Renault is now showcasing the low-priced electric car Dacia Spring Electric in a production-ready design and sharing more details about the small crossover that will be Dacia's first electric car. The launch will take place through a car-sharing service.
"Dacia Spring Electric is not only the cheapest electric car in Europe. It is also a practical car - and a cool one as well," said Renault top Denis Le Vot during a digital presentation.
"Real electric mobility should not be an expensive option," continued Le Vot, a member of Renault's executive committee.
Dacia's electric city car has been running for a while now. The last time we saw Dacia Spring was a colourful concept earlier this year, but now the production version is ready.
The model's pedigree is odd but suitable for it to be the cheapest of its kind. Spring is in many ways a Europe-adapted version of the electric car Renault City K-ZE that has been sold in the Chinese market since 2019. City K-ZE is, in turn, an electrically converted version of the budget car Renault Kwid which is sold with a petrol engine in India for a small price. Renault's development costs are therefore said to be very low.
Therefore, the car's specifications do not offer any major surprises for those who have followed the reporting until now. The engine power is 33 kW (45 horsepower) and 125 Nm, while the battery pack has a capacity of 26.8 kWh. Maximum DC charging power is only 30 kW, which means that charging 80 % takes just over an hour. So far, everything is like Renault K-ZE.
The range has now been tested according to the WLTP driving cycle to 225 km, which is similar to another city car, Honda e (220 km), but smaller than Volkswagen's low-priced triplets VW e-Up / Seat Mii Electric / Skoda Citigo IV (258 km). In addition, Renault seems to have given some thought to City K-ZE's low-speed limit; Dacia Spring Electric peaks 125 km / h instead of 105 km / h, which makes it somewhat more suitable for motorway travel.
In terms of dimensions, Dacia Spring Electric is extremely compact. It is only 373 centimetres long and 162 centimetres wide - easy to park. In addition, the turning radius should be really good, even though it is a front-wheel-drive car: 9.6 meters. There is room for four adults in the passenger car versions of the Dacia Spring electric car, and the luggage compartment is 300 litres large with the rear seat folded up. If you fold down the rear seat, that number increases to 600 litres.
Although the design is very similar to Renault K-ZE, Denis Le Vot said during the presentation that they had "injected the Dacia design secret sauce" into Spring Electric. What he meant was left open for interpretation.
Crash safety is not always a strong branch for low-cost cars, and the Renault Kwid base car is not offered in India with a single airbag as standard equipment. But, of course, it is not possible if Renault wants to avoid a bottom rating from Euro-NCAP's crash test. Dacia Spring Electric must therefore be equipped as standard with six airbags, ABS and ESP.
In addition to the addition of the (extremely necessary) airbags, it has been spiced up with some other technology such as a 7-inch digital display, voice recognition, auto brake at 7-170 km / h (also necessary) and Apple Carplay. It is also possible to control charging and the air conditioning system with an app. It may not sound so crisp, but we must remember that Renault has previously stated that they are aiming for a price tag of around 12,000 euros.
If you look at the standard equipment, it still sounds quite reasonable: the sneak version only has sheet metal rims, electric lifts all around, power steering, digital instruments, high-beam automatic and central locking.
The new Dacia Spring Electric will have three versions that will be rolled out gradually, starting in the spring of 2021. First out, a version will be launched that will be exclusive to car-sharing services such as Renault's own investment Zity or Aimo. This educational version will have an interior that will be extra easy to clean. The regular passenger electric car version will be launched soon for those who want to own or lease a Spring instead.
The third version is a van that increases the cargo space in the rear to 800 litres and has a load capacity of 325 kilos. The idea with this truck version, which will be released this autumn, is to work as a delivery or delivery truck in cities.
It has not yet been confirmed that any of the three versions of Dacia Spring Electric will arrive, and thus no prices have been set yet either. However, Renault promises that Spring Electric will be extremely cheap.