First drive: DACIA SPRING – sub £20k electric hatch finally comes to the UK | Electrifying

From Electrifying.

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Dacia has officially confirmed that the Spring will be coming to the UK in 2024, with an ‘enhanced’ version which has improvements in design and equipment over the current car. The basic hardware – battery, motor, etc – will be the same though.

The five-door supermini has proved a resounding success throughout Europe, with more than 120,000 customer orders placed since its launch.Three quarters of all sales have been to individual private customers rather than fleets, with Spring is the main means of transport during the week for households, even when there is another car they can use.

There is a choice of two variants – the Spring Extreme ELECTRIC 65 and Spring Essential ELECTRIC 45. Besides the extra power in the 65, which we’ll get to later, the Extreme has some funkier bits of trim inside and out which are designed to make it look more rugged.

The 26.8kWh battery isn’t huge by modern standards but is bigger than the first generation Nissan Leaf’s and gives the little Renault an official range of 140 miles in mixed conditions, with a few more in town. Charging is via a three-pin plug as standard, although this takes 14 hours to fully fill the batteries.

A wallbox cuts that time to five hours, while DC rapid charging is an optional extra. It can only accept a maximum of 30kW but will take the power pack to 80% in less than an hour. The real disappointment is the lack of any regenerative braking capability. This is a key part of all other EVs and adds noticably to the efficiency, as the braking energy get put back into the battery. But it’s expensive and this car is all about keeping cost low. So you still have to brake yourself, like with old-fashioned petrol cars.

The other sacrifice for the low cost is around safety. The little Dacia scored just one star in the independent Euro NCAP ratings, although interestingly this is actually better than Renault Zoe!

Join Tom as he puts the current Spring through its paces in the UK for the first time. Have you been waiting for the Spring? Will it be on your shortlist for 2024? Let us know in the comments below.


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