Renault hits on China with ultra-low price electric car
After Renault presented the series version of its small electric car City K-ZE at Auto Shanghai in April, the market launch in China followed suit and with a drumroll. Renault set a base price of 61,800 yuan, and currently, that converts to just under 7,900 euros.
Indeed, Renault had designed the K-ZE with China in mind from the start. First presented as a concept at the Paris Motor Show in autumn 2018, the French company claimed a range of 250 km and already announced that it explicitly wanted to score points with the urban model in China.
Visually, the K-ZE is an SUV-styled compact EV intended to mix up the smallest car segment in the People’s Republic. The K-ZE sits on the Renault and Nissan CMF-A platform, which also serves as the basis for the Renault Kwid and Datsun Redi-Go models currently sold on the Indian market.
In China, the model is now available in three variants. As mentioned above, the basic version costs the equivalent of just under 8,000 euros. Renault is calling for 66,800 Yuan (around 8,500 Euro) for a medium version and 71,800 Yuan (about 9,140 Euro) for the top variant. For this, you get a 33 kW drivetrain, 125 Nm torque and a 26.8 kWh battery for a range of 271 kilometres, at least in the less realistic NEDC cycle. Renault ensures the EV charges using the Chinese GB/T fast-charging standard and estimates an energy consumption of 10.8 kWh per 100 km. The top speed is 105 km/h.
When introducing the K-ZE electric car at the Auto Shanghai last year, Renault also made clear that this is the first production vehicle from the eGT New Energy Automotive joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance and the Chinese automobile manufacturer Dongfeng. As such, the small electric SUV marks the start of an electric offensive in China. By 2022, the French company aims to launch nine passenger car models in the People’s Republic – including three electric cars – and to achieve annual sales of 550,000 vehicles.
However, despite being destined for the Chinese market, Renault stresses that it developed the K-ZE according to “European quality standards”. If the model turns out to be a success in China, it could be introduced in several global markets. We doubt though that Renault would keep the asking price this low in Europe, for example. India however, has a better chance to benefit from the ultra-low price electric car.