New MG ZS EV vs new Renault Zoe

Renault has upgraded the Zoe with a super range, while MG is undercutting every comparable electric car. Who has the brighter idea?...

MG ZS EV driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Let’s face it: however much you care about the environment, you don't want to be throwing money down the proverbial toilet. Well, there’s good news if you’re a company car driver because any fully electric car you choose is exempt from benefit-in-kind (BIK) until April 2021. Between then and April following year you'll pay just 1%, rising to 2% in 2023 – although that’s still a tiny amount compared with the minimum of 22% you’d have to pay for a petrol or diesel car. 

The Zoe has a significantly higher brochure price but it's available with some pretty big discounts, to the point it's actually the cheaper car to buy initially if you're paying cash. And thanks to slower predicted depreciation it's likely to cost you less in the long run. However, things are closer if you're planning to take out a PCP finance deal thanks to a hefty deposit contribution from MG.

You’ll also spend a lot less per mile on electricity than you would petrol or diesel, too. Assuming you charge at home, expect a rise in your energy bill of around £550 every 12,000 miles if you choose the Zoe or slightly more with the ZS. Sign up to an Economy 7 tariff for cheaper electricity at night and those figures will shrink further.

Renault Zoe driving

How do you go about charging the battery? Well, like almost all electric cars, the Zoe and ZS use a Type 2 connector for regular charging (cable supplied). From a 7kW wallbox – Renault will install one at your home for free but MG charges – a full charge from empty will take around 9hr 25min in the Zoe and 6hr 30min in the ZS.

You can also plug the ZS into a CCS rapid charger, from which it will get a 0-80% top-up in around 40 minutes at a rate of 50kW. You have to fork out an extra £750 for this capability on the Zoe; without it, the best rate is 22kW, meaning three hours for a 0-100% charge. 

Likewise, a cable for a domestic three-pin socket – for emergencies only, because charging like this is extremely slow – costs extra on the Zoe but is standard on the ZS. 

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