MG Motor is currently chalking out plans to develop a battery assembly facility in India
With growing advancement in electric vehicle (EV) technology in India, automobile manufacturers are racing towards development of cost-effective and economical electric mobility. At this point in time, such options are very limited in the Indian market, especially in the passenger vehicle segment.
With Nexon EV being the most economical of the limited options, it has unsurprisingly led the sales volume chart in EV segment. However, manufacturers are looking to build more affordable models in the coming future with improved accessibility. Recently, MG Motor has revealed their plans to introduce an EV that would cost less than Rs 20 lakh.
This development has been confirmed by Rajeev Chaba, President and Managing Director, MG Motor India, in an interaction with Economic Times. He further informed that this new electric car will be coming out sometime next year and the company has started working on building a battery assembly facility in the country which could bring down the cost of batteries.
New Battery Assembly Facility in India
Currently, details of this facility are being worked on which will provide batteries for the upcoming EV. As per an initial estimate, it will require an investment of around Rs 4,000 crore. This new facility will also help MG develop a much improved battery technology that can deliver a single-charge range of around 500 km.
This new technology is expected to feature in production-spec electric cars in 18 months. Furthermore, it has been reported that this technology is currently being evaluated under various climate conditions and terrains.
As per directives and guidelines set by the government of India, electric mobility seems to be future of the automotive industry in the country. This fact was acknowledged by Chaba during the interaction.
This development comes at a time when Tesla Inc. has just announced its entry in India with its headquarter set up in Bangalore. As per reports, the Karnataka Government has allotted few acres of land to the American company in Tumkur, on the outskirts of Bengaluru to set up a R&D facility.
New MG Electric Car
MG Motor currently has only one electric car offering in the form of ZS EV which registered sales for 1,142 units in 2020. This accounts for 25 percent of total electric vehicles sold in India last year. The company intends to double this volume to around 2,500 units in 2021. Chaba further added that MG has received over 200 bookings for the electric crossover in December 2020. ZS EV is locally assembled in India with components brought in as CKD units.
ZS EV is powered by a 44.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack paired to an electric motor which produces an output of 143 PS and 353 Nm of peak torque. It offers a claimed range of 340 km at a single charge. Its current prices start at Rs. 20.88 lakh for the base trim and go up to Rs. 23.58 lakh for the fully loaded trim (both prices are ex-showroom).
It is not clear what this new sub Rs 20 lakh car from MG will be. It could be a new variant of the ZS electric itself, which is already on sale in India. With advanced battery tech, higher localization it is quite possible MG manages to increase the range of their ZS EV, and at the same time reduce its cost.