Dacia Spring Electric debuts – small EV with 44 hp and 225 km range; car-sharing and commercial variants
This is the Dacia Spring Electric, which is the brand’s first all-electric model that was previewed by a similarly-named concept back in March this year. Essentially a rebadged Renault City K-ZE, the new EV is being touted as the “lowest-priced electric city car on the European market.”
So, how much is it then? Well, the company didn’t provide a figure but it says that the Spring Electric will be “offered at an unbeatable price” when it goes on sale in the continent, with the exception of the United Kingdom. For reference, the K-ZE is priced at 61,800 yuan in China (after incentives), or about RM38,185.
Like the K-ZE, Dacia’s EV is small, measuring just 3,734 mm long, 1,622 mm wide and 1,516 mm, with a wheelbase that spans 2,423 mm. The exterior design is largely identical to the K-ZE, with specific cues to mark out the Spring as a Dacia model. These include the company’s signature front grille, a Y-shaped lighting signature for the taillights and an orange colour pack on the launch version.
Despite its size, the company promises a relatively spacious interior, with 100 mm of knee room for rear passengers, along with 23.1 litres of storage space available for front passengers. There’s also 300 litres of boot space at the back (not including the under-boot space for the optional spare wheel), and this can be expanded to 600 litres with the rear bench seat folded down.
As for features, there’s a 3.5-inch digital display squeezed into the instrument cluster, blue accents on the air vents, fabric seat upholstery, electric power steering, remote central locking, four power windows and a rotating dial gear selector with just three positions: D (drive), N (neutral) and R (reverse).
There’s also quite a fair bit of standard safety features too, including a speed limiter, ABS, ESP, EBD, six airbags, an SOS button, automatic headlight activation and automatic emergency braking (operational from seven to 170 km/h).
However, to keep the price down, many items like manual air-conditioning, power-adjustable mirrors, rear parking sensors and a rearview camera are optional extras. This also applies to the Media Nav multimedia system, which consists of a seven-inch touchscreen and offers DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support as well as voice recognition.
For motivation, the Spring’s front-mounted electric motor serves up 44 hp (33 kW) and 125 Nm of torque, which is good for a top speed of 125 km/h. Powering the motor is a 26.8-kWh battery that provides a driving range of 225 km in the WLTP cycle, or 295 km in the WLTP City cycle.
According to Dacia, the average daily driving distance is 31 km in the city car segment, so following that basis, the Spring would only need a single battery charge per week. If you prioritise range over power, there’s an Eco mode that provides 10% more range by lowering the motor’s output to 31 hp (23 kW) and top speed to 100 km/h.
When you do eventually need to recharge the battery, the Spring has an onboard AC charger (Type 2 connector) that supports up to 6.6 kW. In terms of charging times, it takes 14 hours for a full charge using a 2.3-kW household socket, eight and a half hours with a 3.7-kW wallbox, or around five hours with a 7.4-kW wallbox.
The Spring also supports DC charging up to 30 kW, but this is a cost option. With a CCS connection, getting from a zero to 80% state of charge will take less than an hour with a 30-kW DC terminal.
Dacia offers an eight-year/120,000-km battery warranty with the EV, along with a three-year/100,000-km factory warranty. It also claims the electric powertrain is cheaper and more reliable to run compared to a traditional internal combustion engine, with the company going as far to say the Spring offers the lowest total cost of ownership on the market (electric and internal combustion vehicles combined).
If owning a car outright isn’t preferred, Dacia also developed a specific version of the Spring meant for the car-sharing market. This will come in white or light grey, and is equipped with durable black PET seats, front door and boot sills, floor mats, black-grained handles and mirrors, 14-inch Flexwheel wheels, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, a rearview camera and rear parking sensors.
That’s not all, as there’s also the Spring Electric Cargo for commercial use, which removes the rear seats to extend the boot area. This expands the cargo capacity to 800 litres, with a loading length of 1,033 mm and a maximum payload of 325 kg. Plastic lining, four anchor rings and a wire mesh partition are also added to the loading area.
Available only in white, the Spring Electric Cargo comes with standard features including manual air conditioning, radio (with Bluetooth, USB plug and an area for a smartphone holder), fabric upholstery, black grained exterior handles and mirrors and 14-inch wheels.