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Want a Chery Omoda 5 EV? Here's when you can have this electric car rival to the MG ZS EV and BYD Atto 3

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Chery's Omoda 5 EV will be here in 2024.
Chery's Omoda 5 EV will be here in 2024.

Chinese brand Chery has just returned to Australia with its Omoda 5 small SUV, but something’s missing - the electric version. 

Chery’s senior executive tells CarsGuide, buyers won’t have to wait long.

Due to go on sale at the end of March, the Omoda 5 is leading Chery’s second attempt to win over Australians after a 10-year hiatus from our shores. 

The Omoda 5 small SUV appears to tick some important boxes with its modern looks, high-tech cabin and a drive-away price that the company says will start from below $40,000. The catch is that it’s only available with a petrol engine… for now.

Speaking at the launch of the Omoda 5, Chery’s director of network development, Roy Munoz, said the electric version of the Omoda 5 will be here by the middle of 2024, but that the strategy was to make Australians familiar with the brand first. 

“We want to build the brand, build awareness, get cars on the road and bums on seats and once you have that brand trust, then we can transition into new-energy platforms,” Munoz said.

“Chery’s strength lies in its petrol variants at the moment as we produce our own powertrains. So we’re best to come to market with what our strengths are and offer a value-for-money product.”

Chery has led with the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine in the Omoda 5, a four-cylinder unit making 155kW and 230Nm. Before the end of the year a more powerful 1.6-litre turbo petrol will arrive and possibly a petrol-electric hybrid version of the Omoda, at that time too. 

“Chery does have that [hybrid] tech so it would make sense,” Munoz said. “But we will reveal our plans later. It’s a good transition to the battery electric version.”

The Omoda 5 small SUV will start from below ,000.
The Omoda 5 small SUV will start from below ,000.

That electric variant of the Omoda 5 will arrive in the first half of 2024.

CarsGuide understands that the current Omoda 5 architecture can support an electric powertrain without Chery having to use one of its newly developed EV-only platforms.

So will the new Omoda 5 EV become the most affordable electric vehicle in Australia when it arrives and challenge cut-price EV rivals such as the MG ZS, BYD Atto 3 and GWM Ora?

“It’s probably too soon to say,” Munoz said.

“Obviously we want to deliver great value and great tech as you’ve seen so far in the current forms of the Omoda 5. We certainly do want to challenge the market but at this stage with our first electric vehicle being 12 months away it’s hard to say - but we'd definitely want to challenge that.”

The Chery Omoda 5 will hit the local market with a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engine.
The Chery Omoda 5 will hit the local market with a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engine.

Different models have been jostling for the title of Australia's cheapest electric vehicle recently. The MG ZS EV is a direct rival to the Omoda and starts at $44,990 before on-road costs. The challenge was thrown down last year by BYD when it arrived with its Atto 3 electric vehicle for $48,011 and more recently GWM's Ora arrived listing for $43,990, although drive-away pricing differs state to state.

Chery has yet to reveal pricing for its petrol-powered Omoda 5, but says Australian will pay less than $40,000 drive-away. An electric variant can cost at least $10,000 more than its petrol equivalent as is the case with the MG ZS, so Chery may struggle to bring its Omoda 5 EV in under the $50,000 mark.

Munoz said that while being able to offer the most affordable EV in Australia would be good, the business case would have to be there.

“Look, never say never,” said Munoz. 

“If it’s achievable it’s obviously going to have to be a sustainable business and price model for all, especially dealers. So if we are in a position to challenge  - then why not?” 

Richard Berry
Senior Journalist
Richard had wanted to be an astrophysicist since he was a small child. He was so determined that he made it through two years of a physics degree, despite zero mathematical ability. Unable to build a laser in an exam and failing to solve the theoretical challenge of keeping a satellite in orbit, his professor noted the success Richard was enjoying in the drama and writing courses he had been doing on the side. Even though Richard couldn’t see how a degree in story-telling and pretending would ever get him a job, he completed one anyway. Richard has since been a best-selling author and a journalist for 20 years, writing about science, music, finance, cars, TV, art, film, cars, theatre, architecture, food, and cars. He also really likes cars, and has owned an HQ ute, Citroen 2CV, XW Falcon, CV8 Monaro and currently, a 1951 Ford Tudor. A husband and dad, Richard’s hobbies also include astronomy.
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