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MG hints at big price jump for ZS EV
Strong pre-sale interest for electric MG ZS, though price set to increase upon arrival
22 Nov 2019
MG MOTOR has confirmed that pricing for its first dedicated electric vehicle, the ZS EV, will rise beyond the opening salvo of $46,990 driveaway announced in recent weeks for the first 100 takers of the key new model that will arrive in Australian showrooms later next year.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the new HS mid-size SUV in Sydney this week, MG Motor Australia CEO Peter Ciao said the company had received strong pre-sale interest in the all-electric version of the ZS small SUV since releasing its limited headline pricing, but admitted it cannot hold this price point for long.
“It’ll (soon) be more expensive,” he said.
“This is just for the first 100 … The first 100 must be the best price. If we do more pre-sale, the price will increase. And when we finally launch, the price will be a big increase.”
The initial Australian allocation has been shifting at approximately one a day, meaning more than 20 buyers have already put down a $1000 deposit on a ZS EV, despite not having seen or driven it.
But in EV-savvy New Zealand, the first allocation of 50 cars has already sold out, and is now into its next allocation of 100.
When the ZS EV finally arrives on our shores during the third quarter of 2020, it will be the updated ZS model unveiled at the recent Chengdu motor show, though yet to be revealed in EV guise.
The current ZS EV features a 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack feeding a front-mounted electric motor that produces 105kW of power and 353Nm of torque.
MG says the ZS EV offers a combined-cycle range of 262km and a city-only range of 372km, and is capable of 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 140km/h.
MG wants to be a doer, not a follower, as Australia moves towards more widespread usage of electric vehicles.
“The preparation for the technology is totally different from a traditional vehicle, but we’re prepared,” Mr Ciao said.
MG has hired a dedicated staff member to work on the infrastructure for both Australia and New Zealand, and is growing that team.
“There’s been significant investment in what MG’s put in place in terms of researching and evaluation (for an EV future),” Mr Ciao said.
The ZS EV is scheduled to arrive around three months after the facelifted ZS range debuts in the second quarter next year.
The regular ZS line-up is set to expand with a new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine sitting at the top of the range. Tied to an Aisin six-speed auto, it produces a solid 93kW of power and 230Nm of torque.
“We will launch the updated ZS – a big update – with Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay,” Mr Ciao confirmed. “And we’ll have an additional 1.3-litre turbo engine, as well as the 1.5-litre (base engine) and the 1.0-litre (turbo).”
Before then, however, the MG3 range will receive a minor tweak during the first quarter of next year with the addition of embedded satellite navigation.
Despite MG’s optimism on the future success of EVs in Australia, the segment remains a very slow burn.
Hyundai is currently the market-leading mainstream EV brand, with 444 examples of the Kona Electric and 234 Ioniq Eelectrics shifted so far this year, compared to 331 units of the new-generation Nissan Leaf that went on sale in July.
Others like the BMW i3 (72 sales) and Renault Zoe (just five sales) have barely caused a ripple, although Tesla, which does not publish its sales results, is known to have rolled out at least 2400 units of its all-new Model 3 since shipments started arriving in August.
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