This 'Kwid' could start the budget EV revolution. And it's about time!
Renault has revealed a new compact crossover, with battery power.
The French company believes that electrification is crucial to its future and unlike other European rivals, who are prioritizing large and expensive battery vehicles, Renault is going for entry-level value.
The Spring Electric, which has debuted with Dacia badging, is essentially a battery-powered Kwid. In terms of design, it has a non-functional front grille and there are no exhaust tips at the back.
Power sources from a 26.8 kWh battery pack, which is small, and produces only 33 kW and 125 Nm. The peak power output is quite a lot less than a petrol-engined Kwid (50 kW), but the Spring Electric has 35 Nm more torque.
Renault has not released any acceleration statistics for its new electric crossover, only commenting that it has a 125 kph top speed, which to anyone who has driven the petrol-powered Kwid will know, feels less than stable.
For electric vehicle buyers, range is paramount and the Spring Electric is claimed to deliver 225 km on a single charge, in mixed driving conditions.
An interesting feature is calibration software that limits peak electric motor power to 23 kW when an Eco-mode button is activated. This is claimed to increase the overall driving range by 10%.
Due to its small battery pack, the Spring Electric should be less of a chore to recharge. By Renault’s calculations, a 220V home socket will fully recharge the compact crossover in 14 hours. This can be trimmed to 5 hours when using a 7.4 kW Wallbox fast-charging unit.
If you have access to a 30 kW public charging terminal, the Spring Classic’s battery energy can be completely replenished in under an hour.
One of the benefits with any electric car, is the promise of superior space utilization, due to the lack of an engine and fuel tank. With the Spring Electric, those gains are marginal, due to the fact that it does not ride on a dedicated electric vehicle platform architecture.
Compared to a conventional Kwid, it only has 21-litres more boot capacity, at 300-litres of total luggage volume, with the rear seats in place.
Renault’s product strategy with the Spring Electric is to produce Europe’s cheapest mass volume electric car. The launch price isn’t confirmed, yet, but the French have already simplified their Spring Electric, to reduce cost, making automatic air-conditioning and an infotainment system optional extras.