Update: ‘2022 Dacia Spring’ section added.
The Dacia Spring, Europe’s cheapest electric car, is now on sale. However, markets like the UK, Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta haven’t received it, as there is no right-hand-drive version yet. Dacia is considering a Spring RHD, and the company could reach the final decision by end of the January 2022, EVP & CEO Denis Le Vot told Autocar UK in November.
Luca de Meo, the CEO of Renault Group, had hinted last June that the Spring’s production was also hit by the semiconductor chip shortage. Previously Le Vot said that Dacia would decide on the Spring RHD launch by the end of 2021, as reported by Auto Express in June 2021.
The Dacia Spring is a Renault Kwid EV-based electric car for Europe that debuted at the Renault eWays event (October 2020). Here’s everything there is to know about it:
Design & Features
On the design front, the Dacia Spring looks very similar to its donor, the Renault Kwid. Exterior highlights include split headlamps, LED DRLs, a unique upper grille with 3D elements, 14-inch steel wheels disguised to look like alloy wheels, roof bars, and tail lamps with a Y-shaped lighting signature.
Inside, the Spring’s sole substantial difference from the Chinese Renault City K-ZE is the signature Dacia four-spoke steering wheel. In addition, a 3.5-inch MID and 7-inch Media Nav touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice recognition will be available in the low-cost electric car.
The Dacia Spring is the safest member in the Kwid family on paper with automatic headlights, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), six airbags, emergency call (SOS button), and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) coming standard.
Range & Charging
The Dacia Spring measures 3,734 mm in length, 1,622 mm in width, and 1,516 mm in height. It has a 2,423 mm wheelbase and a 150 mm ground clearance. A 26.8 kWh Lithium-ion battery pack is standard, and so is a motor generating 33 kW (44 PS) and 125 Nm.
Source – Mécanique Sportive
The Dacia Spring has a top speed of 125 km/h, and it can be charged with up to 6.6 kW using an AC charger and up to 30 kW using a DC charger.
As for the Dacia Spring range, a full charge lets the driver go up to 230 km (WLTP). However, the city-only WLTP range is 305 km. Furthermore, Groupe Renault says that the average daily driving distance for an A-segment car/city car in Europe is 31 km. So, most Dacia Spring owners may need to charge their car just once a week fully.
|Charger||Charging Level||Dacia Spring Charging Time|
|2.3 kW AC charger (household socket)||100%||Less than 14 hours|
|3.7 kW AC charger (wallbox)||100%||Less than 8 hours 30 minutes|
|7.4 kW AC charger (wallbox)||100%||Less than 5 hours|
|30 kW DC charger (fast-charging station)||80%||Less than 1 hour|
Production & Price
The Dacia Spring is manufactured alongside the K-ZE by eGT (a joint venture company of the Dongfeng Motor Group and the Renault-Nissan Alliance) in Shiyan, China. The Dacia Spring prices in Romania start at EUR 18,100, which is more than double the base price of the Sandero (EUR 8,800), before a state subsidy of EUR 10,400, which effectively lowers the price to EUR 7,700, as pointed out by balkangreenenergynews.com.
Dacia said it has 6.5 million customers worldwide built up by the success of the Sandero, Logan, and Duster models. The Spring displays how the company continues to evolve while staying true to Dacia’s original values of making reliable, affordable, simple, and modern cars.
Dacia targets customers new to the brand with the Spring, and as per a report from Automotive News Europe, it fits the bill for the eco-conscious people on a tight budget, retirees who want to simplify their lives, and young families in the market for their second car. With 15 million potential A-segment customers in Europe, including two million in France alone, the potential for the Spring “is gigantic,” Xavier Martinet, SVP, Dacia, said.
The Dacia Spring went up pre-orders on 20 March 2021, which was the first day of spring. In less than a week, there were about 6,000 pre-bookings, AutoExpert noted on 26 March 2021. The data came from Mihai Bordeanu, the Managing Director of Dacia’s South-Eastern Europe, and the company’s Romanian Country Head.
With sales starting in March, the Spring quickly added new customers, with 27,876 units sold and more than 46,000 orders recorded by December 2021. Dacia says that 80% of Spring customers are new to the brand.
It’s simply the most affordable electric car. So, if you want to actually minimize your budget to buy an electric car, you can buy a Dacia Spring. There’s no alternative in the market….independently of the let’s say performance of the product or the range, etc, so I’m pretty confident in terms of how the electric car market will develop on the small car segment.Luca de Meo, CEO, Renault Group (Renault eWays Electropop 2021)
Dacia’s cheapest EV offering in Europe has scored just one star in the Euro NCAP crash test and the agency mentions in its press release that, “its performance in crash tests is downright problematic.” Following the tests, Euro NCAP reports that the Spring has, ‘a high risk of life-threatening injuries.’
The agency notes that the Dacia Spring doesn’t offer any appreciable standard active safety features. In fact, the occupant protection is worse than what EuroNCAP had seen in many years. “Cynical” is a strong word, but EuroNCAP uses it to state how Dacia could offer the consumer a green car that comes at the risk of higher injury in the event of an accident. The agency says that cars such as the Fiat 500e, which just got a 5-star Green NCAP rating, prove that safety and sustainability can go hand in hand.
The Dacia Spring only managed to score a meagre 49% in adult safety rating, scoring 6.1/16 points in a frontal impact and 10.6/16 in lateral impact scenarios. In regards to child occupant safety, the Spring managed to get a 56% safety rating.
Observations made by the Euro NCAP
- The passenger compartment of the Spring remained stable in the frontal offset test.
- The structures in the dashboard presented a risk of injury to occupants of different sizes and to the occupants who were sitting in different positions.
- The driver dummy’s chest protection was classified as poor, based on readings of chest compression during the test.
- Marginal rating was allotted to the chest protection of both the occupants.
- Side barrier test indicated marginal levels of chest protection.
- A geometric assessment of the rear seats showed poor whiplash protection
- The protection provided by the bonnet to the head of a pedestrian in a crash was deemed to be good or adequate.
- The Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) works only with other vehicles and does not detect cyclists or pedestrians.
New Dacia logo from 2022
Dacia unveiled a new logo, emblem, and colour scheme on 17 June 2021 and said that it plans to use the new visual identity beginning the same month. Letters ‘D’ and ‘C’ mirrored and connected like chain links form the new Dacia logo. In addition, the iconography has gone green, khaki-green specifically, to reflect the brand’s outdoorsy theme. With the new visual identity, Dacia markets itself as a brand that offers vehicles focusing on the essentials but at the same time are robust, powerful, and stylish. The company will begin using its new logo on the Spring this year.
Dacia sells over 200,000 cars in the UK
In just eight years after launch, Dacia reached the milestone of 200,000 cars sold in the UK, with the 200,000th car being the Sandero Stepway. Dacia arrived in the UK back in 2013 with the second-gen Sandero and Duster. Out of the 200,000 sales, according to a press release issued by the company in July 2021, 89 per cent have been retail customers. The 200,000th Dacia (Sandero Stepway) is an Iron Blue crossover purchased by one, Christopher Simpson, a first time Dacia owner from Milton Keynes.
Groupe Renault will also offer a car-sharing version of the Dacia Spring. As part of its “Renaulution” strategic plan to transform it from a volume-based company into a value-based company, Groupe Renault announced a new Mobilize business unit that would deal in mobility services for people and goods. It will be “a unique combination of hardware and software, purpose-designed vehicles and services in open ecosystems,” Groupe Renault said. The first three models of the Mobilize arm, the Duo, Bento, and Hippo, debuted in June 2021.
Mobilize’s business will include (but not be limited to) car-sharing, ride-hailing, last-mile delivery, and on-demand transit with purpose-designed vehicles. These purpose-designed vehicles will include the Dacia Spring, a.k.a. The King, and an electric sedan called “The Queen.”
2022 Dacia Spring
According to the Spanish website Motor.es, Dacia will soon introduce the new Spring Cargo in Europe. It was announced in October 2020, but has likely suffered from pandemic related production delays.
The Spring Cargo (N1) is a commercial vehicle. Its front fascia will remain unchanged, but it will wear the new Dacia logo. Dacia has optimised the rear by removing the bench to create a large cargo bay with 1,100 litres of capacity and 325 kg of payload capability. However, for the uninitiated eyes, it will be hard to differentiate the regular hatchback from the Cargo as they appear identical from the outside.
Available in white body colour, the standard equipment of the Spring Cargo will include manual AC, radio (with Bluetooth), USB port and a smartphone holder, automatic headlights, fabric upholstery, scratch resistant door handles and black grained mirrors, 14-inch steel wheel, door sill and trunk sill protectors. To reduce weight, the Cargo version does not come with a spare wheel.
The Spring Cargo will be propelled by the same 33 kW (44 PS) electric motor powered by a 26.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. The new Dacia emblem that comprises ‘D’ and ‘C’ as mirror images of each other is another addition expected across the 2022 Spring model range. Outlets are currently in process of adapting the new logo while vehicles will feature the same in the second half of 2022.
Featured image: Dacia