The carmaker is also in talks with various potential partners to manufacture the EV battery in India, with an eye on launching an additional EV sport utility vehicle at a lower price point using the localized battery.
The Chinese brand, which introduced its only electric vehicle ZS EV in a new avatar within a year with a bigger range and better ground clearance, seeks to expand its presence to over 31 markets in 2021.
The company claims its updated ZS EV will deliver a minimum range of 300 kilometres under any condition, although the given range is 419 km in ideal settings.
The company has also tied up with Tata Power to install DC chargers across 60 cities and has already executed charging stations in 20 cities.
Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director of MG Motor India, told ET that the company has received bookings in excess of 200 per month, which has propelled it to expand its portfolio as well as add a number of new markets within the country to sell its ZS EV.
“We mean serious business in EVs and we are investing in this space. This is not the end of it. Even as we accelerate momentum for ZS EV, we are also planning for another EV in the sub-Rs 20 lakh, which will be launched in 2 years,” Chaba added.
Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, MG Motor had received over 2,500 booking for its ZS EV, but because of the outbreak and subsequent lockdowns, it faced cancellations from the travel and hospitality space.
The company managed to sell about 1,300 cars from February to December last year and expects to sell more than 3,000 cars this year.
Chaba said total EV sales in 2019 were at about 1,000 units, which increased to 5,500 in 2020, and expected it to breach 10,000 in 2021.
“This year the industry will be 10,000 EVs for sure. After seeing the response, and after seeing the demand from other cities, where we are not present right now, where our dealers are asking for cars, we expect 200% growth for EVs,” he said.
So far, MG has invested close to Rs 3,000 crore, and it will invest an additional Rs 1,500 crore this year which will go into capacity building at Halol (Gujarat) and investment on vendors, including for battery localization.
Chaba said the Rs 1500 crore investment planned for 2021 is already part of the phase 1 plan and does not require special government clearance under its Press Note 3 guidelines announced almost a year ago.
“We had committed Rs 4,500 crore for phase 1 operation for Halol, it has been organized for and all this is part of phase 1. We are following all the process and there will be no issue in the Halol phase 1 part,” Chaba said.
MG Motor is likely to set up a battery plant at its Halol facility and is in talks with leading players in the battery management space, he said, declining to offer further details.
“We are very serious on localization of batteries and next year we should do it,” he said.