The Romanian automaker Dacia unveiled a new electric car this week, one that looks very Dacia and that Dacia says will be the “most affordable electric car in Europe.” The car is a sad reminder that affordability is a thing companies are competing to do there and not a thing companies are competing to do here.
The Dacia Spring Electric is Dacia’s first EV. This thing will be available only in continental Europe — forget about it anyone in the UK, or anyone else outside of continental Europe for that matter — but I’m happy we’re getting to a point where companies are just rolling out new electric cars and it’s not mindblowing. And the Dacia Spring Electric is as normal as it gets.
Despite saying that will be the “lowest-priced” car in Europe, Dacia did not reveal its price; if Dacia is counting the Renault Twizy in its ranking, the Spring Electric could have a four-figure price tag, but it’s more likely Dacia is making Smart’s electric cars the bar for lowest-priced. In that latter case, the Spring Electric should cost under 19,000 euros before incentives, which vary by country.
A driving range of 140 (WLTP) miles is similarly small, though the Spring Electric will also have an eco mode, in addition to most other features you would expect on a modern car and even things like automatic emergency braking.
The range can be improved by almost 10% by simply pressing the ECO button on the instrument panel thanks to a power limit of 23kW (instead of the maximum 33kW) and a top speed limit of 100kph (62mph).
I would probably opt for the Cargo version. I appreciate the attention to weight savings:
Designed for tradespeople, the Spring Electric Cargo features a boot that extends where the back seat is usually located, with a plastic lining on the floor and on the interior wheel arches, four anchor rings and a wire mesh partition separating the front passengers from the loading area. The loading length of this special version is 1,033mm, with a volume of 800 litres and a payload of 325kg.
Available in white, the Spring Electric Cargo comes with standard features including manual air conditioning, radio (with Bluetooth, USB plug and an area for a smartphone holder), fabric upholstery, black grained exterior handles and mirrors and 14-inch sheet-metal wheels with “standard” trims. For weight optimisation reasons, this version does not have a spare wheel.