India-bound Kwid electric takes ‘Spring’ avatar for Europe [Update]

Video & Production update – The first video walkarounds of the Dacia Spring have popped up on the European auto media community. Youtube channel Automobile Propre has presented a video taking viewers through the exterior of the Spring.

Dacia Spring – Production, Price & Launch date

Dacia, Renault’s budget brand, earlier this month digitally unveiled the ‘Spring,’ a budget electric vehicle that will hit the European market in early 2021 following its expected world premiere in late 2020. The Spring is in a near-production form, and European outlets are reporting that the Dacia Spring will be manufactured alongside the K-ZE by eGT (a joint venture company of the Dongfeng Motor Group and the Renault-Nissan Alliance) in Shiyan, China. Production capacity of the Chinese plant could increase from 100,000 units/year to 130,000 units/year with the additional European market allocation. The price of the Spring is estimated at 14,000-15,000 Euros in Europe (inclusive of government subsidy) that will let it comfortably undercut the cheapest EVs on sale currently – the trio of the VW e-Up!, Skoda Citigo iV and the Seat Mii electric.

The Dacia Spring is a slightly buffed-up Renault City K-ZE that is sold in China. The K-ZE in turn is an electric version of the Renault Kwid that launched CMF-A platform. At the global premiere of the Renault Kwid in May 2015 in India, then then-CEO of Renault Carlos Ghosn said there was no plans for a Dacia Kwid. However he was only referring to the petrol variants, and global demand for low-cost electric vehicles has caught on since then.

Before discussing other aspects of the Spring, let’s look at the Indian relevance of this car – Renault India will build on the Kwid’s platform at its engineering centre near Chennai to bring out its first electric vehicle next year. Codenamed ‘XBA EV,’ the electric city car could launch as the cheapest of its kind (undercutting the Mahindra eKUV100 that is priced at Rs 8.25 lakh ex-showroom Delhi). The Spring could be a possible preview of the XBA EV as it is most recent iteration of the electric car.

Dacia Spring – Range & other preliminary specification

Dacia says it has 6.5 million customers worldwide via selling the Sandero, Logan and Duster models. The Spring Electric is a display of how the company continues to evolve with the times while staying true to Dacia’s original values of making reliable, affordable simple and modern cars.

To be launched in Europe in early 2021, the all-electric city car will have a range of more than 124 miles (200 km) in the WLTP test, ideal for semi-urban and urban use. Talking about the exterior, the concept is finished in pastel grey with splashes of fluorescent orange on the roof rails, wings and doors, with skid plates on the front and rear bumpers. The vehicle measures 3.73 m long and its high ground clearance makes it ideal for daily use on rough terrain. The car is targeted at fleet and private owners and the company promises it would be easy to maintain and simple to charge, though it does not mention the charging methods.

We don’t expect many differences in the features of the Dacia Spring and the Renault XBA EV.

The Spring also previews the future of Dacia’s lighting design – the four full-LED lamps on the rear that form the ‘double-Y’ effect is one element. The front likewise has all-LED headlights with four graphic features built into the bumper and the upper section made with a horizontal strip, the template of the Renault Kwid that has been adapted by Dacia’s stylists.

The Spring would slot under the Dacia Sandero that moves to its third generation with a more advanced underpinning (CMF-B) and techy interior later this year.

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