French car-maker Renault is considering an electric vehicle with a price tag less than $32,500, but it could be tiny.
French car-maker Renault is reportedly developing a new budget-priced electric vehicle as part of a strategic rethink aimed at the mass market rather than the luxury segment.
The new price-leading model, initial details of which were revealed by Renault CEO, Luca de Meo, at the Financial Times Future of the Car summit in London last week, is planned to rival a similar model from Volkswagen due on sale in 2027 at a price tipped to start from less than €20,000 ($AU32,500)
“It is one of the things that will enable democratisation of electric vehicles,” said Mr de Meo, suggesting the new Renault model will help increase the sales of electric vehicles within mainstream market segments in Europe.
The Renault CEO indicated that inspiration for the new entry-level model had come from Japanese market ‘city cars’ (known as ‘Kei’ cars in Japan), which are restricted in size and power by government regulations.
“I like the idea of translating into European language the concept of Kei cars in Japan. I think that there is some intelligence in that kind of concept, because it is not only a product issue. It is product-plus-regulation to enable efficient and low-impact human mobility,” said Mr de Meo, who is also president of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association.
Set to slot into the French car maker’s line-up underneath the upcoming, reborn Renault 5 hatch, the new Renault model is likely to be based on a shortened version of that car’s CMF-BEV electric vehicle platform.
Commenting on the need for more affordable battery electric vehicles as a means of protecting the right to personal mobility, de Meo said: “We are fighting against some of the things that we don’t consider right for the industry.
“But on the other side, we’re totally aware that we also have to bring solutions to the problems. I think that being able to produce a sub-A segment car, at a low impact, is probably one of the solutions that the European industry can bring.”