Go to Europe and the first thing you may notice is that the streets are filling up with Chinese cars, particularly when you start looking at the most basic crossovers and EVs. No surprise then that Renault, traditionally a leader in low-cost EVs, has a new, cute, retro, cheap EV on the horizon. It's a new Renault Twingo and it's all-electric!
Again, to set the stage here, Renault has always been focused on the cheap side of the European market, with cars like the original Renault 5 and the original Twingo, to say nothing of more modern cheap vehicles like those from Dacia, a Renault sub-brand. And Renault has long been big on cheap EVs. Renault makes the Zoe and also the Twizy, which is so small and basic that it's not legally a full car.
As far as European buyers switching over to Chinese cars, here is the Associated Press reporting in October:
Their combined sales are a sliver of the 9.2 million vehicles sold in Europe every year, but they have been gobbling up a piece of the smaller EV market at an astonishing pace.
Chinese automakers account for only about 3 percent of Western Europe’s overall car market but 8.4 percent of the EV market, up from 6.2 percent last year and almost nothing in 2019, according to [independent auto analyst Matthias] Schmidt’s data.
Now the details on the upcoming Twingo. We don't have a ton as it's just a concept now, but Renault is rushing it towards production in what it says should take just two years, as Car magazine reports. That would mean a finalized car around the end of 2025. Renault claims the car will take up 20 percent less space than the average European car, cost under 20,000 Euro, and get 10 kWh/100 km. The ultra-efficient Hyundai Ioniq 6 is only rated at 13.9 kWh/100 km. From Car:
‘We’ve done it with the Dacia Spring, now it’s time for Renault,’ adds [Renault Group CEO, Luca] De Meo during the press conference. The new Twingo will sit below the upcoming the 5 EV in terms of size, performance and, most crucially, price. The 5 EV has an expected entry price of €25,000 by comparison.
The car shown at the Capital Markets Day press conference is just a concept for now, but De Meo says: ‘we will develop it now in the record time of two years—from concept to start the production—matching the speed of the Chinese OEMs.’
You can watch the full presentation here, announcing in broad terms the plans for Renault's upcoming EVs.
Again, there is little in the way of stats for this thing other than the price. If it's any gauge, the current Dacia Spring gets around 140 miles of range and horsepower is a pretty paltry 64.
More important than anything else, this new Twingo will look like a Twingo. These one-box hatchbacks are adorable. I wish we had them here.
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