MG’s first ever electric car, the ZS EV, will be on display for the first time in the UK this month ahead of sales beginning in September.
The brand will use the London motor show, which opens its doors on 16 May, as the venue for the model’s debut. The brand also claims it has had 800 “expressions of interest” from buyers, the most it’s ever had in Britain.
The Kia Soul EV rival was first revealed at the Guangzhou motor show in China last year, and will be sold alongside the existing petrol versions of the ZS.
While specifications have yet to be confirmed, the UK-bound ZS EV is expected to use the same front-mounted 148bhp electric motor as the model sold in China.
The car’s lithium ion battery will reportedly be good for a 268-mile range on the old NEDC test cycle, and MG says it can achieve an 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes.
As a guide, the WLTP range of the Nissan Leaf is 28.5% lower than its NEDC range, and the same reduction would put the ZS EV at 192 miles.
“We’re delighted to be entering the electric car market at such an exciting time,” said Daniel Gregorious, MG’s head of sales and marketing. “With MG’s trademark value-for-money approach, we’re confident that we can help more and more new car buyers to go electric.”
UK sales weren’t confirmed at the ZS EV’s global debut last year, but they were considered likely as part of the slow but steady growth of the MG brand worldwide and its transition to being a maker of SUVs.
MG is enjoying sales success in China, under the ownership of SAIC. Last year, it sold 134,786 cars, a significant increase over the 80,389 sold in 2016. That success accelerated in 2018; MG had already surpassed its 2017 total by the end of August, having sold 179,109 cars.
China is the world’s largest market for electric cars, and ranges in excess of 250 miles are now the norm there, rather than the exception.
The ZS EV first made its debut alongside the new HS SUV, which is understood to be lined up to replace the GS in MG’s UK range later this year.