Renault India keen to launch its first electric car in 2021

Renault India’s managing director Venkatram Mamillapalle has confirmed to Autocar Professional that the company is looking at bringing in its first electric vehicle to the country in 2021.

He said:

We are the global leader in electric cars and we are not shy. We are waiting for the right period. It is possible for us to bring an EV to the country now, but without a proper ecosystem and infrastructure, it provides no use.

Renault K-ZE (Kwid electric) for China side rear
The Renault K-ZE would be the ideal first electric car for Renault India as besides the battery and motor, almost all components can be sourced locally to achieve a price of between INR 6-7 lakh (ex-showroom).

Undoubtedly the electric personal mobility holds the next revolution of the Indian auto market. Granted, this fiscal year just over a 1,000 electric cars were sold in India mainly to the fleets, but with the arrival of the Hyundai Kona EV, the Tata Nexon EV and the MG eZS, Indian buyers have access to long-range electric cars for the first time that don’t skimp on the looks, features or safety. These vehicles can travel over 300 km before having to stop for power and have fast-charging capability that juices up the batteries almost completely well within an hour. Upcoming electric cars in 2020 include the Maruti Wagon R-based EV, Nissan Leaf, Tata Altroz EV and the Kia Soul EV, whereas Porsche and Audi will introduce high-performance products at the upper-end of the market.

Mamillapalle did not speak on the model identified for India, but it could very well be that the Renault Kwid electric, that is sold in China as the Renault City K-ZE, is the model in question. A lot of work that went into the Kwid K-ZE was from the team in India, it is reported.

Renault K-ZE (Kwid electric) for China dashboard
The K-ZE comes with a 26.8 kWh battery pack and a 33 kW motor which gives it a top speed of 105 kmph and a NEDC-rated range of 271 km.

Manufactured by the eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd., a joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the local manufacturer Dongfeng, the K-ZE hangs on to the core strengths of the Kwid which are the 150 mm ground clearance, the 2,423 mm long wheelbase and 300L boot space. Under the hood is a 26.8 kWh battery and a 33 kW electric motor that offers a range of 271 km (NEDC rated).

The K-ZE in fast charge, takes 50 minutes to charge from 0% to 80%, and in slow charge, it takes 4 hours to charge to 100%, using Chinese power infrastructure.

The K-ZE is well equipped featuring an 8-inch multi-functional colour LCD touch screen, and features like Tyre Pressure Monitoring, reverse camera and a digital instrument cluster. It launched in three variants with prices starting at RMB 61,800 (INR 6.32 lakh).

Video courtesy: CAR CHANNEL

Renault Kwid electric at a glance

  • Range: 271 km (NEDC rated)
  • Battery: 26.8 kWh
  • Top speed: 105 km/h
  • Motor: 33 kW power & 125 Nm of torque
  • Charger: 6.6 kW on-board charger
  • Charging Time: 0-80% DC fast charging in 50 minutes

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