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MG Motor working on affordable EV concept

MG Motor India managing director Rajeev Chaba said the company had already started working on the project, taking cues from the requirements of local consumers. The concept will be completed in the next one year, and a production model may hit the roads in the next three to four years, he said.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 06, 2019, 09.20 AM IST
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India is leading the efforts at Chinese-owned MG Motor to develop a concept model of an affordable electric vehicle costing less than Rs 10 lakh.
NEW DELHI: India is leading the efforts at Chinese-owned MG Motor to develop a concept model of an affordable electric vehicle costing less than Rs 10 lakh.

MG Motor India managing director Rajeev Chaba said the company had already started working on the project, taking cues from the requirements of local consumers. The concept will be completed in the next one year, and a production model may hit the roads in the next three to four years, he said.

“If an EV has to become mainstream, the price point has to be less than Rs 10 lakh … The team has started looking at it, the concept is being studied, it will take one year to complete the project. Then the production, cost issues, will be addressed,” Chaba said.

Keeping in mind Indian consumers, their paying capacity, frugality and value conscious nature, MG Motor is trying to find a mass solution in the electric vehicle segment, Chaba said. “That’s what we are working on right now. Theoretically, as a concept, we would like to believe that there are many markets like India and when you do the frugal engineering in India, and if you are able to successfully commercialise the concept, there may be many markets outside, who may like to have the product,” he added.

As per the direction given by the government, electric mobility seems to be the future of the automotive industry in India, Chaba added. MG Motor, owned by China’s SAIC, intends to be a serious player in that space. The electric vehicle under study is one in a series of vehicles the company has scheduled for launch in the Indian market in the coming years.

In January, MG Motor India will introduce the ZS EV, an electric SUV which will likely be priced around Rs 25 lakh. The vehicle will come strapped with a 44.5 kWh battery, delivering a range of around 340 km on a single charge. The company will begin with sales of the MG ZS EV in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad.

The vehicle will be manufactured locally at the company’s facility in Halol, Gujarat. While key components will be imported initially, work is on to deepen localisation levels. It plans to produce 100 units of the vehicle every month, which could be increased to 200-300 units depending on demand.

To address charging infrastructure, MG Motor India has partnered with Fortum, Delta Electronics India and eChargeBays to set up charging points across customers’ residences, dealerships and some public places.

MG Motor plans to launch a total of four vehicles in the Indian market over two years. The MG ZS EV would be followed by two more SUVs — a midsize vehicle and a 7-seater version of the Hector — next financial year.

Chaba said MG Motor India has retailed 12,500 units of the Hector since launch. The company has another 21,000 bookings for the car. At present, MG has capacity to produce 3,100-3,200 units of the vehicle a month at its manufacturing facility in Gujarat. A decision to increase production further would be taken after the switch over to BS VI emission standards in April 2020.

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