One of the pleasant charging surprises we had as we travelled the 3000 km across the Queensland west on our way to Winton was the number of Tesla destination chargers installed and available free of cost (plenty of charge) at the hotels where we stayed. Now, MG, the seller of the second most popular electric car in Australia — the MG ZS EV — has realized it must match that availability if it is going to improve on its sales figures, which are currently a long, long way behind Tesla.
We took the MG ZS EV for a drive. It is quite a capable vehicle, and great value for money at two thirds the cost of a Tesla Model 3. It’s a car we would like our kids to consider. The MG ZS comes as a full petrol, plugin hybrid, or full electric model.
No longer Morris Garages, famous for MGB sports cars, the MG brand is now owned by SAIC Motors. Headquarters and design are in London, with manufacturing in Shanghai.
To encourage plugin uptake, MG plans to donate 3000 chargers to 1000 regional motels across the country, starting in NSW and expanding across regional Australia and even across the ditch to New Zealand. MG Australia CEO Peter Ciao said “the chargers will be installed at three-star hotels and motels in regional and rural Australia to encourage people to drive EVs from the cities.”
Interested potential customers can reach out to MG via its mgelectric.com.au website. MG will provide 7kW AC wall boxes based on the Aurora charge hub. These are best suited to overnight charging and will be accessible to all plugin models, not just MGs. Hopefully this will not only increase EV sales but also support local businesses across Australia, including hotels and resorts. Installation should commence over the next 6–12 months.
COVID-19 has presented a challenge for regional tourist spots. Offering EV chargers will attract tourists from the big cities and spur EV sales at the same time. State governments are also using this tactic to stimulate the local economies. It’s a great move. Let’s hope more carmakers follow MG’s example.