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Electric Chery to reach SA before end of 2024

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Chery eQ7

A new, fully electric challenger is almost ready to step into South Africa’s automotive boxing ring: the Chery eQ7 crossover SUV.

After its mid-2023 launch in China, the eQ7 is scheduled to arrive at local dealerships in the fourth quarter of 2024. With its lively performance, impressive range and spacious interior, the Chery eQ7 is a welcome addition to South Africa’s electric vehicle landscape.

This very stylish compact crossover SUV offers high safety levels and a modern edge, wrapped in a lightweight aluminium frame.

Performance and stamina

The eQ7 runs a 155 kW electric motor, powering the rear wheels, with a maximum torque output of 285 Nm. This is good enough for a 0 to 100 km/h sprint of 8 seconds or less. Its top speed is 180 km/h.

Chery eQ7

Range and charging

More importantly, Chery claims a range of 512 km on a single charge, from its 67 kWh LFP (lithium iron phosphate) battery. That’s enough to comfortably navigate your daily commute and weekend adventures without needing regular plug-in pitstops.

According to Chery, the eQ7’s rapid charging capabilities allows drivers to juice up from 30 to 80 percent in just 30 minutes, provided they can find a potent DC charger.

Lightweight design, spacious interior

Chery’s innovative all-aluminium platform sheds 30 percent of the eQ7’s weight compared to traditional steel bodies. It weighs in at 1 850 kg, which is respectable considering its generous size.

For context, the Volvo C40 Recharge Twin Motor Ultimate, which is slightly smaller than the Chery, drags the needle to a hefty 2 110 kg.

The relatively low weight of the eQ7 translates to strong performance and efficiency.

With a length of 4 675 mm and a wheelbase of 2 830 mm, the eQ7 comfortably seats five adults, with ample legroom and headroom. At 368 litres, the boot is on the small side. As a consolation, there’s a 40-litre “frunk” (front trunk) for smaller items.

Modern tech in a stylish package

The eQ7 boasts a sleek and modern design reminiscent of the Chery Omoda C5 already gracing local roads with its presence. The eQ7’s split headlights and radar detectors give it a futuristic face, while the absence of a grille emphasises its all-electric nature.

From what we have heard, the interior of the eQ7 is a tech haven. It features a large touchscreen infotainment system, a host of driver assistance systems to keep the driver (and passengers) safe and in control, and a panoramic sunroof that opens.

The South African sales prices of the eQ7 range is anybody’s guess, but we expect it to be in a similar price band as the slightly smaller BYD Atto 3 Extended, which sells for R835 000.

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