MG Motors has just triggered the electrical automobile revolution in India. The British company is planning to launch one of its two darling electric SUVs in India in the next few months, after the launch of a petrol SUV.
MG has made its foray into India with the backing of 150 sales and service outlets under 45 dealerships, said executive director P Balendran.
The MG trademark is now sold by Shanghai Automobile Industries Corporation (SAIC), the largest automaker in China. The company produces about 70 lakh cars a year. Compare that with India's total production of 30 lakhs.
SAIC also manufacturers iconic brands such as Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda for the global market. They also manufacture some of the General Motors models.
New age fuel
Fossil fuels are on their way out across the globe. Electric vehicles are set to supplant the petrol and diesel models. And they can give the old models a run for their money. They are no longer the weak, short-distance micro mini cars. Some of them boasts of a travel range of up to 1,000 kilometres. SAIC is one of the big five in the sector.
Electric cars run on lithium fuel cells. The batteries are modules of cells. The larger the battery the stronger the vehicle. Existing platforms does not allow car makers to go for larger batteries. Even if the boot and bonnet are loaded with cells, the car can only run up to 150 kilometres.
A better way is to pack the cells across the platform. That calls for a new design and SAIC has just done that.
Fuell cell manufacturing is primarily concentrated in the hands of five companies in Japan, China and South Korea. One of the two big Chinese companies is owned by SAIC, giving it a definite edge to lead the way in electrical vehicles. India is set to experience the power.
Gone are the days when Chinese products were derided as low quality. Many of the prestigious American and European products, including iPhone, are made in China. Chinese manufacturers have stunned the world by offering the same features of a costly iPhone for a fraction of its cost. MG Motors could be a game changer in India if they follow the same Chinese model.
The company had treated Indian journalists to a test drive of two of its models in Shanghai. Marvel X and ERX 5 matched the German cars in perfection. The beasts were beautiful and comfortable. These models are expected to be launched in India.
Marvel X two-wheel drive has a range of 403 kilometres and the four-wheel drive a range of 370 kilometre with a single recharge. The cars can reach speed of 170 kilometre per hour. The two-wheel drive model can reach 100 kilometres per hour in 7.9 seconds and the four-wheel drive can reach 100 kilometres per hour in 4.8 seconds.
The models will take 8.5 hours for a full recharge. In the fast charge mode, they can be charged up to 80 per cent in 40 minutes.
ERX 5 is an SUV with 85 kilowatt power and 255 Nm torque. It can cover 320 kilometres before recharging. It can reach 50 kilometres per hour in 4.2 seconds. Its speed limit is 135 kilometres.
It would take seven hours to recharge fully but in fast-charge mode, it can charge up to 80 percent in 40 minutes.