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Watch out BYD Atto 3! 2024 Chery Omoda E5 EV revealed in Australia but it's only the start of the brand's electric car future with hybrids, plug-in hybrids and more in the pipeline

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The Chery Omoda E5 will mark the beginning of the Chinese brand’s move into electrified models - but not the end. In fact, it will be a starting off point for a range of options the company plans to bring to the Australian market in the next few years.

“We'll definitely have a mix across powertrains, not just ICE (internal combustion engines) and EV, but also PHEV (plug-in hybrids), strong hybrids as well as range-extended EV, [which] I think is the next next big thing,” said Luke Harris, Chery Australia’s Managing Director. 

He explained it was important for the brand to meet customer demands without pushing one particular form of technology. Crucially, Harris said Chery’s size in its home market means there is already a huge variety of technology to draw from, without needing to wait for money to be invested.

“Fortunately Chery globally has got a significant amount of investment in new-energy powertrains,” he said. “So that gives us a huge amount of options moving forward into the future about what we want to take. And we don't want to pigeonhole our customers into one particular powertrain.

“So we'll offer options across the range so that customers have the choice to choose what's most suitable for them.”

Chery will launch the Tiggo 8 Pro Max large seven-seat SUV in Australia soon, likely before the end of 2024. It, along with the already-available Tiggo 7 five-seat mid-size SUV, are available with plug-in hybrid powertrains overseas, making them an obvious choice for the Australian operation.

As for the Omoda E5, Harris and his team officially revealed the car in Australia this week after months of speculation. As expected - and previously reported by CarsGuide - it’s powered by a single electric motor that drives the front wheels. It makes 150kW and 340Nm and has a claimed 430km driving range (on the WLTP cycle). 

The Chery Omoda E5 will mark the beginning of the Chinese brand’s move into electrified models.
The Chery Omoda E5 will mark the beginning of the Chinese brand’s move into electrified models.

Harris said Chery Australia is still finalising details but expects to offer two trim levels, both with the same powertrain. Because of its front-wheel drive layout the Omoda E5 will have a full-size spare wheel as standard, which is rare in this lower end of the EV market. 

It’s also anticipated that the Omoda E5 will have vehicle-to-load capability, but Harris stopped short of confirming any details.

The key detail that’s still not clear is the price, with Harris keeping tight-lipped, saying only: “It will be competitive.”

Pushed further he did single out the BYD Atto 3 as its most direct rival. That model is priced from $48,011 before on-road costs for the entry-level grade and $51,011 for the extended range, so expect the Omoda E5 to start in the high-$40k to low-$50k range when it lands in showrooms in the second half of the year.

Stephen Ottley
Contributing Journalist
Steve has been obsessed with all things automotive for as long as he can remember. Literally, his earliest memory is of a car. Having amassed an enviable Hot Wheels and Matchbox collection as a kid he moved into the world of real cars with an Alfa Romeo Alfasud. Despite that questionable history he carved a successful career for himself, firstly covering motorsport for Auto Action magazine before eventually moving into the automotive publishing world with CarsGuide in 2008. Since then he's worked for every major outlet, having work published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age,, Street Machine, V8X and F1 Racing. These days he still loves cars as much as he did as a kid and has an Alfa Romeo Alfasud in the garage (but not the same one as before... that's a long story).
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