Is Renault brooding on a €20 000 BEV?

French car manufacturer Renault is working on a €20 000 EV to make electric car ownership more mainstream and affordable in Europe. The carmaker is thus taking up the challenge with the Volkswagen Group (and probably a bunch of Chinese manufacturers to come) to serve the lowest segments of the car industry.

The proposed EV, which will go up against the 2027-bound Volkswagen ID 1  (among others?) when they both hit production at around the same time, was revealed by Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo at the Financial Times ‘Future of the Car’ event.

“It’s one of the things that will enable the democratization of EVs that will potentially boost volume,” he said, suggesting that the car will help to boost mass electric car ownership all over Europe.

Inspired by Kei

A huge inspiration for the car, de Meo explained, are Japanese-market kei microcars, which are size- and power-regulated. These affordable cars accounted for more than one in three of Japan’s 4,2 million new vehicles last year and are a typical Japanese phenomenon. One of the reasons for their existence is the lack of (parking) space in Japan, especially in the big cities.

“I like the idea of translating the concept of kei cars into the European language. So I think there is some intelligence in that kind of concept because it’s not only a product issue. It is a product-plus-regulation issue to enable efficient and low-impact human mobility,” de Meo added.

Kei cars are very popular in Japan. Renault partner Nissan also has them on offer /Nissan

CMF-EV platform

When it arrives, the entry-level Renault EV, successor to the to-be-discontinued Twingo, will possibly be based on the CMF-EV platform of the upcoming Renault 5 and sportier Alpine A290. The question is if this fairly sophisticated platform can give birth to a car priced at ± €20 000.

The small electric Renault could also look to sibling brand Dacia’s Spring EV for both inspiration and tech. This A-segment crossover, now priced around €20 000 in Belgium but less in France thanks to incentives, is now available in two versions. The original one has 33 kW/45 hp of electric power; a recent second version (€1 700 more expensive in Belgium) has 48 kW/65 hp.

Solution for mobility

Speaking about the impact and importance of a car like this, de Meo said: “I’m acting right now as a president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). We are fighting against some things we don’t consider right for the industry.” De Meo is most probably pointing at the coming Euro 7 regulations and other stuff that worries the European car manufacturers.

“But on the other side, we’re totally aware that we also have to bring solutions to the problems, from air quality to decarbonization. And I think that being able to produce an A-segment car, at a low impact, is probably one of the solutions that the European industry can bring.”


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