MG’s sister brand, Wuling, recently unveiled its Air EV in the Indonesian market. The Air EV (codename E230) is the company’s latest model to use the Global Small Electric Vehicles (GSEV) platform. The platform already spawns multiple models in various body styles. Now according to sources, MG Motor India may have plans to bring the Air EV to India. MG may likely introduce the Air EV as its own model in the middle of 2023.
While the MG-spec Air EV will remain mostly the same, MG will make changes to the specs and equipment for India. However, the car will continue to sport a two-door body style and use the GSEV platform. According to sources in the company, MG will make modifications to adapt the E230 for Indian conditions. Given India’s hot weather conditions, MG will likely make upgrades to the AC and battery thermal management system. Additionally, the Air EV will also get a new name and wear an MG badge.
The Wuling Air EV features a funky and boxy character similar to the Hongguang Mini EV. However, the Air EV’s detailing is more futuristic. At the front, you get a full-width lightbar with a chrome strip which flows all the way to the rear view mirrors. Under the lightbar sits the door for the charging port. In the photos, we see a Wuling logo on the charging door. Expect an MG one to replace it when it arrives here. Meanwhile, the headlights have a squared-off design and sit right above the bumper. The bumper houses slim rectangular LED foglights. It also gets a body-coloured panel at the bottom edge.
The Air EV gets long doors to facilitate easy ingress and egress to the second row. These doors are longer when compared to other cars on the GSEV platform. Furthermore, to increase the sense of space and airiness inside, there is a large vertical window right behind the front doors. The Air EV rides on 12-inch steel wheels with plastic caps. However, India will likely get alloy wheels. The rear has very clean styling. It features a curved windscreen with a horizontal light bar below it. The taillight design also kind of mimics the headlight design.
While there are no official specifications available, the MG’s EV will feature a small footprint. The car will have a total length of just under 3-metres. Additionally, the wheelbase will be around 2,000 mm. Going by these numbers, it makes the EV around 400 mm shorter than the Maruti Alto. The small footprint will also be a big boon in crowded cities. The battery pack capacity will likely be around 20 kWh to 25 kWh. Thus, it will deliver a range of about 150 km on a single charge. Power will likely be around 40 HP.
Tata AutoComp recently partnered with Gotion, a Chinese battery supplier. Together, they aim to design, manufacture, supply and service Lithium-ion battery packs in India. Hence, MG Motor India will likely also source the battery locally from Tata AutoComp. Like the Tata Nexon EV, the E230 will use LFP cylindrical cells. These are not only cost-effective but also reliable and more suitable for Indian conditions. However, they have a lower energy density, which could impact the real-world range.
The MG-spec Air EV will likely command a price tag of around INR 10 lakh. The pricing is on the expensive side. However, MG plans to equip it to justify the price tag. These will include features that will appeal to younger urban buyers. The pricing will remain a bold and risky move by MG. The company will likely unveil the Indian-spec Air EV at the Auto Expo 2023. A market launch will also soon follow after the unveiling.
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