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Into the Space Age
Debbie and Stephen are happy with their MG ZS EV refresh. Photo courtesy of Stephen Coulton.

Cars

“Like Going Into the Space Age” — MG ZS EV

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That’s how Stephen and Debbie describe their experience of going from a 16 year old Honda CRV to the refreshed MG ZS EV. They can’t stop driving it and have done 900 km in the last two weeks. The car is proving itself beyond their expectations, and the support they find in the electric vehicle community is very helpful. They looked at a number of cars in the A$60,000 range and decided on the MG because of the local, well equipped, and knowledgeable MG dealership. The MG ZS EV retails for around A$45,000 less a government rebate of A$3,000.

When they first visited MG Pickering Automotive Southport, they could only look at the petrol MG ZS. The MG ZS EV refresh had not yet reached Australian shores. They wanted to go electric — Stephen has been following Tesla and BYD for years. He has friends with LEAFs and a MiEV. He bought on a well-founded faith in a trusted dealership.

The salespeople at other brands did not seem to know their own EV products. This was true with the MINI Electric from BMW Group and the Hyundai Kona EV. They found some Hyundai Ioniq 5s wrapped in plastic but were unable to examine them. They were told that they had already been sold — online. It appeared that some company reps were not interested in selling them an EV.

Stephen didn’t like the BYD interior design and felt that it looked cheap under the bonnet. One of the advantages he felt with the MG ZS EV is that you can lift the bonnet, see the inverter and the batteries, and explain them to interested people. He has had lots of great conversations about his MG. He felt that the communication between the BYD network and the customer was not up to scratch. It didn’t provide confidence.

Into the Space Age

Couldn’t be happier with their MG ZS EV. Photo courtesy of Stephen Coulton.

Some customers have bought a BYD and an MG ZS EV.

The MG provided this couple with a good start into EVs. They reserved their car with a A$500 deposit. “We initially thought, we’ll keep it for 18 months and they see what else is out there. We like the look of the Volvo XC40 Recharge.” But, the longer the interview lasted, the more it was obvious that Stephen is in love with his car. “It has more smarts than us, charging from home is so simple, and it’s easy to drive. We have found a Facebook community on the MG page full of likeminded people going in the same direction. We are learning so much, everyone is helpful. Lots of friendship and no nastiness.”

The MG app was recently updated and previous issues have been resolved. Apparently, when you went to Touchpoint previously, it might recommend you to a dealer on the other side of the world. Now it shows the local dealer closest to you and you can call directly from that app. It shows you how much charge you have in the car and the distance you can drive.

Pickering Automotive Southport has a good workshop set up with two bays for EV servicing. The salespeople have done intensive training, and the technicians knew the software. When they picked up the new car, Stephen and Debbie received 2.5 hours of training in its operation. Steve finds that every time he visits the dealership, he is having longer and longer conversations with the staff. He is learning things about the car that you only find out in extensive driving.

As a result, information sheets are being prepared to help new owners. The manual is not always clear. For example, Steve had to find out by trial and error that you can’t get the charging cable unlocked unless you unlock the car first. And if you are in adaptive cruise control, you have no regen.

Although he checked out the Tesla, he felt it was too expensive for now. “Elon has done the world a great service,” he tells me.  But that doesn’t change that a new Tesla is relatively expensive.

The MG ZS EV comes with 7 years of unlimited warranty on the car and drivetrain. So, even if he sells it in 4 years, the car will still be under warranty. Steve’s ideal car would be a CUV — the Model Y is just a little too big.

In the meantime, Stephen and Debbie just love going into the space age with their refreshed MG ZS EV.

 
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David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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