Renault is investing heavily in electric vehicles for the future in all countries, and India is no exception. The Renault City K-ZE, which is specifically an electric car with the body of a Kwid hatchback, will be its primary competitor.
Venkatram Mamillapalle, Renault India’s Managing Director, indicated that the Renault K-ZE electric hatchback will be marketed in India “within the next two years.” The Renault Kwid EV would undercut Mahindra Electric’s eKUV100 once released, making it the cheapest electric vehicle on the market.
Jeremy Coiffier, the chief engineer at Renault’s Wuhan facility, insists that the Renault K-ZE will be a car with the European build quality at a Chinese price during a maiden drive around the track. The little EV feels old and grown-up; it handles nicely, and even the tight corners near the circuit’s conclusion aren’t an issue.
Exterior of Renault K-ZE
The exterior look of the Renault City K-ZE is identical to that of the facelifted Kwid that debuted in India last year. The LED DRLs are level with the chrome grille, which also houses the charging outlet, and the headlights are positioned low.
Renault has just unveiled the Renault K-ZE electric vehicle, which will make its debut in India during the 2020 Auto Expo. The Renault Kwid hatchback is the basis for the Renault K-ZE, which is built on the CMF-A platform. Renault intends to make the electric hatchback in India, with a launch scheduled for later this year.
Lithium-Ion Battery in Renault K-ZE
Renault K-ZE is powered by a 6.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which drives an electric motor with an output of 33 kW (44hp) and a torque of 125 Nm. It is also the same configuration as the Renault City K-ZE made in China. The electric hatchback has an identified range of 271 kilometers on a full charge (NEDC cycle).
An AC charger can charge the battery in 4 hours, while a DC fast charger can charge it from 30-80% in 30 minutes. Despite having an excellent 26.8kWh battery, the K-ZE is just 921kg. It is between 10% and 20% less than the competition, yet it still puts many gasoline-powered city cars ahead. Coiffier certainly knows how to balance a car, having previously worked on the set-up of the beautiful Alpine A110. The K-ZE would have no issue keeping up with Volkswagen’s e-Up! (£25,640 before grants) or a Smart EQ ForTwo (from £21,195) while costing half as much.
On the previous NEDC cycle, the range is listed at 271 kilometers (168 miles), yet driving on the track for an hour revealed a fair 25% drop on the car’s trip computer. If you keep your speed below 60 km/h, the battery should last up to 350 km (217 miles), which should be more than adequate for most consumers. After all, everyone who has visited Shanghai or Beijing – or any big city in the world – knows that more than 40 mph speeds are incredibly uncommon.
Design of Renault K-ZE
The style of the Renault K-ZE is similar to that of the petrol-powered Kwid on the market in our country. It has a split-headlight design with LED daytime running lights, restyled front and rear bumpers, and a nearly identical overall profile. However, the front grille is different from its petrol-powered equivalent, as it is closed and more aerodynamic.
Interior of Renault K-ZE
The interiors are identical to the standard Kwid’s, right down to the position of the drive selector dial. In terms of proportions, it is similar to the ICE-powered Kwid, providing the same amount of interior and boot space. It is manufactured on the Renault CMF-A platform, which is also found in the Kwid, Triber, and Datsun Redi Go.
The Renault K-ZE comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, a part-digital instrument cluster, dual front airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a rear parking camera as standard equipment. The gear selector knob on the center console is identical to the one seen on the Kwid AMT.
Nonetheless, don’t expect the Renault K-ZE to perform miracles; after all, it only produces 44bhp. If you put the rotary gear lever to D and floor the pedal, you’ll reach 60km per hour (37mph) in less than seven seconds. High-speed driving is complex, and the peak speed is only 105 km/h (65 mph); this is where the e-Up!
Energy Consumption in Renault K-ZE
Energy recovery is also absent from the Renault since it would be too expensive. When you remove your foot off the accelerator pedal, the Renault K-ZE merely rolls out; if you want to brake effectively, you must press the pedal yourself. Experienced EV drivers may find this odd, but people coming from a gasoline car shouldn’t have too much trouble with it.
Charging Level of Renault K-ZE
The Renault K-ZE can charge from zero to 80 percent capacity in 50 minutes on a fast charge, while a slow account (with a three-pin plug, for example) will take four hours. Although not remarkable, Renault claims it is “quite adequate for fast-paced metropolitan life.” In any case, it’s a lot faster than the VW, which takes nine hours to charge for completing on a domestic outlet.
Price of Renault K-ZE
But it’s on the inside where the Renault K-ZE shines. Although it is inexpensive, where the expected price is at Rs 10 lakhs, it does not appear or feels frail. Although the door panels and dashboard are made of rigid plastics, and the seats are made of cloth, you don’t get the sensation that the car is about to break apart when you slam the doors shut. The materials appear to be in good condition, and the fixtures appear to be in good working order.
However, if this automobile is to thrive in India, the standard equipment will need to be improved. The test car was built in China and had ABS but no ESP or side airbags. Despite this, the Renault K-ZE offers a better base trim level than many upscale European city cars regarding safety equipment. For example, power windows and air conditioning are both standards.
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