Renault has been in the electric car market for quite a few years now, with the Zoe being their most successful model. The range is about to welcome a new, C-segment EV, which will rival to the likes of the upcoming Volkswagen ID Hatch.
“My answer is very clear. Yes, we will go to the C-segment, and yes we will go with a bigger battery, that is for sure”, Renault’s global electric vehicle program director, Eric Feunteun, told AutoExpress. “We need to find the right timing to be sure we have a competitive offer”, he added, referring to the bigger battery that would otherwise make the car too expensive.
“If I do it with the cost of the battery today, then I will be at the price of my luxury competitors”, Feunteun explained. “If you want to go to C-, D-, E-segment – we can see what Tesla is doing, and Jaguar – you need to go with very big batteries. But that means very expensive cars. I’m a strong believer that the DNA of Renault is to bring affordable technology; the Zoe is the most affordable electric car on the market and price is the number one deciding factor.”
The compact electric isn’t expected to arrive until 2022. It will be underpinned by a dedicated EV platform, which will be shared with the rest of the Alliance’s partners, and should offer a total range of more than 250 miles (402 km) in the real world. Using the special architecture will translate into a very spacious interior for a C-segment car.
“If you look at a dedicated EV platform, it will bring a lot of value that hybrid platforms can’t”, commented Feunteun. “On the EV platforms, you will be able to have one segment difference from the inside to the outside of the car. That’s fantastic value.”
Visually, it might carry over some design elements from the Symbioz, a futuristic looking concept that was displayed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
While tapping deeper into the EV market with the compact model, Renault won’t give up on the Zoe. In fact, the subcompact zero-emission hatchback is about to be redesigned, and it’s probably a few months away from being launched.
“We will continue in the B-segment; that is our strongest segment and it is the heart of the European market. Then we clearly go down and then we will go up into the C-segment, so we will increase our coverage. The idea is to bring the car with the right timing.”
Note: Renault Symbioz Prototype pictured