In early March 2020, Dacia, Renault’s budget brand digitally presented the Spring Concept previewing a potentially disrupting electric vehicle that will hit the European market in a few months. Let’s take a look at all the aspects of what is set to become the most affordable ‘global’ electric car, and one that is relevant to India.
In mid-July patent images from the web revealed the front and rear angles of the production car. European media were not hopeful of a complete transfer of the Spring’s design to the production form. Renderings that were published by magazines such as Germany’s AutoBild and France’s AutoPlus after the event in March portrayed a Renault City K-ZE with Dacia grille and badges.
The filings unsurprisingly show that the production version varies very little from the City K-ZE. The front of the vehicle is reproduced with a different grille that gets C-shaped braces and a slot for the Dacia badge. At the back, the combination light is designed with the Y-shaped graphics of the Spring Concept vehicle.
The K-ZE’s chrome bar on the hatch and the silver skid plate have been deleted for a clean look. An interesting addition is the ‘lid’ on the rear fender which we presume is a special charging inlet that is otherwise behind the grille or the front fender.
Range & Charging
The first spy photos of the Dacia Spring appeared widely in the European corner of the internet in mid-July, clicked at a charging station. Autoblog.md reports that the prototype was spotted near the Moldovan border and right away, it becomes apparent that the Spring is not an entirely new car. The publication says that the logos, steering wheel, multimedia system and other features are typical of the Romanian budget car brand, but the rest is downloaded from the Chinese version.
Dacia said that 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.
The Dacia Spring with fast charging, should take 50 minutes to reach from 0% to 80%, and when plugged-in to a household electric socket, it should consumes 4 hours to charge to 100% (estimations based on the City K-ZE’s numbers). Similarly if the mechanicals of the Renault City K-ZE are preserved, the Dacia Spring would come equipped with a 26.8 kWh battery pack that is good for a range of 271 km (NEDC) and a 33 kW electric motor that can push the car up to a top speed of 105 km/h.
You can see all the images over at Autoblog.md.
Production & Price
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 15,000-16,000 Euros in Europe (excluding government subsidy) that will let it comfortably undercut the cheapest electric cars on sale currently in the Old Continent – the trio of the VW e-Up!, Skoda Citigo iV and the Seat Mii electric. 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.
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. In the post-COVID world, commuters would prefer personal mobility to shared mobility due to concerns of catching an infection.
French website Challenges.fr, citing a company source, reports that the Dacia Spring arrives in December 2020 in a first version intended for carsharing. The version that gets sold to individual customers, it adds, launches in the first half of 2021.
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.
Guided by the measurements of the concept, the Spring is 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.
Dacia Spring Concept – Image Gallery
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 K-ZE which gave Dacia the Spring is an electric version of the made-for-India Renault Kwid that launched the CMF-A platform.
Renault India will build on the Kwid’s platform at its engineering centre near Chennai to bring out its first electric vehicle. 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 and we don’t expect many differences in the features of the two vehicles. The Spring is one of the 5 global electric cars that has a strong Indian connection.