Dacia Spring Electric will be UK’s cheapest EV
Dinky Dacia electric car has been confirmed for the UK in 2024; prices will start from less than £20k
- All-new version confirmed for UK
- Prices expect to start from sub-£20k
- First cars due mid-2024
The Dacia Spring Electric city car has been officially confirmed for the UK. Two years after the original went on sale in Europe, the maker has revealed it will sell an “all-new” version here from mid-2024.
While specs haven’t been confirmed, Dacia says the Spring being brought here will boast “significant improvements in design and equipment”. It’s thought two batteries will be offered – the larger of which will likely exceed the existing European-specific car’s 143-mile range.
We expect the cheaper of the pair to cost less than £20,000 – a figure that would comfortably make it the cheapest electric car on sale, if you ignore the compromised Citroen Ami quadricycle, which is limited to 28mph and has a range of less than 50 miles.
Luke Broad, Dacia Brand Director for the UK, said: “We are thrilled that Dacia Spring will come to the UK in 2024. It will certainly be worth the wait! It will literally plug a gap in the UK electric car market for a highly usable, quality EV that won’t break the bank and which makes electric vehicle ownership more realistic than ever.
“UK car buyers can look forward to an EV that’s perfectly aligned to their mobility requirements and, importantly, is done the Dacia way,” he said.
Dacia has seen huge success with the Spring in Europe, selling over 120,000 cars since its launch – contributing to a positive 6.8% global sales increase for the brand in 2022.
2024 Dacia Spring Electric EV battery, range and charging
As mentioned, exact specifications for the forthcoming, UK-ready Dacia Spring haven’t been revealed. The existing European car gets a 26.8kWh battery and is offered with a choice of 43bhp and 64bhp motors – the more powerful of which will do 0-62mph in 13.7 seconds, with a top speed of 78mph.
Range for these versions stands at between 137 and 143 miles depending on equipment. Dacia claims a conservative efficiency figure of between 4.3 and 4.5mi/kWh, though it does state that driving the car only around town can boost that quoted range by almost 30%.
On existing models, 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 from a 7kW wallbox, while an 80% top-up at a public rapid charger takes around 50 minutes.
It’s thought that all UK cars will come with remote central locking, all-round electric windows and a 3.5-inch display between the dials. Things like air conditioning, a spare wheel, parking assistance and a seven-inch Media Nav touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth and DAB radio are expected to be offered as optional extras.
Safety features for the existing European model 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, though we expect that’s only likely to be usable if you specify air-con at the point of order. Regardless, the app will let all owners check things like battery level and charge status when the car is plugged in.
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 290 litres, it’s bigger than some superminis from the class above, in fact, and you get even more room if you choose to go without a spare wheel. Folding the rear bench seat frees up 1,100 litres of luggage space.
The current, European-spec 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 existing 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 to buy, repair or replace. It’s worth adding once again, that it isn’t clear at this stage what equipment UK cars will come with, with Dacia only committing to the fact it’ll come with “several significant improvements in design and equipment”.
Cargo and car-sharing versions
Because the Spring Electric is likely to be used predominantly in built-up areas, Dacia offers versions in Europe 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?
News that the Dacia Spring Electric is going on sale in the UK will be music to the ears of new car buyers looking for an honest, affordable electric car suitable for urban errands. European models, which have been on sale for two years now, come with all the essentials – and a bit more if you spec a couple of options. The car’s tiny power output won’t matter too much if you live in areas that are often congested, while strong efficiency and a reasonable range means occasional longer trips aren’t out of reach either.
We expect news of the Spring’s launch to filter through to other manufacturers pretty quickly. We know Citroen is preparing a £20k EV to launch in the near future, and Dacia’s reveal might mean we get to see it sooner rather than later…
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