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Fully electric GWM ORA 03 is a charming proposition

The 300 indicates that, when completely charged, you can clock 300km. With a charge in Harare, you may reach Masvingo without risk for as little as US$10 (Zesa).

The first GWM electric vehicle arrived in Zimbabwe with a compelling offer. The GWM Ora 03 300 is the subject of my analysis.

The 300 indicates that, when completely charged, you can clock 300km. With a charge in Harare, you may reach Masvingo without risk for as little as US$10 (Zesa).

What a steal!

In fuel savings, the same trip would need around US$50 worth of petrol with a fuel saver. The electric vehicle has much lower maintenance costs due to few repairs and minimal general wear and tear.

However, ownership is prohibited by the original cash outlay. At US$65 5000, it is already competing with bigger SUVs and double cabs, defeating the whole purpose of moving away from fossil fuel (Let the working class acquire electric automobiles by lowering their duties and taxes, Professor Mthuli Ncube, sir).

It would be more equitable to levy fees on vehicle use and ownership rather than punitive duties that prohibit new car ownership. A small percentage of Zimbabweans have ever sat behind the wheel of a brand-new vehicle. Most of what we have used has been passed down from Japan, your grey imports.

In the GWM domain, there have been recent developments. GWM is currently the parent business of many vehicle lines designed to cater to certain needs and preferences, including the Haval, Tank, Wey, P Series, and, most recently, the ORA series. Their stated goal is to become an industry leader while minimising their impact on the environment. Thus, GWM has also been involved in the New Energy Vehicle market via its wholly-owned subsidiary, ORA, which manufactures EVs (electric vehicles) aimed squarely at urbanites, trendies and young adults.

For its owner, the ORA brand aspires to be both technologically advanced and stylish. To check out the ORA 03 hatchback, I stopped by the Zimoco showroom.


Looking closely, you can tell that the ORA 03 takes design cues from Porsche, Citroen, Mini Cooper and VW Beetle. The ORA 03 was created by Emanuel Derta, a former designer for Porsche, which is why it’s got that Porche signature to it.

Stout and curvaceous characterise the ORA 03’s body. A modest grille and a rounded snout are shown on the front fascia. From the spherical headlamps, the fenders protrude. A stocky back gives way to a wide girth. A rear windscreen conceals the brake lights. To finish off, the stylish look, non-GT variants come with wheels that are reminiscent of the past. This writer finds the ORA 03’s design to be minimalistic and distinctively ORA.


Even though it is a hatchback, the ORA 03 provides plenty of legroom and headroom for its passengers. You can see the front corners of this automobile easily via the large glass window, and the projecting fenders make it much easier to observe.

You are sitting on sufficiently supportive leatherette chairs with foam that leans towards firmness, but is nevertheless rather pleasant. The air conditioning controls and dashboard, both of which are retro-modern in appearance, have toggle switches. The leather steering wheel even has the look of a vintage two-spoke wheel. For better ergonomics, I would have preferred if the cupholders had been raised to the same height as the gear shifter.

To power its infotainment system, the ORA 03 makes use of GWM’s newest Coffee interface. The system’s user experience could be improved and there are too many menus, but you know how the Chinese do it: they go full on and competition will catch up later.

The infotainment and air conditioning controls could have been made more user-friendly with physical buttons and rotary knobs. The ORA 03’s interior materials are high-quality and the operational switchgear has a luxury feel. The sound quality of the speaker system is excellent. Also, the NVH levels are fantastic. There are 228 to 858 litres of cargo space.


The front wheels of an ORA 03 range vehicle get 250Nm of torque and 126kW of power from a permanent magnet synchronous motor. Here you may find two different batteries. The basic 300 Super Luxury comes with a 48-kWh lithium-ion phosphate battery that can go up to 310km (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure, WLTP). The 400 Super Luxury has a range of up to 420km (WLTP) thanks to its 63-kWh nickel-manganese cobalt battery.

In contrast, the top-of-the-line 400 GT can go up to 400km (WLTP). So as not to frighten the inexperienced driver, the ORA 03’s power delivery is soft. Not only is it not likely to get you into problems, but it also responds as one would anticipate from an electric car.

Even though it only weighs 1 555kg, the ORA 03 does a good job of managing its weight. The suspension calibration is to thank for the ORA 03’s effortless handling in both confined spaces and vast highways. The car isn’t squishy and gets agitated quickly. Shooting is the only method.


In addition to a five-star certification from Euro New Car Assessment Programme, the ORA 03 series comes equipped with the following safety features:

Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Braking;

360° Panoramic Camera;


Adaptive cruise control;

Auto Emergency Braking – Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection;

Auto Emergency Braking Intersection Assist;

Auto Unlock when Collision Occurs;

Dual Srs Airbags, Front Side Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags and Front Centre Airbag;

Emergency Lane-Keeping;

Front-Collision Warning;

Intelligent Cruise Control;

Intelligent Speed Assist;

Intelligent Turning Control;

ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors;

Lane-Central Keeping;

Lane-Change Assist;

Lane-Departure Warning;

Lane-Departure Warning;

Rear-Collision Warning;

Roll Movement Intervention;

Secondary Collision Mitigation;

Smart Dodge System;

Traffic Jam Assist;

Traffic-Sign Recognition; and

Tyre Pressure Monitor Sensor.

Furthermore, you may consult with Zimoco to determine the most suitable home charging option for your ORA and your residence.

My decision

Here we have the GWM ORA 03, a gorgeous offer. When contrasted with other internal combustion engine (ICE) rivals with comparable features and specs, it sits well at its pricing range in other countries.

In Zimbabwe, the price has to come down. While it’s undeniable that the ORA 03 is a stylish accessory, it also has the feel of a high-quality product.

This car gets about well, exudes charm and reveals GWM’s direction, which is a positive one. — andrew@muzamhindo.com

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