MG moves swiftly into the electric age


IT is one of those names which conjures images of almost iconic sports cars from a different era. Think MG and fabulous coupes spring to mind from the golden age of motoring.

Things have changed. I don’t want to prick your bubble but MG is a very different brand today. That it survived at all is a miracle, considering many of its contemporaries exist only in museums.

MG now isn’t a niche sports car brand. It’s a Chinese-owned operation these days. SAIC might be sound big or important to western ears but it is a massive multi-billion pound operation. Small fry? Think again.

But it hasn’t bought MG as a vanity project. It has serious plans to make the marque forward-thinking and relevant, hence the launch of the MG ZS EV – that is, an electric vehicle version of the ZS sports utility vehicle.

It was unveiled in July and first deliveries have been made in the last few days.

MG claim it is the first truly affordable family-friendly electric car and that stands up to scrutiny if you compare list prices of rivals. Is it a breakthrough model, one to really make people swap petrol and diesel for electric?

Well, at £21,495, it will certainly tempt many. The cabin is an improvement on recent MGs and there is little to disappoint and much to impress. The ride and handling is as good as anything else in the SUV sector for the money.

It is MG’s first electric car and it notched up 1,000 orders in two weeks. The first 1,000 retail customers were able to benefit from the £21,495 launch price after MG matched the Government’s £3,500 plug-in car grant with a £3,500 MG Grant of its own. MG say the next 1,000 retail customers will also receive the MG Grant, ensuring that the £21,495 launch price will continue. The first 1,000 customers also received a home charging unit – an offer which won’t be continuing.

It offers zero emissions and a range of 163 miles, the high-tech MG Pilot driver assistance features, room for five and a full-sized boot. The ZS EV is a real-world electric car for real-world people. Capable of producing 300,000 EV batteries per year, MG’s own battery factory is ready to quickly fulfil this exceptional demand.