Renault lately presented their latest plans for new all-electric models, agreeably set to capture large segments of volume markets.The Renault Group has unveiled its new addition to the Dacia brand, the Spring Electric, tagged popularly as Cheapest the very first Dacia electric vehicle. Dacia Spring is based on the Dacia Spring Electric concept car that was first shown in March 2020 at the Geneva Motor Show, and is closely related to the Renault City K-ZE. Dacia is well-known for producing highly-capable vehicles at prices considered a bargain when compared to other manufacturers. The Dacia Spring Electric follows the same ethos.
Dacia benefits from the unique know-how and experience acquired by the Renault Group and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, pioneers of electric mobility for over 10 years. Once again, they’ve produced something that could cause many executives at other automotive manufacturing giants to wince, grimace and stare worryingly at their share prices.
The five-door Dacia Spring Electric measures 3,734 mm in length, 1,622 mm in width and 1,516 mm in height. It has a 2,423 mm wheelbase and a 150 mm ground clearance.
Engine And Battery Performance Of Dacia Spring Electric
The Spring comes in several versions and trim lines: A business version, for fleet buyers and short-term rental or car sharing operators. It includes features such as additional door-sill protection and more durable seat fabrics. Other variations include two trim levels for private buyers with a slight price variation. The higher trim version includes a 7-inch central screen, backup camera and parking sensors. The cargo version comes without a rear seat and will be available next year at an undisclosed price.
All of the above mentioned trim lines are equipped with a 26.8 kWh (44hp) battery giving it a range of 225 km at top speed of 125 km/h or close to 300 km. It is characterized with a 0-62mph time of 19.1 seconds. That fits with its status as a small city car as the motorway performance is likely to be less exciting than buzzing through tight streets.
The urban driving ECO option is featured with an astonishing peculiarity. It limits the battery power to 31 hp, limiting the speed to 100 km/h, thus minimizing energy consumption. Loading capacity varies with 300 litres for the regular and 800 litres for its Cargo clan.
The All-New Dacia Spring charges via a connector located behind the logo on the front grill. Controls to unlock the flap are located under the steering wheel inside the car. When plugged in, the All-New Spring instrument panel displays the following information: active charge indicator, the current charge percent, time until full-charge, and the available range in kilometres given the current charge level.
Dacia Spring allows for a range of 305 kilometers on a single charge in the urban WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light-duty Vehicles Test Procedure) test cycle and 230 kilometers in a mixed cycle. The Spring will offer DC charging as an option pointed up with a 30 kW charger, that tops the battery to 80% in under an hour, a 7.4 kW wallbox does it in five hours, compared to eight and a half hours for a 3.7 kW unit, while it takes 14 hours to fill it through a standard plug of 2.3 kW.
The battery is covered by an 8 years or 120,000 km warranty. Group Renault says that the average daily driving distance for an A-segment in Europe is 31 km. So, most Dacia Spring Electric owners may need to fully charge their car only once a week.
Interior And Exterior Highlights Of Dacia Spring
Interior design is pretty standard. This is basically an electric car that’s looking to cover the basics, giving you the essentials and saving you from buying a lot of stuff you don’t need. There’s seating for four inside and a 290 litre boot. Wheel arches, four anchor rings and a wire mesh partition separate the front passengers from the loading area. The interior is fairly basic, but again, it’s aimed at a more affordable segment, with tech options depending on the level of trim you choose.
The Spring Electric Cargo comes with standard features including manual air conditioning, radio with basic attributes such as Bluetooth, USB plug and an area for a smartphone holder. A 7-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, satellite navigation, a reversing camera, power mirrors etc. are other notable ones inside the Spring Electric. Fabric upholstery, black grained exterior handles and mirrors and 14-inch sheet metal wheels with standard trims are other elemental illumination in the vehicle. Spare wheel is avoided in this version to achieve weight optimization. Automatic headlights, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), six airbags, emergency call (SOS button) and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) also come under the ‘standard’ tag.
Exterior highlights include split headlamps, LED DRLs, unique upper grille with 3D elements, 14-inch steel wheels disguised to look like alloy wheels, roof bars and tail lamps with Y-shaped lighting signature.
Production And Price Of Dacia Spring
With regards to the price, Dacia has nailed it. Earlier this year, the Spring went on sale in France, and with the country’s generous EV incentives, you can order one for €12,403 (approximately ₹ 11 lakh). It’s going to be available in select European markets in summer 2021.