Dacia’s cheap EV under threat from newcomers

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Budget electric hatch from Dacia to get a more ‘modern’ look as new, cheap rivals hit the market.

The Dacia Spring – Europe’s cheapest electric car – will be heavily restyled for 2024 to help it fend off competition from newer, European-designed affordable EVs.

Based on the Chinese-market Renault Kwid K-ZE, the four-seat city car is “lacking a bit of modernity”, according to Dacia design boss David Durand, and it “needs to be reconsidered to express more of this electric trend”.

Durand said the updated Spring – which is not expected for Australia even if Dacia launches here around 2025 – won’t stray too far from the ethos of the current car, which has sold 120,000 units in Europe since its 2021 launch.

“The general recipe of the Spring is a good one,” he said, as “you have a lot of [bumps] with other cars when you park. ‘City’ doesn’t mean safe environment.”

He added: “We noticed that a lot of people in the far suburbs or even in the countryside have a Spring as a second car. It doesn’t mean that the Spring is going off road, but it’s not really a centre/urban car.”

As a result, it is highly likely to remain a baby SUV with upright proportions and plastic protective body cladding but be brought closer in line with Dacia’s full-sized line-up by gaining new light signatures, wheel designs, colour options and trim elements.

An interior refresh could be on the cards as well, with new technological features and materials among the possibilities.

It is unclear if there will be any changes to the Spring’s 33kW drivetrain or 28.6kWh battery, but Dacia CEO Denis Le Vot said “if we did [the Spring] again, I would cut the battery in half” because the average Spring in Europe covers just 16km per day.

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