Dacia electric car: new 2021 Dacia Spring production model revealed

Cut-price Renault-based electric city car is set to be the cheapest zero-emissions model in Europe

Dacia Spring

The entry-level price for electric motoring in Europe is about to get lower, as the final production version of the Dacia Spring has been unveiled. Renault's budget brand promises this will be "the lowest-priced electric city car on the European market" – but just how low exactly has yet to be confirmed.

In order to undercut the likes of the Volkswagen e-up! and SEAT Mii electric, the Dacia will need to come under £19,000 mark after government incentives. Orders open in spring 2021 and Dacia is promising a simple line-up of two trim levels, with the battery included in the price rather than battery leases being offered.

Electric motor, battery, range and charging

The Spring uses a 44bhp electric motor fed by a 26.8kWh battery. Claimed range according to the WLTP testing cycle is 140 miles in mixed driving conditions, or up to 183 miles at city speeds. An ECO button on the dashboard restricts power output to 31bhp and top speed to 62mph in order to maximise the available range, while in normal mode top speed is 78mph. Dacia hasn't yet released acceleration figures for the car.

Charging time to 100% is 14 hours from a standard three-pin household socket or five hours from a 7.4kW home wallbox. Rapid charging from 10-80% can be completed in less than an hour from a public DC charging station. A free Dacia phone app keeps you informed as to the battery level and remaining driving range, as well as managing pre-conditioning of the passenger compartment and helping you to find the car if you've forgotten where you parked.

Styling

With the exception of its smaller wheels, the production version of the Dacia Spring stays close to the look that was previewed by March 2020's Spring Electric concept car. It's essentially a rebadged version of the Renault K-ZE electric car, which has been sold on the Chinese market since 2019.

From the outside, it partly echoes the look of Dacia's petrol and diesel-powered Duster SUV, with wide wheelarches, roof bars, a reinforced front rocker panel and raised ground clearance compared to a conventional hatchback. It's still a pretty compact vehicle, though, measuring 3.7 metres long, 1.6 metres wide and 1.5 metres high.

Up front, the charging port is concealed beneath the Dacia logo, while there are also tapered LED lights with a horizontal line that extends into the grille. The Spring's rear lights feature a Y-shaped LED signature, while the launch version is available with an optional 'Orange Pack' to add a splash of bright colour to various exterior elements.

Interior and practicality

Inside, the Spring gets the type of straightforward, no-frills interior we've come to expect in Dacias. The brand promises comfortable accommodation of up to four adults inside, with generous head and kneeroom, as well as 23 litres of storage space up front and a 300-litre boot capacity (expanding to 600 with the rear seats dropped down).

Equipment and specifications

Like other Dacias, the Spring is quite sparsely equipped in its most basic form in order to keep its price down, but manual air-conditioning, parking assistance, a seven-inch multimedia and sat-nav system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power-adjustable mirrors and a spare wheel all feature on the options list.

Key safety equipment comes as standard, however; this comprises anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, six airbags, emergency call (SOS button), automatic headlight activation and automatic emergency braking.

Car sharing and commercial versions

In addition to selling the Spring to private buyers, Dacia is developing two specialised versions aimed at the car-sharing and urban delivery sectors.

The car-sharing version is available in either white and light grey, with durable, stain-resistant seat trim, front door and boot sills, front and rear floor mats, black grained handles and mirrors for greater durability and 14-inch wheels. In the passenger compartment, car-sharing apps can be accessed on the screen thanks to smartphone replication, while navigation and parking assistance also feature.

The Spring Electric Cargo commercial version has a boot where the back seat is usually found, with a plastic lining on the floor and interior wheelarches, four anchor rings and a wire mesh partition separating the front-seat occupants from the load area. It boasts a one-metre load length, a cargo volume of 800 litres and a maximum payload of 325kg.

Available in white, the Spring Electric Cargo comes with manual air-conditioning, a digital radio and smartphone holder, fabric upholstery, black grained exterior handles and mirrors and 14-inch wheels.