There has been a lot of progress in the electric vehicle space over the past 12 years since the early mass production models, such as the first generation Nissan Leaf. The first generation Nissan Leaf had a 24 kWh battery and the range was not much more than the 120 km. It was priced at around £26,500. Back then, there were very few plug-in vehicle models available. When longer range vehicles such as the Tesla Model S were announced in 2013 for the UK market, they cost a whole lot more compared to the first generation Leaf. The Model S had 3 models: the 60 kWh battery from £49,900, a larger capacity 85 kWh version for £57,300, and the performance model with a more powerful motor starting at £68,700. So, for one to get an EV with good range, one had to pay at least £50,000.
These days, customers now have a much wider range to choose from. For example, in the United Kingdom, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reports that there are now over 140 plug-in models available, accounting for around 1 in 5 new cars sold this year so far. A further 50 models are expected to be launched by the end of 2022, bringing the number of models close to 200. With 200 plug-in model options to choose from and the ever increasing cost of petrol and diesel, consumers in the UK have never had a better opportunity to switch to electric. Of course, the long wait times for some of the popular models means that they may have to wait a bit longer than usual for their preferred EV.
It’s really great to see that there are more options for consumers to choose from. However, most of the new models are still very large SUVs, impressive sporty sedans, and crossover vehicles. However, some major automakers are still dabbling in low production volume, expensive £36,000 small city EVs with a real world range that is less than 200 km, such as the Honda E.
A good number of these very large electric SUVs, impressive sporty sedans, and crossovers have long range models. They also have models with decent range of over 200 miles. The problem is that most of these models are still quite pricey compared with equivalent internal combustion engine models. The good news is that when it comes to the total cost of ownership over several years, the EVs win. That being said, in the age of rising energy costs and the high cost of goods in general, consumers are looking to save as much as possible. The upfront purchase price itself is now more important than ever. This is why I am very excited about the new MG4 EV.
Zachary Shahan called it “a hot looking” new electric SUV/crossover that’s quite affordable for this class of vehicle and considering the tech in the car. The MG4 EV SE Standard Range starts at £25,995, the SE Long Range at £28,495, and the Trophy Long Range at £31,495. When compared with vehicles in a similar class, £25,995 is very impressive, and not just on the EV side but also on the ICE side! Here is a look at the MG4 EV compared with one of the most popular ICE hatchbacks in the UK and an equivalent EV:
More on the MG4’s specs:
- Combined range: 218 miles (351 km) based on WLTP rating system
- City range: 305 miles (491 km) based on WLTP rating system
- Combined driving efficiency: 3.6 miles/kWh (17.0 kWh/I00km)
- City driving efficiency: 5.2 miles/kWh (11.9 kWh/I00km)
- 51 kWh battery (50.8 kWh usable battery capacity)
- 125 kW max power
- 184 lb ft. of torque (250 Nm)
- 0–30 mph in 3.1 seconds
- 0–60 mph in 7.5 seconds
- 52 minute estimated charge time (10–80%) at 50 kW
- 39 minute estimated charge time (10–80%) at 150 kW.
All models have a 10.25’’ floating infotainment screen, a 7’’ driver display with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and a 7-year warranty.
As is evident in the above specs, the MG4 EV looks like a pretty good car that is good value for your money. It is already getting some good reviews in the UK, as can be seen in this video from Fully Charged.
There are some very good small EVs that are now readily available in Europe, such as the Renault ZOE ZE 50 R110 with a 54.7 kWh battery that is good for about 300 km. But at £29,995, it is rather expensive compared to an ICE in the same segment, such as the Renault Clio which is around £18,795.00. That £11,000 price difference is way too big, whereas the MG4 is now at parity with the entry level VW Golf. The MG4 EV should sell like hot cakes in this class of vehicles.
SAIC has big plans for the MG4. The MG4 is built on SAIC Motor’s new MSP platform designed solely for all-electric cars. It has the carmaker’s “one pack battery,” which has an energy density of 180 Wh/kg. SAIC says the MG4 features a “zero thermal runway” system to prevent it from catching fire or thermal runaway incidents. MG said the model is developed in accordance with the European New Car Assessment Program, one of the strictest of its kind in the world.
SAIC says“The MG4 Electric will help MG explore the overseas market by striving to represent Chinese high-end technology, and is expected to help SAIC Motor explore overseas markets. The MG4 is expected to help SAIC Motor achieve its milestone goal of selling more than 100,000 vehicles in the European market this year. SAIC Motor sold 381,000 vehicles overseas in the first half of this year, up 47.7 percent from the same period last year, according to official statistics. One of the company’s goals is to sell 800,000 vehicles overseas this year.”
This is a big moment for EVs. To have a great EV at price parity with a well established popular ICE vehicle will definitely help accelerate the adoption of EVs. The MG4 EV starts at the same price as the old Nissan Leaf when it was launched over 10 years ago, and the MG4 offers whole lot more range and a lot of other stuff. We look forward to more automakers following SAIC’s lead soon.
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