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How many GWM Ora hatchbacks were sold in its first month in South Africa

The new GWM Ora has sold a total of five units in the first two weeks since it officially went on sale in South Africa, according to Naamsa’s most recent monthly sales data.

The Chinese car made its debut in showrooms in the middle of November 2023, having been teased for the past several months with road sightings going back as far as April.

Small beginnings

Electric cars are still far away from becoming the new normal for South African motorists, due in large part to the fact that there are no truly affordable options on the market at the moment.

The GWM Ora is officially the cheapest electric vehicle (EV) in the country, but it still retails for a minimum of R686,950putting it outside the realm of possibility for the majority of income earners right now.

This being said, the Ora, along with other recently announced models, has significantly lowered the barrier to entry for EVs relative to what it was even a year ago.

The vast majority of South Africa’s current pool of EVs are currently situated at the top of the price spectrum, with options like the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-tron all going for well over R1 million, which isn’t unusual to see since most new technologies typically start out very expensive and gradually become more accessible to the masses further down the line.

Even so, South Africa’s “affordable” EV scene has been rather barebones until recently, as the only battery-powered car to retail for less than R1 million was the Mini Cooper SE, while electric SUVs like the Volvo XC40 P6 Recharge now start at R1,075,000.

This year, however, saw the tide start to change with the reveal of models like the BYD Atto 3 and the Volvo EX30, which have lowered the bar on battery-electrics by hundreds of thousands of rands.

Again, the GWM Ora is the front-runner in this regard – selling for a lower price than even the company initially said it would – as an announcement in May put the hatchback at R716,900 instead of the R686,950 we ended up getting.

There are still several hurdles to EV adoption in South Africa, including load-shedding and the related fears about charging access and driving range, as well as the fact that the country is still approximately seven years away from introducing purchasing incentives to help bridge the gap to the newer technology for less affluent drivers.



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