MG Motor India will be launching its second EV next year, a compact city runabout that is far removed from the ZS EV. In fact, it’s quite unlike any other hatchback we’ve ever had in India and could very well shake up the status quo. With that in mind, here are five key things you need to know about the MG Air EV.
1. The MG Air EV will be the smallest car in India
At just 2.9m long, the three-door MG Air EV will be the smallest four-wheeler on sale in India. For context, the Maruti Alto 800 is 3,445mm long and the Tata Nano was 3,099mm in length. The only thing smaller is the 2.7m long Bajaj Qute, but that’s classified as a quadricycle. This electric city car won’t be as tight on space as you may think, thanks to its boxy shape, relatively long 2,010mm wheelbase, space-efficient interior packaging and, most of all, the lack of an engine and gearbox.
2. The MG Air EV will have a range of 200-300km
The other thing that won’t be as small as you think is this electric car’s range. It will use an LFP-cell battery, sourced from Tata Autocomp, whose capacity is expected to be around 20-25kWh. Sources tell us this will give the MG Air EV a claimed range of around 200 to 300km that will likely be certified by iCAT, like MG’s other electric car, the ZS EV. Incidentally, the city car is expected to be powered by a single, front-axle motor with a power output of around 50kW (68hp).
3. The MG Air EV will be loaded with features
MG aims to rearrange the traditional Indian perception around compact hatchbacks by loading the Air EV with equipment from more than a few segments above. Front and centre will be a dual-screen infotainment system made of two 10.25-inch panels, much like in a Mercedes GLA. Other premium features expected to be available are connected car tech, dual-tone interiors, voice commands, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There could even be a sunroof.
4. The MG Air EV will not be a budget car
As a result of that equipment list, as well as its electric powertrain, the MG Air EV will not have the kind of price you might expect for its size. The Tata Tiago EV was launched in September at a knockout introductory price of Rs 8.49 lakh (ex-showroom), and the MG electric hatchback is unlikely to dip below that. Instead, we expect it to be priced upwards of Rs 10 lakh, positioned as a premium intra-city runabout, a second car for those who have a larger vehicle to use for long-distance highway travel.
5. The MG Air EV will be launched in India in early 2023
MG has confirmed that the Air compact EV will be launching in India early next year, but has not specified exactly when. However, with the Auto Expo returning after a three-year hiatus, it’s a safe bet the car could make its India debut there, with a launch shortly after. The MG Air EV will be assembled in India and MG plans to give it over 60 percent localisation to make it as competitive as possible. Moreover, the brand is ramping up its EV production to about 700 units per month, with it only expected to increase in 2023.
Would you consider a purely urban electric runabout like the MG Air EV? Let us know in the comments section below.