Dacia electric car: production model based on Spring Electric arrives 2021

Dacia Spring Electric concept car previews a cut-price Renault-based electric SUV that will launch in 2021

Value-focused carmaker Dacia has confirmed a 2021 European launch date for what could become the cheapest new electric car on the market by a wide margin.

It'll be based on the Dacia Spring Electric concept that was revealed earlier in 2020; this is essentially a rebadged Renault K-ZE – a model that was launched by Dacia's French parent company onto the Chinese market in 2019.

The Spring Electric is a small electric SUV that falls into line with Dacia’s rugged, no-frills design philosophy. Look beyond the concept’s bright orange paint and there’s a familiar, plastic-clad shape that draws on the Dacia Duster for inspiration.

Speaking to our sister title Auto Express, Dacia global marketing chief Mihai Bordeanu said: "It has the Dacia ingredients, this is something that will satisfy the customers but also be economically viable. Our aim is to be the best value for money brand and we will do with every model we launch."

"The priority needs to be around the essentials, so there is nothing necessary in the car and nothing which is not proven technology. Dacia looks at proven technology at Groupe Renault, and we have many things to choose, but Dacia is a tech follower and takes what is proven and works perfectly,” Bordeanu added. 

Currently, the cheapest new electric car you can buy is the £17,495 Skoda Citigo-e iV, in its least expensive from without rapid-charging ability. Renault's own Twizy is cheaper, but classed as a quadricycle rather than a full-size car.

The Renault K-ZE features a 26.8kWh battery delivering 168 miles of range on the old NEDC test. Renault has previously said that the K-ZE would be rolled out globally following its launch in China.

At just 3.7 metres long, the Spring Electric is around 10cm longer than a Volkswagen e-up!. It’s likely that the Dacia will offer a greater focus on practicality and interior space than its rivals. Whether or not the new car will match its larger Duster sibling for off-road ability remains to be seen.

Dacia has not released exact specifications for the car, but claims it'll be capable of up to 124 miles range on the latest WLTP efficiency test, equivalent to the 168-mile figure achieved by the K-ZE on the NEDC test for the Chinese market.

In the UK, the production version of the Spring Electric will go up against small, cheap electric car rivals like the Vauxhall Corsa-e, Peugeot e-208 and Renault ZOEas well as the smaller Volkswagen e-up! city car.

Dacia has suggested that its new car will be perfect for car-sharing fleets across Europe, which already use large numbers of electric Renault models.