Some say this car is a failure and you’ll roll over and die at the first gust of wind. Others say it’s all the car you need. All we know is that the Dacia Spring is the cheapest electric car on the market right now.
Made in China. With a Romanian name. For Europe. That’s because the Dacia Spring is actually an adaptation of the Renault Kwid, a microcar produced by Renault for the Chinese market. Initially a classic kei car, Renault Kwid also got an electric version and that got Renault executives in Europe thinking. They looked at the electric Kwid and said “hmm, if two people kiss, technically together they create a huge digestive tube”. Wait, not that. They looked like Christopher Columbus when he discovered America and said “Now that’s alot of breasts”. Wait, not that either. They looked at the electric Kwid and said, “Oh, really? Let’s bring it over.”
The big issue however was that Dacia Spring had several challenges when entering the European market. The first was that Renault insisted on selling the Dacia Spring as a car, not as a micro-car as it should be. Anyway, it’s not necessarily a micro car as much as it is a kei car, but the principle is the same. But no, the Renault people wanted to sell it as a full fledge car, most likely to qualify for the various gubment supported EV incentives.
And here we get into the first big issue. An electric car currently costs 30-35,000 euros to build, and Renault has set out to make the Spring cost less than 20,000 euros, to break the mold and be the undisputed market leader, which it is. It’s just that a 20,000 euro electric car is pushed to the edge of marketability, and we’ll talk about that later. But here they are, they have somehow succeeded and brought the 20,000 euro electric car to market.
Dacia Spring Engines
Electric of 45 horsepower – Range in town claims to be 250 km but more realistically you will get 150 kms in summer and 100 kms in winter when the battery is still new. The older it gets, the less the charge it holds and subsequently the less the range. Anyway it’s a city car and theoretically an 100 km range should last you at least 3-4 days. It’s not like you’re going to be doing taxi work in a Spring. And if you do, there’s plenty of charging stations in the city. I won’t talk about performance, because that’s not the point of the Spring.
Dacia Spring General Issues
- I’ll start right off the bat with the big one, which is the famous NCAP 1 star safety rating. And that’s because they made this compromise and promoted the Spring as a full fledge car and not a micro car. Plus Renault engineers, in their vast intelligence, tested the Spring to 2017 standards, where it got 4 stars, as good as a second-generation Sandero. However, I wouldn’t run away from it as Liz Truss runs away from responsibilities and club people stay away from t-shirts. Considering that it’s designed as a urban car only, the chances of a fatal crash are less than the chances of her writing to me. She knows who I’m talking about. Or not. Probably not.
- All models come standard with manual climate control which are operated via basin taps and there is no automatic option, because an automatic climate control would sap too much power, it would be like Emperor Palpatine feeding off the Force. Or me, feeding off Temptation Island.
- A lot of people cheaped out at 250 euros fast charger option and now they are regretting that choice the same way I regret writing this thing or starting this project altogether. Be smarter than them and buy the fast charger, it makes a huge difference.
- I find it hard to believe that the Spring can accomodate 4 adults, but I can find it believable if we are talking about 2 adults and 2 kids.
- It’s a “Made in China” car so don’t expect great interior quality. A knob falls off, you’re left with a door handle in your hand, that sort of thing. But then again, it’s a 20.000 euro EV and you can’t keep the price so low without cutting corners. Quite literally.
Dacia Spring Verdict
All these minuses however have contributed to the biggest plus – the €20,000 electric car. Sort of like Captain Planet but in reverse. You add 5 bad elements to get one good one. Sure, there are cheaper alternatives like the Renault Twizzy or Citroen AMI, but those are not technically cars. Spring instead has 4 doors, a boot and it even has windows. And that’s why it sells so well because it’s an electric car priced at 20,000 euros. And if you take into account the gubment incentives, you can buy a brand new electric car for as little as 10,000 euros. Sure, it won’t be an EQS at that price range, but it’s an electric car at 10,000 euros. Much like my motto in life – “I’m not gay but 20$ is 20$”.
Which engines do you recommend? I wonder.