French car maker Renault has just unveiled its first electric car in the Indian market – the Kwid Electric. Called the K-ZE, the Kwid Electric has a range of 271 kilometers per charge, and is already available in the Chinese car market, where it’s priced at 61,800 Chinese Yuan, or about Rs. 6.22 lakhs. An automatic gearbox comes standard, and the electric car can hit a top speed of 105 Kph.
The Kwid Electric is meant mainly for city use, and is expected to be commercially launched in India sometime in 2021-22. When launched, it’ll be Renault’s most affordable electric car for the Indian market. Expect to pay about Rs. 6-8 lakhs for the Kwid Electric as the cost of batteries remain quite high. The automaker is aggressively working on localizing the electric powertrain of the Kwid EV to make it more affordable for the masses. Renault will make its electric car foray in India not with the Kwid Electric but with the ZOE.
The Renault ZOE will be brought into the country as a completely built unit (CBU) to test waters. Predictably, it’ll be quite pricey, and is expected to command over Rs. 15 lakhs at launch. It’ll be a brand builder for Renault in the electric vehicle space, and is not meant to bring in the big numbers. Like the Kwid Electric, the ZOE is also being showcased at the Auto Expo, as a means to gauge show goer feedback, and showcase the French automaker’s capabilities in the electric mobility segment. The ZOE is already on sale in Europe.
That duty will be saved for the Kwid Electric, which is meant to be an affordable form of electric mobility for the masses. The introduction of the electric variant will round off the Kwid range in the Indian market. Variants of the power train introduced in the Kwid Electric will also be used on other low cost electric cars from the French automaker.
Apart from Renault, a slew of car makers in India are working on electric cars. Chief among these are Tata Motors and Mahindra, who already have multiple electric vehicles on offer, and will soon be launching more. Maruti Suzuki is also expected to join the electric mobility space shortly, joining Hyundai, which has already launched the Kona electric SUV. Other automakers betting big on electric power include MG Motor, which is expected to have multiple offerings in this segment, and Nissan, scheduled to launch the LEAF shortly.