“I like very much the idea of translating into European language the concept of kei cars in Japan. So I think that there is some intelligence in that kind of concept, because it’s not only a product issue. It is a product-plus-regulation [issue] to enable efficient and low-impact human mobility.”
The Renault Group already sells the cheapest full-sized electric passenger car in Europe: the Spring. This A-segment crossover, priced from roughly £14,000 in France with local incentives, is smaller than a Ford Fiesta, is capped at 62mph and can cover only 140 miles per charge. It uses an electric motor that makes 44bhp and 92lb ft, and is fed by a 26.8kWh battery.
While that car is based on the Chinese-market Renault City K-ZE, and based on a variation of the company’s CMF-A platform, any entry-level Renault is likely to be based on a variation of the CMF-BEV platform used by the upcoming Renault 5 and sportier Alpine A290.
Speaking about the impact and importance of a car like this, de Meo said: “I’m acting right now as a president of the European [Automobile Manufacturers’] Association. We are fighting against some of the things that we don’t consider right for the industry.
“But on the other side, we’re totally aware that we also have to bring solutions to the problems, [from] air quality to decarbonation. And I think that being able to produce a sub-D-segment, or A-segment car, at a low impact, is probably one of the solutions that the European industry can bring.”