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The China-only Renault K-ZE could form the basis of a Dacia electric car in Europe
Last Updated: 05 Dec 2019 tweet
The rumoured Dacia electric car could take the form of a rebadged Renault K-ZE – a model currently only sold in China – according to reports.
The K-ZE city car features a 26.8kWh battery delivering 168 miles of range, making it one of the most efficient electric cars on sale, at least on paper.
A single electric motor provides 44bhp, with 0-37mph (0-60kph) achieved in seven seconds. The top speed is given as 65mph, making it unsuitable for UK motorways in its current guise.
Crucially, though, the K-ZE is cheap, costing an estimated £13,000 in China: this would allow Dacia to maintain its brand image as a manufacturer of well built, budget vehicles.
The Government’s plug-in car discount of £3,500 would help to this end, and it’s likely an electric Dacia would significantly undercut the likes of the SEAT Mii electric and Renault ZOE as one of the cheapest electric cars on sale.
A Dacia-badged electric city car would allow Renault Group – the parent company of both brands – to bring a new car to the segment in Europe without treading on the toes of the ZOE.
An electric Dacia could also borrow technology from the ZOE, which underwent a facelift in 2019 that gave it more range and power than before. The option of CCS fast-charging was also added.
So far, Dacia has made no official announcement about its first electric car, so it’s not yet clear when it’ll appear in showrooms. However, speaking to Auto Express at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2017, the company’s European chairman confirmed it had access to all technology from the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
He added the company would only move into the electric-vehicle market when there was sufficient customer demand and the technology was affordable. Low prices have been key to the success of Dacia thus far, and that won’t change, even as electric cars become more popular.
Renault has previously said that the K-ZE would be rolled out globally following its launch in China: if it does form the basis of an electric Dacia, it’s unlikely we’ll see it any earlier than the latter stages of 2020 or early 2021.