MG Motor reckons it will sell about 3000 ZS EVs next year, which would make it one of the top-selling EVs in the country, sneaking up on the Tesla Model 3 which found homes with about 3800 Australian customers last year.
While it’s likely to be the cheapest EV available to Australian buyers for a while, the ZS will eventually be undercut by another price-led EV from its own stable. MG Motor is reportedly planning to introduce a Toyota Corolla-sized electric hatchback in 2022 or 2023 starting from less than $40,000. New EV models from Kia, Hyundai and Mazda are expected in coming years, but it’s unclear if any of them will be cheaper than the MG.
The ZS EV is fitted with a 44.5-kilowatt battery and has a driving range of 263 kilometres on the ‘real-world’ WLTP testing cycle. By comparison the Leaf’s is 270 kilometres, the Ioniq Electric has a range of 311 kilometres and the Kona Electric 449 kilometres. Charging the ZS using a standard wall socket can be done overnight, but a public supercharger can get the battery to 80 per cent in 45 minutes.
Many people will know the MG name from the iconic sportscars of the 1960s and ’70s – or possibly the MG T and ZT models from the ’90s and early 2000s – under the previous ownership of British Leyland, Rover Group and more. But MG Motor is now a subsidiary of Chinese state-owned automotive giant SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation), also the parent company of commercial vehicle specialist LDV. Last year Forbes ranked SAIC as the eighth-biggest automaker in the world ahead of Nissan and BMW, largely due to its massive sales in China – the world’s largest new-car market.