ICONIC British brand MG is aiming to bring electric power to the people with what it claims is the first truly affordable, family friendly electric car to hit the roads.
The Chinese-built MG ZS EV looks set to give the electric car market a major boost with the first 1,000 models available for not much more than £20,000.
That's because MG is matching to government's Â£3,500 electric car grant giving a total discount of Â£7,000 on the entry-level model's Â£28,495 price tag.
That gives an on the road price of Â£21,495 for the first 1,000 buyers of the MG ZS EV Excite model - undercutting the Nissan Leaf - while buyers opting for the top-spec Exclusive model will only have to pay Â£23,495 after the two discounts are applied - and both models come with a free home charging point and standard installation to the first 1,000 buyers.
Compared with other ‘affordable' zero emission rivals, the new ZS EC offers all the space and convenience benefits of a compact SUV plus a generous spec package which, depending on model, includes an eight-inch colour touchscreen infotainment system with satnav and a suite of driver assistance and safety features including advanced emergency braking, blindspot monitoring, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
The ZS EV comes with a water-cooled 44.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack which feeds a front-mounted electric motor to deliver 143 PS of power and 353 Nm of instant torque - good for a reasonable 0-60 mph time of under 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 87 mph.
Tests under the WLTP testing regime credit the EV with a range of 163 miles in mixed, or combined, driving situations and an impressive 231 miles on the WLTP city driving cycle. The battery can be recharged to 80 per cent in just 40 minutes from a 50 kW rapid charging station or fully charged in six hours using a standard 7KW home charger. The charging point is cleverly hidden behind the car's legendary MG badge in the front grille.
A simple, forwards and backwards automatic transmission, controlled by a rotary gear selector in the centre console, is standard and there are three driving modes providing three levels of regenerative braking.
The battery pack is mounted underneath the car, meaning that there's no compromise in cabin or boot storage space which remains amongst the largest in the compact SUV segment at 448 litres.
According to Daniel Gregorious, MG's head of sales and marketing: "ZS EV is here to revolutionise the way people think about electric cars. With the first truly affordable, family friendly electric car, MG is bringing zero-emissions motoring within everyone's reach. Make no mistake, this car isn't a brand statement or a vanity project, we're here to sell electric cars and to sell big!"
With those big discounts, the first 1,000 examples of the ZS EV will undoubtedly race out of the showrooms when customer deliveries begin in September and potential buyers wanting to reserve a car can do so now with a £500 deposit.