Sub-£20k Dacia Spring EV confirmed for UK
Dacia’s cut-price electric city car is finally coming to the UK in 2024 – with an expected starting price of less than £20,000
The previously Europe-only Dacia Spring electric city car has been confirmed for the UK market, with the maker set to launch an “all-new version, enhanced by several significant improvements in design and equipment” in 2024.
The Spring went on sale in continental Europe in 2021, with a low starting price of €16,990 (around £14,500) in France – or closer to €12,000 with the various incentives applied. The price isn’t likely to be quite as low when the car arrives in the UK (prices in France now start from almost €16k after incentives), but the entry-level Dacia is still expected to undercut models like the BYD Dolphin and MG4.
Unlike the sub-£10k Citroen Ami and upcoming Fiat Topolino – which are both technically classed as quadricycles – the Dacia won’t get severely restricted performance or range. Again, figures haven’t been confirmed, but the existing European-spec car can manage up to 143 miles depending on trim, thanks to a 26.8kWh battery and front-mounted motor.
Dacia has so far developed three main versions of the Spring: a consumer model, a business model aimed at car-sharing and rental companies, and a Cargo light van version with the rear seats removed. However, it isn’t clear which will be offered to British buyers.
Dacia Spring electric motor, battery, range, charging and performance
Two versions of the Spring are offered in Europe, with either 43bhp or 64bhp – both fed by a 26.8kWh battery. The less-powerful of the two cars does 0-62mph in 19.1 seconds, but the 64bhp car trims this to 13.7 seconds. Both cars feature an 'eco' button on the dashboard, which restricts power output to maximise the available range. In normal mode, top speed is 78mph.
Claimed range according to the WLTP testing cycle is between 137 and 143 miles in mixed driving conditions, or up to 30% more at city speeds. Customers can add 30kW rapid charging as an option (currently around €600-€800 depending on market), though making this standard may be one of the “significant improvements in design and equipment” when the car comes to the UK in 2024.
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% – if you option the DC charge port – 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.
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. As caveated above, it’s not clear what cosmetic changes (if any) will be applied to UK cars in due course.
From the outside, the European car 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, 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 Dacia cars. 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 290-litre boot capacity (expanding to 1,100 litres 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, electric windows, automatic headlights and a speed limiter are all standard on cars sold in Europe.
A 3.5-inch display can be found ahead of the steering wheel, while 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.
The options list – again, for European cars – is long. Charging cables cost extra, as does 30kW rapid charging capability. You can also add things like floor mats and boot protection, as well as a cool box for €130. We’ll have UK specs closer to the car’s planned 2024 launch.
Car sharing and commercial versions
The car-sharing Business 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 light 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.
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