In-depth reviews

MG ZS EV owner review

London teacher Malcolm Smith shares his experience of first-time electric-car ownership with an MG ZS EV

Malcolm Smith, a teacher from Rotherhithe, London, has always had a good relationship with the MG brand. He has owned a succession of its cars over the years, and his view is that they offer great value for money, while the dealers have always met his needs.

Although he viewed the SAIC purchase of MG with some trepidation, he was very impressed with the MG 6 the firm created, and owned a succession of them. But when the pure-electric MG ZS EV recently came on to the market, Smith decided to switch.

Why did he do that? “Broadly I guess it was concerns about the environment, the potential savings one could make, and I just liked the concept,” he explained to us. “I think the technology has advanced so much in the past five years that it was suddenly viable.

“The stated range of the ZS EV was good for me. The on-the-road price was astonishing given the Government grant and the matching grant from MG, so it was really a combination of all those factors.”

Although lockdown has left Smith working from home, which means he’s not using his MG anywhere near as much as he normally would, he usually completes an 80-mile round trip once or twice every week. It’s a journey he says the ZS EV is perfect for.

Smith knew he wanted a home charge unit to go with his new electric car, but wanted to be sure whichever provider he chose could meet one key condition. Describing himself as a “canny shopper”, Smith has an Economy 7 tariff and wanted to be certain that, if he plugged his MG into a home charge unit, it would only charge during low-demand hours, using cheap electricity.

“It was probably the most frustrating of all the parts of buying the car,” Smith explained. “I found a lot of suppliers very unwilling to talk; they just wanted to do the deal.”

Eventually, Smith had luck when he spoke to Zappi. The firm understood exactly what he wanted and so, even though its installation quote was one of the dearest he came across, he went with it and it worked a treat.

As a result of having a reliable home charge unit, Smith doesn’t have much cause to use public chargers, even though there are plenty in his neck of the woods, he says. He has used the Ecotricity units on the motorway, though, and he describes them as “woeful”. “You’ve got a 50-50 chance they’re actually operating, and very often they’re occupied,” he complained.

Although he doesn’t have any solar panels on his house, Smith is still an eco-conscious fellow. His electricity supplier uses purely renewable energy and he says vehicle-to-grid systems could interest him in the future.

Clearly, Smith is a convert to the EV way of life and is keen to get back to driving his MG once life returns to normal.

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