MG ZS EV To Become More Affordable With Locally Assembled Battery Packs — Gaurav Gupta, CCO, MG Motor India

MG Motor India recently launched the 2021 MG ZS EV in the country. The company has updated the electric SUV with a host of upgrades with ZS EV being on sale for just over a year. The 2021 ZS EV features an improved driving range of 419 kilometres because of a new battery pack. The ZS EV also gets a new starting price tag of Rs 20.99 lakh, ex-showroom.

Right after its launch, the conversation between DriveSpark and Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India has revealed the future of the company in the EV segment in the country. Let's start the conversation.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

Firstly, is the pricing of the 2021 MG ZS EV introductory? If yes, when and how much will the price increase by?

The pricing of the 2021 MG ZS EV is not introductory and will stay the same for some time. We followed this for the initial launch last year. However, since this is not an all-new launch there is no such offer right now. That being said we have managed to price the 2021 ZS EV very aggressively.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

When will the deliveries of the new ZS EV begin in India? Now that MG has launched in 31 cities across India when will the next phase of expansion happen?

The deliveries of the 2021 MG ZS EV begins right away across the country. Speaking about the next phase of expansion, the company will look to add more cities in future. However, the current focus is to provide the 31 cities with the best charging infrastructure and equipped with well-trained technicians and tools at dealerships.

These are some of the integrals aspects among others to provide the best after-sales service to our customers. We would like everything to be in place for the current 31 cities across India. That being said, we will plan and expand accordingly to other cities across India.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

Apart from the enhanced range was there any implementation of customer feedback on the 2021 ZS EV? Was the increase in ground clearance on the updated model part of the feedback?

The introduction of ‘Eco Tree Challenge' feature will help customers get an idea about the impact they are making towards a cleaner environment. It will help gratify the existing ZS EV customers and also help gamify with the growing tree inside the mobile application. Customers will also compete with each other in the leaderboard as well for the amount of CO2 saved by driving the MG ZS EV.

As for the ground clearance, the increase was proactively done by the company to help for smooth operations in various road conditions. The new tyre profile will also help in enhancing the ride quality even further. We have worked with our battery pack manufacturer to help with the increased ground clearance as well.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

MG has sold over 1200 units of the ZS EV in the country last year. Based on the increasing demand, is there any sales targets for the ZS EV this year?

We would not be able to disclose the target in terms of sales of the ZS EV for this year. However, what I can tell you is since the number of cities has increased in sales reach, we are hoping for an increase in the sales number. The growing demand for electric vehicles and increased infrastructure further helps the cause of increased sales as compared to last year.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

What is the percentage of localization achieved on the ZS EV 2021? Any plans for manufacturing of battery packs in India?

As the electric-SUV is assembled in the country, we would not be able to give you a number per se. However, what we can tell you is MG Motor is looking to assemble the battery pack in India. This will help in further reducing the cost of our electric vehicles sold in the country. I cannot give a timeline as to when this will be achieved, but the fact that we are disclosing it shows our commitment to the project.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

As there has been a massive short supply of semiconductors in the industry, will the production of ZS EV get affected?

Yes, there has been a short supply of semiconductors in the industry, which has affected the production of some manufacturers. Speaking about the impact on the production of ZS EV, I would not be able to give an assured answer. However, I would like to say that the company is constantly working on filling up any gap that might arise during the production of not only ZS EV but other vehicles in the brand's portfolio.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

Due to the increase in demand for electric vehicles, Will MG introduce a more affordable EV for India? If yes, will it be the next model?

Yes, MG is planning for a more affordable model for the Indian market and increase its EV portfolio. The new model will be priced under Rs 20 lakh. However, I will be unable to give a format of what the upcoming electric vehicle will be like.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

Will there be a longer-range ZS EV next year? If yes, could give an approximate kilometre range?

The company is constantly looking to improve various technologies in terms of the product or other equipment related to electric vehicles. Speaking about the long-range EV technology, yes, we are currently developing a battery pack that can deliver a maximum range of over 500 kilometres on a single charge.

The new battery pack will not be limited to just the ZS EV per se. It will also trickle down to other products that will be offered by the brand in future.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

MG has now partnered with a host of companies to develop the EV ecosystem? May I know what are your further plans in this space?

The company is constantly looking to improve the EV ecosystem in the country. We have partnered with a host of companies including Tata Power, Fortrum and Delta and more to increase the charging infrastructure. We are the only OEM company to install 16 DC fast chargers in the country. The number of stations will increase by 55 by the end of this year.

Apart from that, we also offer one of the most exhaustive charging solutions to our customers. They have 5 various ways to charge their electric vehicles. This will help with the ease of ownership, which is important for the brand.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

How is MG looking to lead the EV adoption in India?

As mentioned before we are increasing our development in the EV ecosystem and working on new technologies alongside as well. However, the company has also tied up with various government and private organizations to introduce financial service and schemes to own the ZS EV.

We have also partnered with Zoomcar, Orix to provide a leasing service with an easy all-inclusive monthly payment. Customers will also have an option to buy the vehicle completely after the lease period. These and others will help in faster EV adoption and mark the contribution of the brand in EV development in the country.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

Summarising one year of MG stepping into the EV space in India

We have had an amazing response from the market with our first EV offering in the country. MG operates in the 'CASE' principle for the Indian market. The CASE stands for Connected Technology, Autonomous Technology, Shared Mobility & Electric. We have expanded our EV presence from 5 cities last year to 31 cities now. This showcases our progress in the EV space, which we will continue to keep it up.

Interview: Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India: Battery Assembly, 500 Kilometers Range, New Products & More

MG Motor India is committed to the development of the electric ecosystem in the country. The brand is also working alongside many government and private organizations to help with faster EV adoption in the country. Kudos to MG Motor India!

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Read more on: #interviews #mg motor
Article Published On: Tuesday, February 9, 2021, 10:13 [IST]
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