MG Motor Australia plans to expand its top-selling ZS EV range, with the updated model due in the second half of 2022.
The budget electric SUV will receive a choice of short- and long-range batteries, vehicle-to-load capability, and app-based cabin pre-conditioning.
The big question around the expanded MG ZS range will be whether the company can retain the sharp entry price point that has established the more basic current model’s take-up.
MG sells just a single spec level of the ZS EV with one (44.5kWh) battery option. Yet its sub-$45,000 drive-away price has seen it leap to second on the electric car charts behind the Tesla Model 3, ahead of the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Kona Electric.
While we covered the basics a few weeks ago, MG Europe has now revealed a little more detail on the MY22 version. We also reached out to MG Australia to get a little more insight into its local launch plan once it gets stock sent our way.
The current plan, it says, is to offer both batteries. The Standard Range (320km, up 57km on the current car) with 51kWh energy content, and the Long Range (440km) with 72kWh.
“We’re working through that, but the plan is to yes. More models, more variants, more choice, delivering more value to the customer, so it just makes sense,” said MG Australia’s product director and general manager of the EV division, Danny Lenartic.
They now handle three-phase 11kW home AC charging, and faster DC charging rates so they’re quicker to refill on the move – 40 minutes to 80 per cent is the claim. The battery packs are liquid-cooled as before.
The drive motor outputs are changed to 130kW and 280Nm, bringing the 0-100km/h time to 8.6 seconds. The outgoing motor had less power but more torque. However the new motor uses less energy, so helps range.
One nifty feature that’s gaining prominence is vehicle-to-load (V2L) capability – as seen in cars like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 – that in the case of the MY22 ZS EV can discharge 2200W to charge devices of all sorts.
Inside, the updated ZS gets a new 10.1-inch touchscreen and new digital instruments, a wireless charger, and more charging points (three USB-As and two USB-Cs).
The company is also making a lot of noise around the MG iSMART app that lets you control the AC remotely, find your lost vehicle, plan a route on the phone and ‘send’ it to the car, and diagnose status issues. It also handles firmware OTA, the company claims.
To the big question: Price.
“Again I use that ‘value’ word,” Mr Lenartic replied.
“It has vehicle-to-load technology. How much value do you place, on a cold winter’s car, being able to go into your phone, turn on the electric heating before you jump into the car, then have all that working for you? I know how much certain people will pay for that and it’s a lot.
“The fact it’s full of features and tech needs to be considered. But we’ll never shy away from our core proposition of value… That’ll underpin the choices we make when it comes to price, features and spec.”
As well as the Leaf, the MG upgrades are designed to ward off competitors such as the newly facelifted Hyundai Kona Electric, imminent next-gen Kia Niro, and fellow Chinese products the BYD Yuan Plus, which arrives next year, and potentially the Ora Cat.
MG Motor Australia added it regularly evaluates potential product, but there are currently no plans for the MG 5 cheap EV wagon sold in the UK, or the Marvel R crossover.
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Below you will find a list of useful information regarding everything you need to know about incoming electric cars.