MG Motor Australia has announced that it will fund the supply of up to 3,000 EV and PHEV charging stations in up to 1,000 locations around Australia within the next three years. Locations will include hotels, resorts and other businesses with the first 300 to 1000 set to be delivered inside 12 months.
Interestingly, MG’s decision comes hot on the heels of prime minister, Scott Morrison’s pre-election promise to provide similar charging infrastructure over the same period.
While Morrison stopped short of promising subsidies or tax concessions to reduce the very high cost of EVs, MG has already set the standard by pricing its ZS EV compact SUV at just under $45,000, around $10,000 below that of its nearest competitors.
Making the announcement MG Motor CEO, Peter Ciao, said: “In Australia, purchase price is the biggest barrier to adoption of electric vehicles, closely followed by concern at the lack of public charging infrastructure.
“When we launched the MG ZS EV in late 2020, we offered the model at a price that delivered great value to customers. This has, in turn, changed the conversation about pricing of electric vehicles in Australia.
“We have achieved our ambition of delivering value and driving discussion. Now, we take the next step by supplying charging hardware that can be used by many electric vehicle owners in Australia.
“These chargers will not only enhance each venue’s customer experience, but will also reassure electric vehicle owners that they can drive around Australia with ease.”
In conjunction with the charging announcement MG Motor has made the decision to rebrand its current and future petrol/electric hybrid vehicles as ‘Plus EV’. So, the current HS PHEV now becomes the HS Plus EV.
Explaining the change, Mr Ciao said: “There is still confusion in the Australian market about electric vehicle technology and by renaming our HS Plug-In Hybrid as HS Plus EV makes it clear to the buyer that they are purchasing an electrified vehicle.”
Not sure that we agree. While the name PHEV (Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle) is still relatively new it does clearly describe this emerging drivetrain and removing the word ‘hybrid’ from the name is more likely to increase confusion than reduce it.
Nevertheless, it’s no doubt a marketing decision and given MG’s booming sales they clearly know what they’re doing.