MG MOTOR Australia has taken the crown as the producer of Australia’s cheapest battery-electric vehicle, today launching its new ZS EV small SUV from $40,990 before on-road costs, or $43,990 driveaway.
While not quite cracking the sub-$40,000 mark, both the recommended retail and driveaway pricing is noticeably lower than expected given presale driveway pricing was pegged at $46,990.
When quizzed as to the reduced pricing, MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao said it was MG’s vision to make EVs available for everyone at an affordable price and that private buyers and fleet buyers would be met with the same price.
“Unfortunately, the pricing of traditional vehicles has gone up in the past 12 months … that’s terrible for customer, especially during COVID-19,” he said.
“People need a car, people need a good car with good price and fortunately MG changed its price too, but we dropped our price.
“Electric vehicles have incredible driving performance … that’s the future here, everyone should have the chance to drive it.
“My vision is to make electric vehicles available for everyone at an affordable price.”
The revised pricing significantly undercuts the other sub-$50,000 EVs available locally, those being the $48,970 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Elite and $49,990 Nissan Leaf.
Just focusing on its segment, the ZS EV is only the second all-electric small SUV to reach our shores behind the Hyundai Kona Electric which currently flaunts a $60,740 RRP.
That said, the Kona holds a firm advantage in terms of power, torque and range.
Described by MG Motor Australia brand marketing and product director Danny Lenartic as a “dynamic urban SUV”, the ZS EV draws its power from a 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery while its front axle-mounted electric motor produces 105kW of power and 353Nm of torque, resulting in a claimed 8.2-second dash to 100km/h and a 263km effective range on the WLTP combined cycle.
In terms of aftersales service, the ZS EV is covered by a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assistance while the battery is covered for eight years/160,000km.
Service intervals are pegged at 10,000km/12 months – whichever comes first.
Standard equipment highlights on the new flagship ZS includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto accessed via an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the MG Pilot safety suite, synthetic leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, rotary gear selector, three drive modes, split-folding rear seats and a TFT display.
Speaking to media at the local unveiling, Mr Lenartic said the ZS EV was the first step in the brand’s goal of making electric vehicles accessible to everyone.
“We’re really focused on making electric for everyone,” he said.
“We say that boldly and we say that proudly, and we’re seeking to create a movement.
“We’ll fast-track EV adoption by making a range of new-energy vehicles readily accessible for everybody.”
Over the next five years MG Motor plans to launch another four electrified vehicles, starting with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the HS mid-sized SUV due here in the first quarter of 2021.
Likening the brand’s 10-year plan to a three-course meal, Mr Ciao said the launch of ‘traditional’ vehicles in Australia was the entree, electrification was the main course and that dessert would come in the form of a sportscar, the latter taking MG back to its roots.
If Mr Ciao’s plans come to fruition, a new MG-branded – possibly even electrified – sportscar could be arriving on our shores by 2025.
The Chinese brand has experienced a sales explosion in 2020 irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, up 67.8 per cent to the end of October compared to 2019 (11,308 vs 6740) with the MG3 city car leading the charge.
ZS sales have increased 9.8 per cent year-on-year to total 3351 as of the end of October, accounting for 4.5 per cent of the sub-$40,000 small SUV segment.
2021 MG ZS EV pricing*
|ZS EV (a)||$40,990|
*Excludes on-road costs