Renault India ready with Kwid EV, but launch delayed – Report

A new report from The Economic Times says that the Renault Kwid EV launch in India has been delayed. Renault doesn’t expect India’s EV infrastructure to be ready for the time it had scheduled the launch.

Speaking to The Economic Times recently, Venkatram Mamillapalle, Managing Director, Renault (India), said that “there are delays on Kwid EV” while stating that the company is ready with the car. However, Mamillapalle points the finger at the government for having to postpone the launch Kwid EV launch in India. “It is not a delay from us, but from the government of India on infrastructure,” the company chief stated. EVW estimates that the launch of the Kwid EV is postponed to the second half of 2022.

When EVW caught up with Mamillapalle at the Auto Expo 2020, he categorically said that the company is looking at made-in-India, for-India electric vehicle and is not going down the route of ‘me too’ products with CKD or CBU launches. He confirmed that the company is considering building its first electric car on the CMF-A platform, which is the supporting architecture of the Kwid.

Back in December 2019, Mamillapalle had said that India would get its first Renault EV in 2021. A lot has changed since then, though. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused supply chain issues, and stressful India-China relations has led to new uncertainties.

Renault K-ZE (Kwid Electric)

Renault showcased the electric version of the Renault Kwid at its ‘Electric Corner’ of the Auto Expo 2020. The Kwid EV is the second smallest electric car in the global Renault portfolio after the Twizy and below is a quick walkaround of the Renault electric car.

A lot of development work for the Renault Kwid electric (sold as the Renault K-ZE in China) came from the company’s technical centre in India, under the watch of the late Gerard Detourbet who is the father of the CMF-A platform (the architecture of the Renault Kwid and Datsun redi-Go). The Kwid electric is reserved for Chinese customers due to the demand for entry cars and the local government that has offered hefty subsidies. This year the vehicle is set to be exported to Europe as the Dacia Spring for personal and shared mobility applications.

Made by the eGT New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd., a partnership between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the Chinese brand Dongfeng, the K-ZE retains the core strengths of the Kwid which include the 150 mm ground clearance, the 2,423 mm wheelbase and 300 litre boot space. The thermal engine and gearbox have been swapped out for a 26.8 kWh Li-Ion battery and a 33 kW electric motor that gives it a range of 271 km (NEDC rated). The top speed is limited to 105 km/h.

The electrified Kwid in fast charge, consumes just 50 minutes to charge from 0% to 80%, and in household charging, the battery consumes 4 hours to charge to 100%.

The K-ZE is does not skimp on features offering an 8-inch multi-functional colour LCD touch screen, and features such as Tyre Pressure Monitoring, reverse camera and a full digital instrument cluster. It was launched in China in three variants in September 2019 with prices starting at RMB 61,800 (INR 6.2 lakh).