ORA is a Chinese marque of electric car and plug-in hybrid owned by Great Wall Motors. They are based in Baoding, China and started operating in 2018. In addition to the two vehicles named in the title they have other vehicles with names incorporating the word “cat”. For example: the ORA Black Cat, ORA White Cat, ORA Lightning Cat, and the ORA Big Cat. I like it. The names will appeal to millions of cat lovers. A useful aspect of employing the word ‘cat’ is that it can be both fierce and masculine and cute and feminine although I am stereotyping. For the former think of all the American teams named after cats and for the latter think of cute kittens. Japan is very into cuteness and have a name for it – kawaii. Perhaps these cars are directed at the Asian market and Japan in particular.
According to the Wikipedia authors: “The naming of the ‘cat’ series of vehicles is reportedly based on a Deng Xiaoping’s famous quote: “No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat”. That hints at functionality being at the heart of these vehicles. That’s important as the biggest barrier to purchasing EVs is range anxiety and the facility to charge the battery. If you live in an apartment on the tenth floor, how do you charge it?
These cars are going to be successful because the designs are very clever in my opinion. The Punk Cat and Ballet Cat are based around the Volkswagen beetle in design. And they’ve clearly decided that as the beetle was an incredibly popular car, with the most cars sold in history of car making, it makes sense to design a modern EV (electric vehicle) around the design. And I think that they’ve made the correct decision.
These are what I call retro, funky cars. They will appeal to young people. And women will love the Ballet Cat because it is both cute and retro combined with cutting edge technology.
There is an interesting photograph of these two cars on the CarNewsChina.com website at a Great Wall facility in northern China. They have stickers all over them to mask the design as they were presumably in the last stage of testing.
The CarNewsChina website tells us that the first early-production cars have already arrived at ORA dealers across China. The Ballet Cat is an all-electric car powered by a single electric motor with 171 hp and 250 Nm. It has an ultra-hip interior according to that website.
The Punk Cat for the boys is a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). ‘PHEV’ stands for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. The bumpers and lights on of the Punk Cat are slightly different to those of the Ballet Cat. The Punk Cat retains the round Beetle-style lights of the original Volkswagen beetle.
The website says that the Ballet Cat is targeted at pretty and educated women ❤! And not the ultra-hot bikini kind! I can see this car being very popular with women anywhere in the world. I think that it has been very well designed.
They hope to achieve 400-500 km on one charge which is 310 miles at the top end. This is acceptable but people should remember that the range of electric vehicles varies with the ambient temperature and the usage of air conditioning. The range can be significantly reduced in winter when the heater is on and the ambient temperatures are much colder. I am surprised at the range bearing in mind the small size of these vehicles. The batteries take up a lot of space. I suspect that the batteries are a new type with a better range.