Today Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn announced two novelties regarding electrification of the French automaker:
- A global and affordable electric car in 2019, coming first to China with a 250 km range (NEDC).
- Hybrid (Clio) and plug-in hybrid (Megane and Captur) options in 2020.
Below we have the press release:
A pioneer and leader in 100% electric mobility, Groupe Renault unveiled showcar Renault K-ZE, a new global A-segment, SUV-inspired electric vehicle, capable of 250km NEDC – the best autonomy in its segment. It features a seductive, sporty design with assertive lines and a muscular, compact footprint. Beyond its attractive design, Renault K-ZE is also easy to charge thanks to a double charging system compatible with domestic plugs and public infrastructures. Renault K-ZE comes with a host of equipment maximizing the experience of driving an electric vehicle such as rear parking sensors, rear view camera and a central screen with connected navigation and services.
China is the largest and fastest-growing market for electric vehicles and Renault K-ZE will therefore come first in China. It will be manufactured locally by e-GT New Energy Automotive Co, the Joint Venture with Dongfeng Motor Group and Nissan created to develop and produce competitive electric vehicles for the Chinese market.
Renault also confirmed its plans to further electrify its range in its 2020 product refresh cycle, offering hybrid on Clio and plug-in hybrid on Megane and Captur, giving consumers the possibility to go electric in the models they know and love. e-Tech, an innovative, 100% Renault in-house technology, enables Renault to offer hybrid versions on B and C segment models.
The 250 km range in the unrealistic NEDC seems very low for an electric car to be launched in 2019 (in China), however it all depends on the price. If it stays around 15.000 € before any government incentive it might sell well.
Remember that cheaper electric cars are coming. The upcoming Volkswagen Neo – in its 48 kWh battery variant – will have a starting price below 25.000 € and the new electric city trio (Volkswagen e-up, Seat e-Mii and Skoda e-Citigo) will be sold for less than 20.000 € – with much more range (270 km in WLTP) than the Renault K-ZE (250 km in NEDC).
To me it always sounds strange when people call electric cars that cost more than 30.000 € affordable, especially when they cost twice as much as their gas counterparts. So I really hope to see this true affordable electric car becoming reality, even with limited range, then electric cars won’t be called “toys for the rich” anymore.
What do you think? Will this be the first real affordable and global electric car?
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