The car – which offers a range of 230 km on a single charge – comes in a four-seat configuration. The Comet EV will be manufactured locally at the company’s manufacturing facility in Halol, Gujarat.
Currently, Tata Motors has a sole offering at the heart of the market – the Tiago EV prices of which start at Rs 8.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
MG Motor India said albeit the aggressive pricing, the company will not be selling the car at a loss. MG is rather working on measures to grow operations sustainably in the local market.
“We will not lose money on this car. We are working on ways to balance volumes and profitability. We should be able to make a little bit of money if we overall sell 80,000-100,000 units this year”, Rajeev Chaba, President, MG Motor India said in a recent interaction.
Overall, MG Motor India expects 30% of its annual sales to come in from EVs – ZS and Comet – in 2023.MG Motor India closed last year with total sales of 48,000 units.The MG Comet – developed at an investment of Rs 700-800 crore – has localisation levels above 50%. Chaba said the company has worked hard to deepen localisation levels to keep prices competitive. The vehicle’s local content will increase to 60% by the year end.
MG Motor additionally took a conscious decision to keep the range suited for city drives as a larger battery would have meant an increase in the cost of the vehicle. Chaba said while the company will launch more than one variant of the car, there are no plans at the moment to extend the range of the vehicle.
“This (Comet EV) is good solution. It may not be the best solution for everyone. And we are serious about not selling this vehicle to certain categories of people. It is for consumers who commute within cities, drive 80-90 km every day. If you want to go intercity, carry more load, want to travel with family, then we have the ZS EV”, Chaba said. The company will conduct a ‘vibe check’ on receiving enquiries to assess the requirements of buyers and advise them accordingly to make bookings.
Overall, Chaba said consumer awareness about electric vehicles has increased amid concerns over vehicular pollution. With several affordable electric vehicles set to hit roads through the year, sales this year should more than double in 2023. Chaba said, “There is an accelerated shift towards electric across countries amid growing environmental concerns. In China, EVs and PHEVs now comprise 30% of new vehicle sales, Europe 20%, US 10%. In India, too, sales of electric vehicles have started gaining traction and we expect it to more than double this year.”
Around 50,000 electric vehicles were sold in the country in 2022.
Chaba said with limitations in supplies, which had impacted production of the MG Motor’s ZS EV last year, easing out, the company is targeting selling 10,000 units of the ZS EV this year. Additionally, the company is working to put in place production capacity of 3,000 units per month for the Comet EV at the company’s Halol (Gujarat) facility.
MG Motor India intends to sell the Comet EV largely for use by personal buyers in India. The company has not actively considered selling the car to fleet operators or exporting it on a scale to other countries but said it will be open to evaluating such opportunities going ahead.