MG Motor India is working on a mass-market EV that will retail in the Rs 10 to 15 lakh bracket. The company has already announced its plan to bring in such a vehicle by 2023 and is now focused on developing an ecosystem to encourage the adoption of EVs in order to catalyse demand, its COO, Gaurav Gupta said at the launch of a refreshed ZS.
With that in mind, Gupta said the company has forged several partnerships including those with Exicom, Delta, Tata Power and Fortum, among others. Most recently, it announced plans to install 1,000 EV chargers in residential societies across the country. The plan also includes partnering with ASDC for skills training, and with IIT-Delhi to support engineering talent.
He said the company was among the first OEMs in the country to introduce a premium segment and its bookings of 600-700 units has been a positive sign given that in this segment, an EV costs upwards of Rs 20 lakh.
Gupta said the refreshed ZS EV has been updated with a 50.3kWh battery compared to the earlier 44.5kWh battery pack. The vehicle offers a range of 461km (as per ICAT), which is 42km more than the 419km range of previous battery pack. The ZS was introduced in 2019 and saw bookings of over 2,500 units, a good response given that the market for personal EVs was yet to take off. In 2021, the company sold about 2700 units of the car.
According to Gupta, what’s holding back potential buyers is a lack of choice and for now, most are either luxury car owners looking at sustainable mobility or early adopters. But with rising fuel prices, EVs are becoming a lucrative option in terms of per kilometre cost. He cites the example of the ZS which has a running cost of a rupee per kilometer versus a 6 to 7 times multiple, and increasing as petrol and diesel prices go up.
In order to address the initial acquisition cost, Gupta says OEMs can either “bring a vehicle purely at that the Rs 15-20 lakh price point or work out attractive finance options” which is an area MG Motor is working and which “includes offering the Battery as Service (BaaS), for example”.