Electric vehicles are hugely topical in Australia at the moment, with many consumers unsure of whether to buy, what to buy, and what the future holds. MG Motor Australia has recently announced they will be bringing MG's first electric vehicle to Australia. We had lots of questions…
Question: Can you tell us about MG's first electric vehicle to be released in Australia?
Pavel Meck: The eZS is MG Motor's first ever all-electric vehicle. An evolution of the marque's popular compact SUV, the MG ZS, the new eZS SUV will arrive in ANZ in 2020, and feature pioneering technology derived from parent company, SAIC Motor.
Question: When will the electric vehicle arrive in Australia and at what cost?
Pavel Meck: We're excited for the arrival of this new model, due to launch in Australia in 2020. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, however we do anticipate it to be among the most competitively priced electric vehicles in the country.
Question: How much more should we expect to pay for an electric car?
Pavel Meck: Currently consumers can expect to pay a bit more for an investment in an electric vehicle in Australia, with speculation that this will even out in the next few years. However, when we launch the new eZS we expect it to be among the most competitively priced, affordable electric SUVs on the market.
A key positive for electric vehicles, beyond the initial price tag, is also the long-term saving you get at the fuel pump, in addition to the lowering of environmental impact. All factors for consideration when choosing to purchase an electric vehicle.
Question: Do you believe it's worth paying more for an electric car?
Pavel Meck: Electric energy will play a huge part in the future of the automotive industry. It's a positive investment, with nationwide infrastructure increasing in this market. As an investment, it's worth looking to an electric vehicle as a cleaner energy option, but also one where money won't need to be spent at the fuel pump.
Question: Can you tell us about how long we'll be able to drive the MG electric vehicle before it requires charging?
Pavel Meck: As a leader in automotive innovation, SAIC Motor – parent company of MG Motor Australia – sold more than 140,000 New Energy Vehicles (NEV) in 2018, doubling the NEV sales of the previous year for the fifth consecutive year.
With technology advancement the face of electric vehicles has changed from what they were a few years ago, and they are now a very real and practical prospect. For pure electric vehicles, on average, consumers can expect to achieve a range of anywhere between 200-500km on a single charge.
Question: Where can an electric vehicle currently be charged?
Pavel Meck: Organisations like the NRMA, RACQ and RACV are embarking on extensive programmes to increase the number of electric charging stations across the country. The NRMA, for example, has committed $10 million to build one of Australia's largest electric vehicle fast charging networks. Free for members, they have confirmed the network will grow to more than 40 electric vehicle fast chargers covering 95% of their members' road trips, thereby lowering the overall cost of electric vehicle ownership.
Question: How does a home need to be modified to charge an electric vehicle?
Pavel Meck: Typically owners should expect to have a charging system set up within their garage, installed by a trained electrician, which can be organised by the manufacturer.
Question: Will we see you driving the new MG's electric vehicle?
Pavel Meck: I currently drive the compact SUV, the MG ZS. This has proved hugely popular in Australia, so I'm very excited to launch its electric variant, the eZS, in this market. I recently drove the model overseas, and anticipate that it will prove highly popular upon its Australian arrival.
Question: If we're in the market for a new car, should we be holding out to buy an electric vehicle?
Pavel Meck: There is still very much a place for the combustion engine. Electric vehicles are expected to complement the current status quo, we don't expect them to disappear any time soon! Electric presents a competitive, innovative new option for consumers, however there are also many benefits that still exist with a petrol engine.
Interview by Brooke Hunter