MG has just made waves with a surprise pricing reduction on its MG ZS EV, which at $40,990 plus on-road costs is now the cheapest mainstream electric vehicle in Australia by some margin.
The ZS EV launches in just one highly specified variant in Australia, but overseas there are two variants available, with an entry-level variant in the UK perhaps hinting at the possibility of further price reductions in the future.
When asked about this single-variant approach and older vehicle styling in Australia, the brand’s local CEO, Peter Ciao, told CarsGuide that there was more to come from the ZS EV.
“Next year you will see a next-generation model,” he said, “then we can see multiple variants, and the updates from the ZST.” The brand’s marketing manager, Danny Lenartic, further clarified that timing for an updated EV couldn’t yet be confirmed, and that it was more likely to be 2022 or beyond for the Australian market.
The ZS EV has been on the market for quite some time in the UK where it is offered in either a price-leading Excite grade (from the equivalent of $A46,184) or a top-spec Exclusive (from the equivalent of $A50,700). The keen entry pricing of the single variant which arrives in Australia is still significantly lower, even though our specification is closer to the top-spec car in the UK.
The ZS EV will sit atop the range of 2017-styled cars, petrol versions of which will stick around “for at least a year” as price-leaders for the brand, despite the introduction of the heavily facelifted ZST.
At the launch of the ZS EV, the brand was also keen to note it wanted to become a price leader on electrification, and that it was able to keep costs so competitive by controlling the whole supply chain, from the lithium-ion battery up.
MG’s parent company, SAIC, develops battery technology specifically for its vehicles in a joint-venture with Chinese lithium-ion tech giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL). This arrangement has become preferable as Chinese manufacturers seek to reduce their reliance on supply chains based in other nations, particularly on regional rivals like South Korea’s LG Chem, which makes batteries for many current electric vehicles worldwide.
By the time the ZS nameplates merge into one styling language some time in 2022, the brand hopes it will have cracked a top-10 position in Australia.
By then, it will have also added a plug-in hybrid version of the HS mid-sizer, with a view to adding other models like the confirmed-for-right-hand-drive Corolla-sized MG5 sedan. Mr Ciao says that car will debut the brand’s latest design language in Australia.