Total cost of ownership: MG ZS EV versus MG ZST

MG announced the updated version of their popular ZS EV in Australia, so wondered what the total cost of ownership of one of these compared to the petrol version - the ZST Core, would be. Some math below, with notes at the end.

ZS EV - $43,990 (drive away price including $3,000 Victorian subsidy)
Macquarie finance - $42,990 loan ($1,000 deposit), 2.99%, no fees - $568/m - $47,712 over 7 years

Electricity (15,000km/yr) - 20c/kWh
Consumption - 5.79km/kWh (according to UK VCE) - 2,591kW/yr
Electricity cost - $518/yr, $3,627 for 7 years

Servicing (15,000km/yr) - $1897 for 7 years

VIC EV tax - 2.5c/km, 105,000km = $2625
Registration - $626/yr ($100 EV discount), $4382

Insurance (RACV for postcode 3340) - $859.54/yr, $6016 for 7 years

TCO 7 years: $66,259
TCO monthly: $789

ZST Core - $25,490 drive away price
Macquarie finance - $24,490 loan ($1,000 deposit + $990 upfront fee), 6.80% @ 96% LVR, $8.25/m admin fee - $390.25/m - $32,781 over 7 years

Fuel (15,000km/yr) - $1.85/L
Fuel economy - 6.9L/100km (combined) - $1915
Fuel over 7 years - $13,405

Servicing (15,000km/yr) - $3157 for 7 years

Registration - $726/yr, $5082 for 7 years

Insurance (RACV for postcode 3340) - $683.21, $4782 for 7 years

TCO 7 years: $59,207
TCO monthly: $705


I chose Macquarie as that’s who I’ve had all my vehicle finance with over the last few years and they’re quite transparent about their fees. You might be able to find better deals elsewhere.

Electricity at 20c/kWh doesn’t count for public charging (usually 40c/kWh or more) if you use that every now and then nor does it count for cheaper off-peak power use in some power plans. 20c/kWh felt like a good average to me.

Fuel pricing is currently around $2/L, might go higher. But long term will probably taper off at some point so $1.85 felt like a good rough estimate to me.

Servicing for the ZST was a bit tricky to work out, as the MG website doesn’t list capped pricing servicing beyond 80,000km. Assuming 15,000km/yr

Other scenarios:

If you live in NSW, where there’s no EV tax ($2,625) and you get stamp duty waived (~$1200 saving), in addition to a $3,000 purchase subsidy. That lowers the price by $3,825, lowering the TCO to $62,434 vs $59,207.

If you have solar and can charge during the day (not everyone can, as they might be at work when the sun is out), electricity costs can drop - but not by much. Over 3 years of EV ownership, only 32% of my charging at home is from solar. It’s only a hundred dollars or so a year in savings versus charging off the grid. I’ll go into this in a separate post soon as it’s quite interesting.

If you drive heaps, like me, the savings are even better. I do about 30,000km/yr. In this scenario the cost of fuel jumps to $26,810 for the ZST and electricity to $7,254 for the ZS EV. That changes the TCO to $69,886 for the EV vs $72,612 for the fossil burner. I haven’t even taken into account servicing, which would be huge on the ZST as it hits 210,000km in that 7 year period.

My opinion:

Getting the EV version makes so much sense if you live in NSW and even more sense if you do high kilometres anywhere in Australia. Your car is off the road less as there’s bigger service intervals, you can leave home every day with a “full tank” and personally, the driving experience of an EV is so much smoother than a 1.5L turbo engine paired with a CVT. Oh and the noxious fumes and global warming stuff, that’s nice too.