Even Peugeot’s new e208 – a diminutive supermini makes the average wallet wince – £28k for an entry-level model rising to a whopping £33,695 for the range-topping GT.
Other than range, cost is the number one prohibiting factor to EV ownership. But now there’s an answer, and it comes from MG, the ZS EV.
Priced from just £22,495 (after the government grant) you get a mid-sized crossover that can lug your family with a WLTP range of 164 miles. That equates to roughly 140 miles for the average driver.
Now you may be thinking ‘that’s not enough’ but calculate how many miles you drive your car per week. For the majority of people, a commute is less than 10 miles, so 20 miles a day to get to and from work. That means you’d have to charge the 44.5 kWh battery in the ZS roughly once a week, no great hardship there.
In fact, you’d probably just plug it in at home when you weren’t using it, just like you do your mobile phone. The only difference you’d realise is never having to go to a petrol station again. Bliss.
If you get caught a little low on charge while out and about the ZS has rapid charging built it, you can juice up from 0-80% in just 40 minutes from a 50 kW charger. You probably won’t ever need to do that, so a quick top-up of 20 minutes would likely suffice in most situations.
Using the 7kW home charger that comes installed for free when you buy the ZS EV, charging time is 6.5 hours, that means plugging in overnight will charge you up fully for the next day. You can use both Type 2 and CCS connectors which are mounted under the front grille.
Now you’re probably thinking, ‘what’s the catch?’. There must be something missing to get an EV at this price with decent, usable range? Well, no. It has all the latest adaptive safety tech any of the major players can offer; emergency braking, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, blind-spot detection, intelligent high beam and speed limit assistance.
Not all of those are standard on the entry-level ‘Excite’ model, but the range-topping ‘Exclusive’ trim is just an extra £2,000, meaning the MG electric car is still incredibly affordable.
For around-town the ZS makes perfect sense, you don’t need the longer range of higher-priced EV’s and it’s more than capable as an affordable second car. Dropping the kids at school, trips to the supermarket etc.
It’s incredibly refreshing to see such a cheap, brand new EV hit the market. Most potential electric car owners have to go down the used cars for sale route, not anymore. Even the interior quality has been lauded by the press with soft-touch plastics and decent switchgear throughout.
Fingers crossed the ZS pushes more manufacturers down this budget-friendly EV route, it’s the only way for the electric car to become ubiquitous on our roads.
If you don’t fancy going electric, the normal ZS is even cheaper, coming in at £12,495. If you need even more room, the HS starts at £17,995 and for a cutesy hatchback, the remarkable little MG3 starts at £9,495.
Either way, MG are the brand to go to for affordable motoring right now, they offer more style than the likes of Dacia while none of the large manufacturers can come close in terms of value for money.