Renault has officially confirmed that a Dacia “urban city car” – tipped to be a version of the Chinese-market Renault City K-ZE – is in the European product plan for 2021-2022.
Quietly revealed during the company’s financial results presentation, the model will be launched after the not-for-uk Twingo ZE and before Renault’s first CMF platform-based electric car.
It’s not immediately clear whether the Dacia EV will be destined for right-hand-drive sale in the UK, however.
Autocar revealed last year that the budget City K-ZE is to be upgraded for the European market to kick-start the group’s future shared mobility initiative.
The K-ZE is a small A-segment crossover-style model, keenly priced from £6900 in China to attract younger buyers. The European version is likely to have safety equipment upgrades and possibly a small improvement to its official NEDC range of 155 miles.
The limited range enables Renault to keep the price low and, according to senior vice president for electric vehicles Giles Normand, the need for a big range is less important because this is a city car.
In Chinese specification, the K-ZE has a 44bhp, 88lb ft electric motor. It needs seven seconds to reach 37mph and has a top speed of 65mph.
Then-brand boss Thierry Bolloré told Autocar at last year’s Frankfurt show that Renault is looking at how to bring an EV to Europe for “around £10,000”.
The K-ZE was designed at the outset as a global model and will have been engineered in several forms. It will, however, be produced in only one plant – Shiyan, China – to contain costs.
Within Renault’s electric line-up, the K-ZE sits beneath the recently upgraded Zoe, but it could also make an affordable entry into electric motoring for Dacia.
Renault’s vice-president of sales, Olivier Murguet, also confirmed that the K-ZE will be launched in Europe despite the decline in the small car market, because the company believes the model will be an “ideal car for car-sharing”.
Claiming that young people are shifting away from buying cars into more flexible rental platforms, Murguet said: “They will rent this kind of car and this is why we believe the day an A-segment EV comes to the market in Europe, it could have a huge success in car sharing.”