Renault is planning a modified version of the City K-ZE small electric car offered at competitive prices in China for the European market. However, the price for Europe is still unclear, as is the brand under which the K-ZE will be sold in Europe.
According to Autocar, Renault’s electric car boss Gilles Normand confirmed the plans for Europe. Although it has not been officially confirmed, it is most likely that the European version of the City K-ZE will be offered by the Renault brand Dacia. When asked, he neither wanted to confirm nor deny the possible Dacia branding Normand simply said: “The Renault Group will announce a version of the K-ZE adapted for Europe as an entry into zero-emission mobility”. At the IAA in Frankfurt last month, Renault brand boss Thierry Bolloré apparently told Autocar that Renault is looking at how to bring an EV to Europe for “around £10,000”.
Renault presented the K-ZE at the Shanghai Motor Show in April, and the car has been on sale since September for 61,800 yuan, the equivalent of just under 7,900 euros. It has an engine power of 33 kW, a torque of 125 Nm and a 26.8 kWh rechargeable battery that can be quickly charged above the Chinese GB/T standard for a range of 271 kilometres – but in the unrealistic NEDC cycle. The energy consumption is estimated at 10.8 kWh per 100 km, the top speed at 105 km/h. The battery can be recharged at high speeds. The equipment also includes an infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen.
Since the car is intended for city driving, the French company has put less emphasis on range and battery size and more on the small size and low price. Even though demand for small cars in Europe is currently declining, Renault’s vice-president of sales, Olivier Murguet says the K-ZE is ideal for car-sharing, since young people are shifting away from buying cars into more flexible rental platforms. “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,” said Murguet.
The version adapted for Europe should include at least the change from the Chinese GB/T charging standard to the CCS plug widely used here. But Autocar also speculates on a small range plus as well as changes in the safety equipment to meet European standards.
Even with an entry-level price of 10,000 to 12,000 euros, the European K-ZE would clearly rank below the Renault Zoe in the model range. The price list for the facelift model of the Zoe starts at 21,900 euros with battery rental and at 29,990 euros with battery purchase. This would maintain the distance to the K-ZE. If the small car is offered through Renault-owned Dacia, it would be the first electric model they offer.
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