Renault Kwid based electric hatchback to take on Tata Tiago EV as early as next year

Renault India is making significant strides towards introducing electric vehicles (EVs) under the Rs 10 lakh price range, aiming for a market launch within the next 12 to 24 months. The company has committed a substantial investment of Rs 5300 crore in partnership with Nissan Motor in India to achieve this ambitious goal.

The upcoming small EV from Renault will take on competitors such as Tata Motors’ Tiago EV and MG Motor’s comet. This EV model is based on the Dacia Spring, which shares its underpinnings with the popular Kwid. The Dacia Spring features a single electric motor generating 45 Bhp and 125 Nm of torque, paired with a 26.8 kWh lithium-ion battery providing a range of 225 Km (WLTP). In comparison, the Tiago EV comes in two variants – Medium Range (MR) and Long Range (LR).

The former has a 61hp, 110Nm electric motor coupled with a 19.2kWh battery, offering a range of up to 250km (MIDC). The Long Range version incorporates a 75 Bhp- 114 Nm electric motor along with a 24 kWh battery, providing a range of up to 315 Km (MIDC). An executive at Renault revealed that the company intends to introduce an adapted version of the new Dacia Spring, which is slated for release in 2024, to the Indian market.

Venkatram Mamillapalle, Managing Director of Renault India, said that the company has outlined plans for 6-9 product interventions in the upcoming years. This includes mid-cycle enhancements to the existing lineup in 2024, followed by the introduction of B segment SUVs and new variants of existing models.

Our EV plans are progressing; the EV we’re exploring for India is built on the CMF-A platform. You might witness its debut in 2024 or 2025. We are committed to launching it as soon as possible, although the precise timeline is yet to be finalized. Eventually, our platforms will offer petrol, e20, and EV options.

Initial estimates suggest that these EVs will incorporate local components to a range of 55-60 %. Nonetheless, Renault is striving to locally source batteries and cells to drive down costs and encourage wider EV adoption in the future.

Despite Renault India primarily focusing on the sub-10 lakh market segment, the brand encountered a slowdown in the entry-level category. While the auto market grew over 25% in FY-23, Renault India experienced a decline of 10-15% in sales, recording 78,000 units sold. Mamillapalle candidly admitted that this year may also witness a sales drop exceeding 10%. The company is projecting the export of approximately 20,000 units during the current financial year, contributing to better factory capacity utilization.

To enhance consumer engagement in areas without a retail presence, Renault is adopting innovative strategies such as mobile showrooms. Mamillapalle anticipates that the monthly sales figure will rise from the current 4,500 units to 5,500 to 6,000 units, driven by a revamped retail strategy and intensified marketing efforts.

Recognizing the need for a refreshed portfolio, Renault is planning mid-cycle enhancements for models like Kwid, Triber, and Kiger, bringing significant design changes. Moreover, the company is emphasizing safety, intending to offer 6 airbags as an option for existing models ahead of the mandated government regulations. While the exact implementation date is yet to be confirmed, Mamillapalle assures that Renault vehicles will feature this enhanced safety equipment before the ministry’s stipulated deadline.


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