MG India forayed into the electric vehicle space in our market last year with the launch of the ZS EV. Currently priced at Rs 21.00-24.18 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the ZS EV is positioned at the higher end of the mass-market passenger vehicle (PV) segment. However, MG Motor India’s EV plans are more ambitious and the company has officially stated that its next EV will be “under Rs 20 lakh”. That, however, could also mean under Rs 10 lakh, which according to our sources, is the price point that the company is targeting.
- MG India readying affordable EVs, likely a compact SUV and a hatch
- To be based on the Baojun E200 platform
- MG hopes to sell 20,000 EVs annually in the coming years
Baojun E200 to serve as the base for MG's budget EVs
The upcoming, highly affordable EV from MG will be based on parent firm SAIC’s Baojun E200, which is a big hit in the Chinese market. The automaker had even showcased the model, rebadged as an MG, at the Auto Expo in Delhi-NCR last year.
The 2.5m-long E200 is powered by a 39hp electric motor and has a top speed of 100kph. Driving range for the two-door, two-seat urban runabout is pegged at 210-270km on a single charge, as per the NEDC test cycle.
At the Auto Expo, MG had said that it could look at developing a three- or four-seat version for India that could be priced at under Rs 10 lakh. The company, then, seems to be building up on this strategy.
All-electric compact SUV, hatchback on the cards
Encouraged by the success of the E200 in China, MG India has big plans to use the same low-cost EV skateboard for the Indian market to spawn multiple budget-end EVs that could include a compact SUV and a small hatch.
Tata's all-electric compact SUV – the Nexon EV – has already had a strong run, which is something that MG has certainly taken note of. With sales of 3,805 units, the Nexon EV accounted for about 64 percent of the overall electric PV market in the last fiscal. MG, then, will be gunning to crack the mass-market EV segment in similar vein.
The company's affordable all-electric car will be positioned below the 4.3m-long ZS EV, which delivers a range of 419km from its 44.5kWh battery pack. The budget EVs will be equipped with a smaller battery for a lower range, which should serve well enough within urban confines.
However, company sources believe that for electric vehicles to succeed in India, they must have "good performance, design and ground clearance". Expect MG to factor this in while developing the upcoming products.
MG's affordable EVs to arrive after 2024
MG India's EV programme is yet to be greenlit by SAIC, so expect the new, budget models to arrive only after 2024.
The project is based on a minimum volume assumption of 20,000 EVs per year – an ambitious target considering that the total electric passenger vehicle market saw sales of 5,904 units in FY2021. MG will be looking to leverage an improvement in customer acceptance, charging infrastructure and battery technology in the coming years to make a larger push in the EV space.