MG ZS EV Essence 2022 Standard Range – Australian electric car owner real world experience

The following is a discussion with West Australian electric vehicle (EV) owner Matthew Dowling about their purchase of a MG ZS EV Essence 2022 Standard Range and experience driving, servicing, charging etc.

EDITOR: I’m publishing a regular series of articles with the views of Australian EV owners about their EV ownership experience.

This will help fill an information gap as the majority of electric car news articles are about new car launches and there’s relatively little published about the longer term Australian ownership experience after you’ve paid for your electric car. Hopefully this shared information helps other Aussies make their own EV purchase decision. 

Was your electric car bought or leased?

Bought new.

Please describe your purchasing / lease process experience … Easy, Mediocre, Frustrating..?

Put down a $1000 deposit with a dealer, and went on a waiting list. In the meantime I looked for good interest rates on green car loans.

I found that my own bank, the CBA was doing a better rate than a mortgage at 3.99% fixed for 7 years, which really reduced the repayments.

I had to convince the loans manager that the car was actually going to reduce my living expenses, so that I could afford the repayments (and it has).

It took me two attempts at applying, and was successful on the second occasion.

What has the regular servicing / dealership experience been like?

The service team look after many makes and models of car, mainly ICE.

They’re still getting their heads around EVs and the servicing schedule. I’m not entirely convinced that they know what they’re doing.

How do you regularly charge your car for day to day usage?

Plug in to standard PowerPoint at home (when there’s spare solar power).

What has your day to day normal charging experience been like?

Good for the most part. I schedule trips, and put 20 to 30 hours of charging in over 3 days. That way I can charge off solar.

However my wife is a bit impulsive and decides she wants to do a shopping trip on a whim when the car is half charged.

This shouldn’t be a problem as my town now has a WA funded DC fast charger, but it was out of order for 2 weeks in early 2024, and the backup 22kw AC charger (which is cheap to use) has NEVER worked since it was installed last December.

How do you charge your car for longer road trips on the weekend or during holidays? Do you prefer any particular brand of public fast charger during road trips eg Evie, Tesla, Chargefox and why?

I use Chargefox RFID cards, as it’s easy to start a session, and has a competitive rate of 40 to 60 cents per kWh depending on location.

What’s the farthest road trip you’ve done in your EV and what did you learn from this experience that would be useful for others to know?

900 km round trip. Going from home to Perth and back again, I’ve worked out a convenient and affordable way of charging.

Fully charged on solar, my standard range car can make it to Williams with over 10% spare, so long as I drive at 100km/h in the 110 zones, and drive the shortest route (which involves a 10 km dirt road).

Then it only takes 15 minutes of DC fast charging to get me to Perth. I feel confident at Williams, as there is also Tesla superchargers, and other backup AC chargers in town.

While in Perth, I can drop my car off at a Chargefox AC charger for 4 hours and fully charge the car for less than $10, while I use the train lines to get to places like Fremantle, Perth CBD, or Perth stadium to watch the footy.

Then I can drive to Williams top up to 80%, and quick stop at either Kojonup or Katanning just to get me home.

Does your EV have any special features like V2L reverse charging from the car to your portable/home appliances? If yes please share your experience using this special feature

V2L. Has come in handy during a blackout and camping.

First time I used it, it wouldn’t let me lock the car or turn the car off. But they’ve since done an update, and I can run power to half of the appliances in my house, while the car is securely locked up.

I wish they’d do another update, and make it so that I only need to plug the cable in, for it to work.

It’s frustrating having to start the car and go through menus to export power from the battery.

If you have roadside assist included with the car purchase/lease and have had to use it, which company provided the service and what was that experience like?

Haven’t had to use it. It’s lucky that I’m good with numbers, and can ensure that I always arrive at my destination (with just one exception).

In the first month of ownership, I didn’t account for a headwind driving home and should have charged a little longer in Albany.

It’s lucky that there was a fire shed in Gairdner with an external PowerPoint.

If you have had issues with your car and asked for these to be fixed under warranty, did the car brand do the right thing and fix it without causing you stress?

No issue yet.

What are the 3 strongest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

  • V2L
  • Auto headlights and windscreen wipers
  • Android Auto

What are the 3 weakest aspects of your electric car compared to other similar price electric cars available in Australia?

  • Slow at DC fast charging. Cheaper EVs now can do it twice as fast.
  • Cruise control uses brakes instead of regen to control your speed. This wastes battery power.
  • There is no Frunk to store stuff, and there is no spare tyre, but in other countries this is provided.

What is your view on car software updates? Some people prefer it be done by dealers, some don’t want updates, others want them regularly over the air?

Over the air would be good.

They need to put a Telstra Sim in these cars instead of Vodafone, so the functionality can be accessed in rural and remote areas.

What questions would ask your car manufacturer HQ if you could?

To allow car sharing without voiding my warranty.

I’d like to share the costs of ownership with other responsible drivers, but manufacturers, insurance companies, and my wife makes this difficult.

Would you buy or lease this brand of electric car again and recommend it to others?

The brand yes, the model No.

Do you have any other comments about your electric car brand, experience etc?

Good, but need more dealerships and service centres in regional towns and cities. Perth is too far from many places in western Australia.

If you’re an Australian electric vehicle owner and would like to participate in this interview series by sharing your experience please contact me directly or add a comment below and let me know.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles