The writing on the wall is clear—the time for fossil fuel-guzzling vehicles is coming to an end, and the future is indeed, electric.
For global vehicle manufacturing giant MG Motor, their latest instalment, the ZS EV, marks the beginning of its global drive to usher in a cleaner and greener future through sustainable mobility solutions.
In a conversation with The Better India, Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer at MG Motor India, waxed eloquent about the company’s desire to create a product that delivered a premium and connected vehicle ownership experience to customers while also helping them minimise their carbon footprints.
Unveiled in India earlier this month and slated for launch in January 2020, the ZS EV has some fascinating features.
To begin with, it comes equipped with an advanced 44.5 kWh liquid-cooled NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) battery from CATL, which is one of the world’s largest battery manufacturers.
Another element that sets the ZS EV apart is its driving range, which covers 340 kilometres on a full charge. Its clean, efficient, and fast powertrain delivers 353 Nm of instant torque and 143 PS power, accomplishing 100 kmph from a standstill in 8.5 seconds.
In India, the vehicle is being manufactured at the MG Motor Halol facility in Gujarat, and according to media reports, will cost between Rs 20-23 lakh.
“We have equipped every ZS EV with a five-way charging infrastructure, an on-board cable to charge anywhere and an AC fast charger that can be installed for charging at homes and offices. We are also establishing a strong and pan-India DC super-fast charging network that will be initially available at select MG showrooms in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad. This network will be later expanded to cover MG dealerships in satellite cities along key routes and provide charge-on-the-go with roadside assistance,” says Gupta.
Through super-fast DC fast chargers (50 kW), the ZS EV will reach 80% battery capacity within 50 minutes. The AC fast charger will take around 6-8 hours for a full charge.
“We want to enable and catalyse the EV revolution in India. Fulfilling that vision necessitates a robust ecosystem that caters to the charging needs of electric vehicle owners. Therefore, we have partnered with leading global and local players to fulfil that,” he adds.
On the subject of robustness, the spokesperson says the MG ZS EV has been tested in India for over 100,000 kilometres across different terrains and various climatic conditions.
Aside from these specifications, the makers have embedded the ZS EV with the latest smart technology.
“It is a proper SUV with a complete end-to-end ecosystem for charging infrastructure support and comes with iSMART EV 2.0—the technology that powers the connected mobility experience for its owners. It features an exclusive and updated iSMART EV 2.0 that is powered by an all-new 6-core processor and comes equipped with several industry-first features,” informs Gupta.
For instance, the iSMART EV 2.0 has an inbuilt embedded SIM providing internet on-board and can also be connected to an external Wi-Fi connection. This unique capability allows users to connect their ZS EVs to their home networks and mobile hotspots, making it the first truly connected electric car in India, claims Gupta.
“The in-car experience is also heightened through features like search charging stations nearby, CO2 saved, and 360 Spider also help users to find charging stations when the remaining range is less than 50 KM. The ZS EV also features impressive technology that maximises range, efficiency, and convenience. Its three driving modes and three levels of regenerative braking can be tailored to suit individual driver preferences, making it the perfect companion for everyday driving,” says Gupta when elaborating further on the ZS EV’s features.
The MG ZS EV also comes equipped with an inbuilt PM 2.5 Air filter to provide healthy air inside your SUV cabin. If the AQI outside is around 200-300, the vehicle can bring it under 30 in less than 5 minutes once you roll up your windows.
As stated earlier, the future of mobility in India is electric and connected. This is primarily because of the headroom available for growth in the country.
In 2015, there were only 22 vehicles for every thousand people in the country (excluding two-wheeler vehicles, such as motorcycles, and three-wheelers such as auto-rickshaws). The US, in comparison, had 811 four-wheelers for every 1000 people in 2017, despite operating on a much lower population base.
“With the government’s focus on putting more electric vehicles on the road, we believe that the adoption of EVs in India is inevitable in the long run. Progressive policies such as BS-VI, the tax relief of INR 1.5 lakh on purchase of EVs, and FAME II are already incentivising Indian customers to purchase EVs,” says Gupta.
The likes of MG Motor India are also looking to contribute to the creation of a strong, well-integrated EV ecosystem, from charging infrastructure to battery reuse and recycling.
If they succeed, it could have a domino effect on the rest of the industry.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)