Renault K-ZE will be a global and affordable electric car

Renault K-ZE showcar and Carlos Ghosn

Today Groupe Renault Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn announced two novelties regarding electrification of the French automaker:

  1. A global and affordable electric car in 2019, coming first to China with a 250 km range (NEDC).
  2. 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).

Anyway, the Renault K-ZE seems to preview the long-awaited Renault Kwid EV.

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?



More info:

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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3 years ago

Hear hear. I cringe when I think of the Kia Niro being sold at 50000 EUR. At least, that’s what I’ve heard could be the price in Portugal

3 years ago
Reply to  Ricardo

@Ricardo if true that will be a total joke of the importer. The Kia can be found cheaper elsewhere in Europe.

3 years ago

Who will not buy a car whose CEO is Mr. Spock. 😉

Now seriously. I think electric cars under 15K € with reduced autonomy (< 150 km real) could be a good selling product. There are a lot of second cars, which rarely exits the city and never does more than 100 km in a day.

3 years ago

This must obviously hit the Chinese range requirement for subsidy level. If it has a small battery such as 30kwh or less, they might be able to sell it at a very affordable price. I wonder if they’re using the original Zoe battery?

I agree with Alnair, if the price is low enough, the short range won’t be a huge impediment for a certain segment of the market. That being said, Renault might run head on into the new VW hatchback with its 48kwh battery, so Renault better have an amazingly low price to get this one to work.

3 years ago
Reply to  Marcel

Renault will run headlong into BYD, BAIC, and SOL the VW JAC JV which should start producing and selling late this year…

3 years ago

Pedro: Anything official about the coming electric triplets from the Volkswagen Group? I read a rumour about the Skoda and Seat to arrive next year and that the e-up would get a battery upgrade later this year, but I haven’t seen anything since or official from VW, Seat or Skoda.
Smaller electric cars with less range and a lower prices would be great for city driving, the Volkswagen e-up is a good example, it is just way to expensive.

3 years ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Pedro: Thanks for the information and the link. Do you also have something official about the battery upgrade in the VW e-up this year?

3 years ago

“with much more range than 250 km in NEDC (300 km in WLTP)”:
I wonder the data, longer autonomy of WLTP than NEDC, is correct. Normally, NEDC is longer than WLTP.

3 years ago

I think the K-ZE is the Kwid-EV. With two airbags and some cheap safety goodies thrown in. Chinese market, in another two or three years Indian market, Latin America and rest of Asia. For Europe we will get an electric Twingo in another few years. K-ZE and Twingo-ZE are both a-segment cars, but the Twingo is designed for the more demanding European safety regulations.

Tom Houlden
3 years ago

“Global” except for America, where the average driver goes 41 miles/day but for some reason thinks they “need” 200 mile EV range (to avoid a gas rental for annual roadtrips?)

America, where an eFiat still goes “only” 83mi & sells for $30k!

On the plus side, you can lease one of those Fiats for less than you’d pay for even our ridiculously underpriced gas. Or you can buy one as low as $8k after only 2 years & 10k miles.

Tom Houlden
3 years ago

My point is that I’m poor, so I agree a year’s pay ($30,000) is NOT “affordable”, but high depreciation works both ways, & a $99/mo lease, or $8k to buy IS very affordable, especially for a car that costs zero dollars to maintain or “fuel” (with a bit of patience at free public chargers).