Zhejiang-based Hozon Auto is probably an automaker you’ve not heard of, which makes it less likely you’ll have heard of Neta, its sub-brand that’s now selling their EVs in Thailand and Vietnam. Rumour has it they’re keen on setting up shop in Malaysia too.
The good news is that they’re cars are being offered across a wide range of price points, focused on the Neta S, Neta U-II, and finally the Neta V which was also shown off last week at the Bangkok International Motor Show despite being officially on sale there since September 2022.
The V is the model slated to also arrive on our shores as the company’s newly set up Malaysian social media channels seem to indicate. The budget-oriented EV is a 5-seat hatchback that should be decently disruptive with its expected sub-RM100k price tag.
The car’s Thai price starts at just 549,000 baht, equivalent to around RM72,000 at the exchange rate at the time of writing.
As far as the Neta V’s specifications, the fully electric hatch boasts a single electric motor up front with 95hp and 150Nm juiced by a 38.5kWh lithium-ion battery that offers up to 384km of range on the NEDC test cycle – pretty respectable.
Neta also offers a larger 55kWh battery that boosts endurance past 400km on a single charge, but it’s unlikely this variant will be offered here from the outset. Given its petite dimensions and relatively light weight, the automaker claims the V is quite brisk with a 0-50km/h time of under 3.9 seconds, perfect for squirrelling around town.
The interior is predictably quite minimal given the trend of EVs with a large 14.6-inch central touchscreen dominating the centre stack but aided by a driver’s display tucked into the upper portion of the dashboard.
Its cabin promises an overall airer feel compared to combustion-powered cars given its EV-specific HPC 3.0 platform. The boot measures a very usable 335-litres that’s also expandable to 552-litres with the seats folded.
Unfortunately, the Neta V omits the fancier suite of active safety and drive assist features but does feature the usual array of anti-lock brakes, stability control, airbags, and tyre pressure monitoring. Honestly, for the price its being peddled, perhaps that’s forgivable.