Dacia Spring Electric: 2020 concept previews 2021 small EV

  • Dacia Spring Electric previews brand's first EV
  • Barely-altered concept is a Renault K-ZE City for Europe
  • Renault Kwid-based small SUV shows promise

With most mainstream manufacturers offering electric cars in 2020 - or at least. showing near-production models - Dacia's position as the leading affordable brand in Europe could be reinforced by an electric model. Parent company Renault is a master of the art, after all...

The Dacia Spring Electric is a concept electric SUV

Aptly-named, the Dacia Spring is a rare concept car from the Romanian marque better known for the high-value Duster SUV and bargain-basement black-bumpered Sandero. It's got all the concept-car highlights, including clever lighting and dramatic colours, but don't be fooled. This isn't some flight of fancy.

How long will Spring last?

Unusually for a concept car, Dacia's quoted a WLTP range for the Spring Electric - 124 miles. That's still on the low side for some users' expectations, but the Spring previews what will be Europe's most affordable electric car. This isn't an idle boast, either, as Dacia's expertise in producing affordable yet appealing cars, and Renault's proven electric motor and battery technology are perfectly positioned for a mass-market assault.

Dacia Spring Electric - plugged in and charging

Given the range for the Spring Electric's 'closest relative' is 168 miles under NEDC testing, it's a safe bet that the WLTP figures indicate the same technology underneath - meaning a 26.8kWh battery that can charge to 80% in 50 minutes on a DC fast charger, and a 44hp electric motor with front-wheel drive.

Some details of future Dacia designs are hidden in the Spring Electric, including new LED lighting signatures and quad LEDs at the rear for a double-Y effect, hinting at a more aspirational and assertive look for the budget brand.

New Dacia LED tail light design on the Spring Electric

At 3.73m long, the Spring Electric fits into a sweet spot of city-friendly SUV proportions, with the concept's skid plates and cladding underlining the rugged intent; the same approach that has seen the Duster succeed in the UK's crowded market.

If you think the Dacia Spring sounds remarkably showroom ready for a concept, there's a good reason.

Outside of Europe it's a Renault K-ZE

British buyers benefit from the Dacia's existence in China, India and Brazil, where the Spring Electric's roots lie. The compact Renault Kwid SUV it's based on was designed to cope with India and Brazil's demanding conditions, and the all-electric K-ZE has been on sale in China through 2019.

The 2019 Renault City K ZE - the basis for the Dacia Spring

Not only has it received positive reviews, it's priced at a level that suggests Dacia may be able to bring the Spring Electric - whatever it's called when released - to the UK market for less than £16,000; if so, it would offer a very impressive range for the budget.

What this means for you?

Even without this extended testing, we've seen how reliable Renault's electric technology is in the Zoe and Kangoo ZE. Usefully smaller, but still retaining much of the style of the Captur and Kadjar, the Dacia Spring Electric/Renault ZE should be a big seller in Britain when it arrives in 2021. UK sales aren't confirmed yet - but it seems unlikely that such an important market would be overlooked.

2020 Dacia Spring Electric concept car, rear

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