Renault has been mulling with the idea of launching a cheap electric car in China for a few years, and it’s finally happening.
Speaking to Autonews, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CEO, Carlos Ghosn, confirmed an electric version of the Kwid, admitting that prototypes have already been built.
“In China, we can’t sell the Leaf. Too expensive and too sophisticated. We can’t sell the Renault Fluence. Too expensive. What sells in China? Low-cost electric cars”, said Ghosn. “So we are putting engineers from the alliance to develop a low-cost Kwid EV for China. I just test drove the car in China. It will be a very well engineered car at a very low cost.”
Renault’s head honcho didn’t give any insights into the launch date, power, range or pricing of the Kwid EV, but admitted that it will eventually make its way into emerging markets. “Once it works in China, there’s no reason you’re not going to export the car to India, to Brazil, to the Middle East.”
Carlos Ghosn is looking at the Alliance as a whole when it comes to developing future products, especially electric vehicles, which will eventually help them achieve their objectives: mass marketing and profitability.
“In the beginning, it was Renault going by itself, because they were prototypes, and we didn’t know exactly where we were going. The Nissan Leaf had its own technology. The Renault Zoe has its own technology. Mitsubishi started with its own technology. But now we’re saying: one platform, one set of batteries, one set of motors”, Ghosn added.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi isn’t the only automotive giant that sees China as a market with a huge potential when it comes to affordable EVs, as Volkswagen has a similar approach. However, the Germans won’t use their own brands to breach into this segment, as they have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with Jianghuai Automobile Co. (JAC) to develop a cheap EV.