1000km reach in the Chinese CLTC cycle on a single charge.
The car is equipped with two electric motors developing a combined power of 480kW (about 653 hp) and a maximum torque of 850Nm. The front is a permanent magnet motor, while the rear motor is induction. These two engines allow you to go from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
Pricing in Germany has yet to be revealed, but Nio is targeting premium, namely Mercedes-Benz, Audi or BMW. The brand guarantees that the price will be substantially equivalent to that of a Tesla Model 3 Performance of today, that is, around 65,000 euros. After Germany, the manufacturer will seek to launch 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 available now, but the U6. It is an SUV with a coupe profile, with a 160 kW front engine and three battery capacities: 63, 72 and 88 kWh. With estimated ranges of between 450 and 600 km (WLTP).
It’s still too early to know the prices of the U6. These should, however, remain quite close to the U5, which stand at 39,990 euros and 44,990 euros excluding the eco bonus.
Then there’s BYD (“Build your Dreams”), currently the world’s largest electric car maker. You can start with the newly revealed BYD Seal, an electric car in the shape of the Tesla Model 3 and with a range of around 500 kilometers.
It’s an electric sedan that obviously aims to compete head-on with the Tesla Model 3, which currently remains the best-selling fashion model in Europe.
In total, no less than three versions will be offered within the range of this BYD Seal. The less efficient version will boast an output of 204 horsepower from its single engine, while the variant that closes the catalog will combine two electric motors. Between the two, an intermediate version of 313 horsepower will be offered, just in propulsion.
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