Pricing and specifications have been unveiled for the latest electric car to hit Australian shores: the 2020 ZS EV electric compact SUV from MG.
Priced from $46,990 driveaway, the MG ZS EV is to become Australia’s cheapest EV ahead of the Hyundai Ioniq ($48,490 before on roads), the Nissan Leaf ($49,990 before on roads) and the Renault Zoe ($49,490 before on roads) – but only for the first 100 orders.
It’s another small but significant step towards a competitive electric car market for Australia, which has been branded a global laggard in the uptake of EVs driven overseas by fuel regulations that address the need to reduce carbon emissions and air pollution.
While electric vehicles are priced higher than internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents, they have the advantage of lower running and maintenance costs, and of course zero tailpipe emissions.
Announced at the launch of the brand’s first metro dealership, Sydney City MG, the MG ZS EV joins a gradually expanding range of EVs available in Australia.
CEO for MG in Australia, Peter Ciao, said at the event that the new flagship store will allow the brand to measure interest in its range including the ZS EV.
“Sydney City MG provides us with a critical touch point in a metro area and an opportunity to gain better insights into and have closer, direct proximity to our customer,” he said.
“This important milestone will enable MG to continue to test, learn and evolve products and services that appeal to our customer base which includes our first ever electric vehicle, the ZS EV, now available to order in Australia, with a pre-sale pricing offer of $46,990.”
How will the MG ZS EV measure up against its competition?
The MG ZS EV boasts a 44.5kWh battery delivering a driving range of 262km (based on the European WLTP cycle), and the ZS EV can be charged at a rate of 50kWh on a DC fast charger in 40 minutes and 6.5 hours on a 7kW AC destination charger or at home wall-charger (expect an overnight charge off a standard 240V socket).
In terms of range – a major deciding factor when buying an EV – it sits between the 230km stated range for the Leaf and the new 2020 Ioniq’s boosted 311km range.
The 40 minute fast charging is quicker than the Ioniq’s 54 minute charging to 80% on its 38.3kWh battery, and a little slower than the Leaf’s 0-80% charging time of 30 minutes on a 40kWh battery.
The single synchronous motor outputs maximum power of 105kW, which is less than the Hyundai Kona Electric with 64kWH battery’s 130kW (64kWh is the only battery size available in Australia, and also a SUV but with a far longer range of 480km).
As for torque, the MG ZS EV offers 353Nm, more than than the Leaf (320Nm), the Ioniq (295Nm) and a little less than the Kona (395Nm).
Like all EVs it offers regenerative braking, which capture energy when slowing down or going downhill and puts it back into the battery. This is available in three levels that can be chosen as per driver preferences, and is accompanied by three steering options – Urban, Normal and Dynamic.
The MG ZS EV comes standard with tech innovations you’d expect in today’s EVs including a 8″ touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, and automatic wipers.
Add to that a six speaker surround sound system and big “Stargazer” sunroof and this is one pretty decently kitted out EV.
The MG ZS EV will come with a 7 year/160,000 new vehicle warranty, as well as a 7 year warranty on the battery.
Price wise, the introductory $46,990 driveway is very attractive – however, MG is not yet giving away its standard pricing. Expect to start seeing the 2020 MG ZS EV on Australian roads in 2020.
A previous version of this article stated the wrong power output and torque.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.