The automaker is developing a high-range battery pack for its all electric SUV.
The MG ZS EV was recently updated for the 2021 model year. However, the company’s top brass has already confirmed that the all-electric SUV will receive another upgrade moving forward that will see further improvements in driving range. “We're definitely working on a ZS EV battery for 500km of range,” Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India, told Autocar India in an exclusive interaction.
2021 MG ZS EV gets a certified range of 419km on a single charge
Range to be improved to around 500km by next year
ZS EV now sold in 31 cities across India
500km range for the MG ZS EV
Commenting on the expected advancements in the EV industry, Chaba said, “I expect that there would be improvements in battery technology. There would be a lot of research on batteries for India because our country has varied weather conditions.” Talking about MG’s plans, he added, “From our perspective, you will see that we will be introducing and making some changes that will involve high temperature (resistance) and more range for batteries.” “We should launch a robust 500km of range hopefully by next year,” he said.
Launched in India in January 2020, the ZS EV was first introduced with a 44.5kWh battery pack capable of delivering a 340km range in ideal test conditions. However, our extensive real world testing showed that the electric SUV could achieve a range of 317km while being driven on a mix of city roads and highways.
Recently, MG introduced the 2021 model year ZS EV that manages a claimed range of 419km from a similar 44.5kWh capacity battery pack. Come 2022, the automaker will give the ZS yet another update that will further improve the expected range to around 500km.
In terms of the drivetrain, the ZS is powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor that puts out 143hp and 353Nm of torque through the front wheels. MG also claims a 0-100kph time of 8.5sec.
MG expects ZS EV sales to more than double in 2021
MG had reported receiving 2,300 bookings for the ZS EV in just a month after opening its order books last year. “But then, COVID happened. Interestingly, 30 percent of our bookings came from fleet companies, corporates and institutions which had to cancel because of COVID-related reasons and the demand slumped,” mentioned Chaba. Consequently, the company sold about 1,300 units of the ZS EV in an electric passenger vehicle (PV) market that saw total sales of around 5,500 units in the calendar year 2020.
With the automotive sector making a sharp comeback from the COVID-induced slump, MG is hopeful of better prospects this year. “If everything goes well this year, we should sell close to 3,000 ZS EVs. So, the total EV market is probably 10,000 units (in 2021),” he said.
Moreover, the ZS EV debuted last year with sales being limited to just five cities initially. The footprint was later expanded to 21 cities by end-2020, and the 2021 model year update has seen 10 more cities being added to the list. This should also help the demand for the electric SUV.