Dacia Spring Electric is EV city car with 43bhp and 140-mile range

New Dacia electric car will be launched in 2021 and will Europe’s cheapest EV

  • Space for four adults
  • Charging info and cabin preconditioning available on app
  • Orders open in spring 2021

The Dacia Spring Electric city car has been officially unveiled, after a very similar concept was revealed earlier in the year. It’s set to be Europe’s cheapest electric car when it goes on sale next year, and will be available in two trim levels and specific Cargo and car-share versions. Prices are yet to be revealed but we expect it to significantly undercut the near-£20,000 SEAT Mii electric.

2021 Dacia Spring Electric EV battery, range and charging

A 26.8kWh battery is fitted, alongside an electric motor that produces just 43bhp. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a 0-62mph time isn’t quoted, but that’s not too important for a car that’s unashamedly city-focused. The car’s range is 140 miles in mixed driving and 183 miles in the city, according to the WLTP test, while the top speed is 78mph.

Pressing the Eco button limits power to a meagre 31bhp and pegs the top speed at 62mph, which is said to improve the car’s range by nearly 10%. The standard charging cable connects to a conventional household plug socket and recharges the battery in 14 hours, but you can get wallboxes and 30kW fast-charging as optional extras. Charging takes five hours or 8.5 hours if you get a 7.4kW or 3.7kW wallbox respectively, and an 80% top-up at a 30kW charger takes around 50 minutes.

Interior and UK specifications

All UK cars will come with remote central locking, all-round electric windows and a 3.5-inch display between the dials. Optionally, you can add air conditioning, a spare wheel, parking assistance and a seven-inch Media Nav touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and DAB radio.

Safety features are pretty comprehensive given the car’s budget billing, with a speed limiter, auto emergency braking, auto headlights, six airbags and the ability to contact the emergency services all thrown in as standard.

A free ‘MyDacia’ app allows you to set the cabin temperature before you get in the car - likely only if you spec air-con, as well as seeing the battery level and the progress of the charge.

Despite the car’s small size, four adults should be able to sit inside the Spring Electric in relative comfort, and the boot promises to be the biggest in class. At 300 litres, it’s bigger than some superminis from the class above, and you get even more if you choose to go without a spare wheel. Folding the rear bench seat frees up 600 litres of luggage space.

Styling

The Dacia Spring Electric brings chunky looks inspired by bigger SUVs, and it even has a higher than normal ground clearance. Other SUV details include roof rails, black plastic body cladding and a reinforced rocker panel at the front. The styling is quite similar to the new Dacia Sandero, with LED lights at each end and chrome touches. Although they look like alloy wheels, the car rides on steel wheels that have holes for wheel trims to be fitted into. They’re designed to look exactly like alloy wheels but are less expensive.

Launch edition versions get an orange colour pack to mark them out, which brightens some accents and trim pieces.

Cargo and car-sharing versions

Because the Spring Electric is likely to be used predominantly in built-up areas, Dacia will sell versions specifically aimed at business buyers and car-share schemes. The Spring Electric Cargo is aimed at tradespeople and ‘last-mile’ deliveries, and features a plastic boot lining and a wire mesh partition. It offers a payload of 325kg and an 800-litre cargo space, plus air con, a radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity and fabric upholstery.

The model built for car-sharing offers stain-resistant faux-leather upholstery, floor mats and door sills. Users can use their phones to unlock the car and for geolocation, while this version is quite well-equipped with smartphone mirroring, rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. However, it’s not yet known whether these models will come to the UK.

What does it mean for car buyers?

The Dacia Spring Electric will appeal to buyers in cities who are keen on having their own car. It comes with all the essentials - and a bit more if you spec a couple of options - and the car’s tiny power output won’t matter too much if you live in areas that are often congested. The Spring Electric is essentially a rebadged Renault K-ZE, a car sold in some developing markets for the equivalent of a base-spec petrol Dacia Sandero, but UK prices could be up to twice as much as that because of the extra safety features and tech on board.

Read about more cars coming in 2021 and beyond.

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