The need for economical and practical vehicles has been massively inflated by the current cost-of-living crisis, with households becoming increasingly frugal and hesitant to decimate their reduced budgets on a new car. This soaring in the cost of basic commodities has also put the brakes on the national transition towards electrification due to the lack of cheaper EVs. What better firm to introduce a solution to this dilemma than Dacia.
The Dacia Spring is based on the Renault Kwid, a crossover city car primarily targeting the Asian and Latin American markets, and has been available in mainland Europe since 2021, with a total of 120,000 orders of the vehicle. After two years of waiting, it has now been confirmed to be landing in the UK at some point in 2024 (likely in the summer). While this may at first sound trivial, upon arriving in the UK, the Dacia Spring will be the cheapest EV (except for the Citroen Ami quadricycle) able to be purchased, with a starting price of around £20,000.
As a vehicle designed with urban areas in mind, the Spring is extremely compact, measuring 3734 mm long and 1622 mm wide, which positions it in a similar playing field dimension-wise to the Volkswagen Up. Despite its diminutive size however, the Spring boasts 300 litres of boot capacity (which can be doubled by folding down the rear seats) and 23.1 litres of storage in the front of the vehicle, both of which are statistics that exceed the average for other city cars.
The elevated ride height of the Spring and protective black plastic body-cladding coincides to treat the vehicle to a bulkier and more rugged stature that is reminiscent of an SUV (a class of vehicle that continues to gain in popularity in the UK). Much like the rest of Dacia’s range, the Spring has also experienced the significant overhaul of the Romanian brand’s styling that has resulted in more contemporary front grille and wheel designs, and a new LED signature.
To keep prices low, the Dacia Spring only features a 26.8 kWh battery. While this only gives the Spring an estimated range of around 142 miles and a longer 190 miles when exclusively deployed in city environments, Dacia have justified their choice of battery size by citing the fact that the typical European Spring covers a meagre 10 miles a day and thus the range is more than sufficient to satisfy the driving needs of the city-dwellers which the Spring is intended to appeal to. When a longer range is required, an ECO mode can be activated to sacrifice performance and limit maximum power output from the battery to boost range.
The smaller battery also enables the Spring to be charged from 0 to 80% in 56 minutes using a DC fast charger and from 0 to 100% in 4 hours and 51 minutes using a 7kW AC wall box charger. If any doubts remain, for comparison, the Honda-e is not only roughly twice as expensive as the Spring will be, but also will manage five less miles despite its 35-kWh battery.
Nm of torque, providing a 0-62 mph time of 19.1 seconds. While this means that Spring drivers will not enjoy the sheer thrill of untamed performance and will not be breaking any supermarket trip time records, Dacia have assured customers that the Spring will be agile and nimble when manoeuvring through city streets.
The current Spring’s interior again emphasises utility and functionality, rather than flamboyance and luxury, to be at the heart of its design, with the dashboard being imported from the Kwid. The Spring, as standard, features electric front windows, blue trim door highlights, air conditioning, and Bluetooth connectivity for mobile devices. A reversing camera and 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also optional extras.
Long waiting lists are the main reason for the Spring’s UK rollout being delayed until 2024, although this means that the UK model will arrive with the Spring’s imminent facelift, which will include changes to the interior as well as potentially to the powertrain. With the growing acceptance of Dacia in the UK, the increasing demand for affordable EVs, and the Spring’s success in the rest of Europe, Dacia is confident that the UK will welcome the Spring and the democratisation of electrification that it represents with open arms. Further details regarding the facelift will be unveiled next year.