MG Motor had organised a drive to the Statue of Unity on September 9th on the occasion of World EV Day. Team Shutterdrives was a part of the drive which was flagged off from Vadodara, Gujarat. MG had provided us with the ZS EV for the same.
The World EV Day is celebrated on September 9th every year to encourage the adoption of sustainable and eco-friendly mobility solutions. We were flagged off from Vadodara at 2pm on the Friday and got to experience the ZS EV thoroughly over the drive spanning two days. On the first leg, the journey of approximately 90kms took 2 hours.
During this drive, the car consumed around 130kms of range, although we must mention that we did drive the car quite spiritedly. With a 0-100 timing of 8.5 seconds and the instant of an EV, the ZS is immense fun on the smooth highways with ample power reserves to make overtaking a hassle-free experience.
The steering is tuned very well and even though a tad on the heavier side in city speeds, it provides excellent feedback and weight at speed. This is one EV that doesn’t feel “artificial” despite an electric power steering (usually notorious for being boring). Unlike some rivals, it doesn’t run out of breath well into illegal speeds. The 3 stage customisable regen (KERS in MG speak) also works well to offer some degree of one-pedal-drive. Braking is handled by discs on all 4 wheels and is quick and effective with the car stopping without any drama although we did observe some nose dive.
We were soon joined by the rest of the convoy after which we proceeded into the actual campus. Note: Private vehicles are not inside the campus without prior permissions from the authorities. We finally got to see the Statue of Unity in all its might. For those unaware, the Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue at 182m tall. It was made to pay tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, also known as the Iron Man of India who played a critical role in securing India’s Independence.
Post the short photo op, we had to return back to our hotel where we had decided to plug in the cars to the fast DC chargers. There were 2 DC fast chargers and 3 AC slow chargers on the property, however only one AC charger was functional. The DC chargers, though present were unusable due to technical glitches.
This incident throws light on the growing charging infrastructure which is still in the nascent stages in India. So if you have or are planning to get an EV, do plan your trips in advance. A 25kW fast charger was also present at a petrol pump nearby but we could only charge after multiple tries. The ZS EV uses a CCS2 fast charging port to juice up.
The next day, on the drive back to Vadodara we again got some free flowing and smooth roads with a few rough patches which were handled with aplomb owing to the high ground clearance and good ride quality. The drive ended on a good note, with us feeling proud of the country and helping preserve our planet by going electric.