In tandem with the global push for cleaner and greener alternatives to fossil fuel-powered vehicles, India too has been encouraging the development of electric vehicles in the country. In the same breath, new entrant MG Motor which launched the Hector SUV as their opening act in India recently unveiled the ZS Electric SUV. While this is not the first fully-electric offering in the market, there are just two other offerings that operate in the same segment, the Tata Nexon EV and the Hyundai Kona Electric.
At its outset, the Hyundai Kona gained a handsome response from the market clocking sales of over 10,000 units in its first month. Hence, we put MG’s and Hyundai’s offerings up against each other to find out who’s what and how.MG ZS EV. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
MG ZS Electric SUV - Design
The ZS Electric SUV slated for India, largely derives its styling from its gasoline powered-sibling that is sold in the foreign markets. It steers off the ideal butch silhouette and ships with a more crossover-like styling that has been gaining much popularity in the recent years. For the unaware, this type of styling comes with a ground-clearance and body styling of an SUV combined with a comfortable and eased driving of a sedan. For an SUV that it is intended to be, the ZS comes with a slightly low slung stance. Up front is a chrome-studded grille and sporty headlights that adds to the premium feel. The charging port is placed in the front grille which can be accessed by pressing the grille.
In terms of dimensions, the ZS electric SUV is larger than the Kona. To put things into perspective, the ZS measures as much as the Seltos SUV.Hyundai Kona Electric SUV. (Photo: Hyundai)
Hyundai Kona - Design
The Hyundai Kona garnered impressive response upon its launch in India. Just like the ZS electric mimics its gasoline sibling, the Kona Electric also takes major design cues from the standard Kona sold abroad. The first thing that will catch your attention is the face of the car which is different because there is no grille at the front, as there is no need of a radiator as since it doesn’t have a regular combustion engine under the hood. What you get instead is fine detailing at its place that looks fantastic and also houses the charging port which can only be opened when the car is unlocked.
The Daytime Running Lights are housed up top which is seamlessly connected to each other and the headlamps are placed down below. Coming to the sides, you will see a lot of body cladding which gives it a bit of a rugged look, adding to that SUV persona. But the highlight is the wheels which look terrific and almost as if they belong to a concept car.
At the back, you get smart-looking LED tail lamps. The indicators, reverse light and the rear fog lamp are housed down below and is encompassed by a huge amount of body cladding. Overall, the car looks amazing and futuristic and yet, not so different and out of place as if it is screaming that it is an electric car.MG ZS EV. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
MG ZS Electric SUV - Interior
On the inside, the ZS ships with an all-black theme. At the centre of the dashboard is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that gets similar connectivity features as the Hector SUV. The instrument cluster is a coloured multi-function display that offers a host of information and is supported by an analogue dial. Additionally, MG has ditched the conventional tachometer for a speedometer that displays the amount of power used.
On offer is also a panaromic sunroof, which like the Hector can be opened via voice command. The car also gets a PM 2.5 filter onboard to ensure air inside the SUV is clean.Hyundai Kona Electric cabin. (Image: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
Hyundai Kona - Interior
And this continues even when you step inside the Kona as there is nothing weird or different, except that there is no gear lever protruding out of the centre console. Instead, you operate the car through four buttons which are meant to select between Park, Neutral, Drive and Reverse.
Other than that, the cabin feels familiar to a high-end Hyundai car and the build quality, finishing and the quality of products used is top notch as well giving the cabin a premium feel. There are enough compartment spaces all around and it gets the ergonomics spot on. You also get things like a push-button start, electronic parking brake and a wireless charging pad for your smartphone that is cleverly concealed when not needed.
Then, there are heated as well as cooled seats for both passenger and the driver which is a great addition. Lastly, the seats are electronically adjustable, the outside rearview mirrors are heated and in case you are wondering, yes you get a large electric sunroof as well.MG ZS EV. (Photo: Manav Sinha/News18.com)
MG ZS Electric SUV - Powertrain and Charging
MG has equipped the ZS with a 44.5kWh battery pack that supplies 143PS and 353Nm of torque to a three-phase permanent magnet synchronous motor at the front-wheel. MG claims a 0-100 kmph in 8.5 seconds.
When plugged into a 15 ampere wall socket, the ZS can be recharged fully in 16-18 hours. The company will also install a 7.4kW AC home charger for free of cost that will recharge the battery in 6-8 hours. In addition to this, MG will also install a 50kW DC fast charger at its flagship dealerships that can recharge up to 80 per cent of the battery in just 50 minutes.
Hyundai Kona Electric - Powertrain and Charging
The Hyundai Kona gets a 39.2 kWh battery that makes the equivalent of 136 PS of power and 395 NM of torque. As per Hyundai, the battery can be charged up from 0-100 per cent through the complimentary wall-mounted AC charger that you get with the car in about 6 hours of time and can charge a range of 50 km in one hour. You also get a portable charger that can be plugged into any regular power socket that gives a range of 50 km in three hours and takes 19 hours to charge the battery completely. And finally, there is the DC fast charger that will be placed at Hyundai showrooms and select fuel pumps that can charge the car from 0-100 per cent in just an hour.