Alongside the facelifted Kadjar and the luxurious EZ-ULTIMO autonomous concept, Renault took a chunky-looking SUV to the Paris Motor Show. It’s called the K-ZE, and those last two letters should give you a clue and how it’ll be powered.
The point of the K-ZE is to be an affordable urban electric vehicle, and it’ll be one of the cheapest ways into EV ownership. Unlike Renault’s other budget EV, the Twizy, the doors come as standard on this car. The Tonka-toy looks come courtesy of the Renault Kwid, a crossover already sold in developing countries. All the SUV hallmarks are present, from the roof rails and tall bonnet to the rugged-looking plastic cladding and high ground clearance.
The pictures make it look slightly larger than it is. It’ll be ever-so-slightly bigger than the Twingo, and smaller than the Clio. Despite its size and (hopefully inexpensive) price tag, the K-ZE will include rear parking sensors and a reversing camera, and a touchscreen system that’ll link up to your smartphone.
When this car is production-ready, it’s likely to have a real-world range of about 120 miles. That may not sound like much – after all, the Renault ZOE manages over 200 miles – but the K-ZE is targeted solely at urban drivers, so the range doesn’t need to be huge.
Production will begin in China next year by a local company, and then Renault should start bringing the car to Europe in the next couple of years.
“Groupe Renault was a pioneer and is the European leader in electric vehicles. We are introducing K-ZE, an affordable, urban, SUV-inspired electric model combining the best of Groupe Renault: our leadership in EV, our expertise in affordable vehicles and in forging strong partnerships”, said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Groupe Renault.
Renault also used the Paris Motor Show to confirm that existing models will offer electrified versions in a couple of years. The Clio, Megane and Captur will all be available as plug-in hybrids from 2020 onwards.