Electric passenger vehicles (PV) today form a miniscule share of total passenger vehicles sales in the country today. Internal combustion (IC) engine cars and utility vehicles constitute the major share of PV sales in the country. It’s in this small electric space that MG Motor India has launched the MG Comet micro electric car. It is not only the smallest electric car available in the country today, but also the most affordable at Rs 7.98 lakh.
I got an opportunity to drive the vehicle and experience it for a couple of days when MG Motor India sent it across to me. You can call it cute, though it looks boxy and very toy like. Pay a couple of lakh rupees more and you can get the Tata Tiago EV at around Rs 8.69 lakh onward, or the Tata Tigor EV for Rs 12 lakh onward or the Tata Nexon EV for Rs 16 lakh onward. You also have the Citroen electric C3 hatchback that is around Rs 11.5 lakh. Unlike the MG Comet, these cars look solid and are shaped like a conventional car.
The MG Comet has a shape that borders on cuteness for some, and for others, on a bit of unconventional. But the million dollar question is, Will it succeed? Let’s first take a closer look at the car and see what it has to offer.
It looks small, no doubt. When hatchbacks are just a shade below 4000mm in length, the MG Comet has a length of a mere 2974mm, a width of 1505mm and a height of 1640mm. It has a wheelbase of 2010mm, with a turning circle of 4.2 metres. With hardly any space that constitutes a bonnet, the MG Comet looks a tech nerd with its illuminated MG Logo, the LED strip (connecting lights) running from ear to ear above the parallel steps LED headlamps. At the rear too it has a red LED strip running ear to ear just above the parallel steps led tail lamps The MG Comet sits on very small tyres (145/ 70R12) and 12 inches steel wheels with wheel cover. It has LED turn indicators on ORVMs, outside door handle with chrome and a pair of aero wipers.
You get keyless entry feature with the MG Comet, which means you keep the smart rhombus shaped key in your pocket and simply pull the door handle to get inside. It also comes with a digital key wherein you can share the key among two people. Though it has only two doors, the car can seat four people pretty comfortably. The ingress and egress for the rear seats are pretty comfortable as the front seat can be really moved forward to create a large space. It’s basically a one touch slide and recline passenger seat for second row entry. Though the sitting space at the rear is just about okay, you get a large window that allows for added visibility.
The interiors are light in colour, a shade of grey and white. The car has a leather wrapped steering wheel which can be adjusted for tilt and it comes with controls for volume as well as change the settings on the instrument panel. It has PVC layering on door trim as well as fabric seat upholstery. The rear seat can be split 50.50. The inside door handles have a bit of chrome on it. Other interior features include power adjust ORVM, front power windows, manual AC and heater, front co-driver grab handle, besides, driver and co-driver vanity mirror.
But it’s the dash area that looks very uber with two rectangular screen of 10.25 inches each. While one is the touchscreen infotainment system, the other is the instrument panel. The infotainment set up offers you wireless android auto and apple car play, i-Smart with 55+ connectd car features, etc. Then you get two speakers, bluetooth music & calling, front 12v power outlet and 3 USB ports with fast charging.
PERFORMANCE & SAFETY FEATURES
Before I get into the performance and safety features of the MG Comet, let me reiterate that this electric car does not come with fast charging. It takes around six to seven hours to reach 100per cent charging from a zero position. That is a lot of time for charging a car. Though the vehicle can be charged using a conventional 16amp socket at home, the issue is making sure the charging cord is long enough to connect that car and the charging socket. Unless you have a private garage or a space where your car can come up very close to the charging point, it is virtually impossible to charge the car. That goes for all electric cars.
But the good news is that the 17.3 kwh lithium ion battery that is made of prispatic cell, gives a range of 230km on a single charge, provided you are driving on Eco mode. This automatic car gets three drive modes which include Eco, Normal and Sports. The IP67 rated battery are water as well as dust resistant.
The electric car has a max power 40 hp and a max torque of 110Nm.It has front disc brakes and at the rear it has drum brakes. As for the suspension, the front comprises McPherson strut and the rear multi link coil suspension.
I felt the car was very stable on the road despite its small size and had adequate power to touch speeds of 100kmph. It’s an ideal car for intra city drive and not so much for highway driving.
When it comes to safety features, the MG Comet is no push over. It gets dual front airbags, ABS + EBD,
reverse parking camera, rear parking sensors, LED rear fog lamp, follow me home headlamps, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (Indirect), front & rear seat belt reminder, driver & co-driver seat belt with load limiter, 3-point seat belts for all passengers, ISOFIX rear child seat anchors, speed sensing auto door lock, impact sensing door unlock, among others.
WILL IT SUCCEED?
Now that’s a million dollar question. If I have to be very honest, this car may not have many takers. The reason is simple. Cay buying is an aspirational decision and everybody wants a car that turns one’s enemy green with envy. This car at best can be a second or third car for someone already owning a swanky machine.
One thing, however, is for sure. More cars like the MG Comet on the road will not only be good for the environment but also will go a long way to tackle the congestion on city roads. It’s no secret that people love to drive mammoth vehicles in cities and that too with one or two people in it. Even the large boots of such cars are empty, except for a slim laptop tucked away safely. Thus, for the sake of not only the environment around us, but also for the sake of reducing congestion on Indian city roads, the MG Comet is a perfect car for the masses. But for that to happen, we all need to set aside our bloated egos and Buy Smart!
Roy Punnoose Tharyan is a “born again” auto journalist who wants more truth to prevail in the field of automotive journalism. He has more than 35 years of journalistic experience in the fields of business, economics and automotive, both B2B as well as B2C. He is an avid photographer, videographer and has mastered the skill of video editing. He does not believe in automotive awards and boring seminars. He is also the Founder Editor of Motown India
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