As part of its “Renaulution” strategic plan to transform it from a volume-based company into a value-based company, Groupe Renault announced a new Mobilize business unit that would deal in mobility services for people and goods. It will be “a unique combination of hardware and software, purpose-designed vehicles and services in open ecosystems,” Groupe Renault said.
Mobilize’s business will include (but not be limited to) car-sharing, ride-hailing, last-mile delivery, and on-demand transit with purpose-designed vehicles. These purpose-designed vehicles will include the Dacia Spring a.k.a. The King, but also an electric sedan, which it refers to as “The Queen”.
The Dacia Spring Electric, a Renault Kwid EV-based electric car for Europe debuted at the Renault eWays event (in October 2020). The new low-cost electric car will go on sale in Spring 2021 (March – May 2021) and before you deem it as irrelevant, there is a strong Indian context that is revealed later in this story.
Design & Features
On the design front, the Dacia Spring Electric looks very similar to its donor, the Renault Kwid. Exterior highlights include split headlamps, LED DRLs, unique upper grille with 3D elements, 14-inch steel wheels disguised to look like alloy wheels, roof bars and tail lamps with Y-shaped lighting signature.
Inside, the Spring Electric’s sole substantial difference from the Chinese Renault Kwid EV (Renault City K-ZE) is the signature Dacia four-spoke steering wheel. A 3.5-inch MID and 7-inch Media Nav touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and voice recognition will be available in the low-cost electric car.
The Dacia Spring Electric is the safest member in the Kwid family with automatic headlights, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), six airbags, emergency call (SOS button) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) coming standard.
Range & Charging
The Dacia Spring Electric measures 3,734 mm in length, 1,622 mm in width and 1,516 mm in height. It has a 2,423 mm wheelbase and a 150 mm ground clearance. A 26.8 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack is standard, and so is a motor generating 33 kW (44 PS) and 125 Nm.
Video Source: youtube.com/Groupe Renault
The Dacia Spring Electric has a top speed of 125 km/h, and it can be charged with up to 6.6 kW using an AC charger and up to 30 kW using a DC charger. Below are the Dacia Spring Electric charging times:
|Charger||Charging Level||Charging Time|
|2.3 kW AC charger (household socket)||100%||Less than 14 hours|
|3.7 kW AC charger (wallbox)||100%||Less than 8 hours 30 minutes|
|7.4 kW AC charger (wallbox)||100%||Less than 5 hours|
|30 kW DC charger (fast-charging station)||80%||Less than 1 hour|
As for the Dacia Spring Electric range, a full charge lets the driver go up to 225 km (WLTP). However, the city-only WLTP range of the Dacia Spring Electric is 295 km. Groupe Renault says that the average daily driving distance for an A-segment car/city car in Europe is 31 km. So, most Dacia Spring Electric owners may need to fully charge their car only once a week.
Production & Price
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 Spring slots under the 2021 Dacia Sandero to become the Romanian budget brand’s cheapest offering.
At the global premiere of the Renault Kwid in May 2015 in India, then then-CEO of Renault Carlos Ghosn said there was no plan 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.
Prices of the Dacia Spring Electric should come out soon. Groupe Renault will also offer a car-sharing version and a cargo version of the entry-level electric car.
Dacia says it has 6.5 million customers worldwide built up by the success of 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.
Dacia Spring Electric – Image Gallery
Where is the Indian connection in the Dacia Spring?
The K-ZE which gave Dacia brand the Spring is an electric version of the made-for-India Renault Kwid that launched the CMF-A platform. The CMF-A was developed at the RNTBCI in Chennai.
Renault India will build on the Kwid’s platform at its engineering centre near Chennai to bring out its first electric vehicle. Codenamed Renault 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 the most recent iteration of the electric car and big differences in the features of the two vehicles is unlikely except on the level of safety. The Spring is one of the 5 global electric cars that has a strong Indian connection.