Forget “Tesla Killers,” This Renault K-ZE Could Be An ICE Killer!

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Every now and then we hear of a new “Tesla killer” in the works from some startup or legacy automaker. The truth is, the more EV models there are, the better! All these new EVs coming out will help in the transition to electromobility and are all essentially ICE killers instead. One of the key factors that affects consumer choices when buying a car is the price of that car.

There are some very good small EVs that are now readily available in Europe, such as the Renault ZOE ZE 50 R110 with a 54.7 kWh battery that is good for about 300 km. But at £26,000, it is really quite expensive compared to an ICE in the same segment, such as the Renault Clio which is around £15,000. That £11,000 price difference is just too big!

ZOE ZE 50 R110 via Group Renault

Price is also the major factor here in Africa. Most people cannot afford to buy a brand new vehicle, hence over 90% of cars imported into most of sub-Saharan Africa (outside South Africa) every year are used vehicles from Asia, America, and Europe. The price of these vehicles that are mostly over 8 years old is more affordable for consumers in these markets.

There are now over 7 million EVs on the roads worldwide, which is why we recently proposed that this could be an opportunity for used EVs to start coming into Africa in larger volumes. We recently showed as well that driving a used Nissan Leaf is cheaper than an equivalent vehicle in Kenya.

You can get a used 2014 Nissan Leaf for around 16,000 in Kenya. We also showed how EVs and PV are a match made in heaven. This is when one of CleanTechnica’s regular readers, and writer as well, Maarten Vinkhuyzen suggested that we should consider the brand new Renault K-ZE instead as it could be a good option from a pricing perspective.

Buying this brand new small EV over a used Nissan Leaf would obviously make more sense as this will come with warranties as well as a much improved battery pack. Early Nissan Leafs are famous for the much publicized battery degradation issues. Africa isn’t a priority for most OEMs, but if we could get the new Renault K-ZE on this side, it could be a gamechanger. It starts from around $8,000 after subsidies in China. That’s a very good deal for a brand new EV with some very decent specs:

  • A 26.8 kWh battery pack that’s good for about 270 km on the NEDC cycle
  • A Top speed of 105 km/h
  • A 33 kW electric motor and 125 Nm of torque
  • A 6.6 kW on-board charger
  • 0-80% DC fast charging in 50 minutes

We are going to use South Africa as an example in this case to see where the Renault K-ZE could slot in the following reasons:

  1. South Africa has a lot of brand new ICE models on sale in a similar segment
  2. There is a Nissan factory in Rosslyn Pretoria that also manufactures the Renault Sandero under the Renault Nissan Alliance assembly plant, in Rosslyn.
  3. The Rosslyn Plant can be used to manufacture the new Renault K-ZE
  4. The Renault K-ZE can then be exported into the rest of Africa from Pretoria
  5. The Renault Kwid is a popular model in South Africa and in other neighboring countries

The Table below shows 11 ICE models that are in a similar segment to the new Renault K-ZE.

Make Model Price in Rand $USD Price
Renault Kwid Expression 1.0 R137 900 $8 120
Suzuki Celerio 1.0  GA R141 400 $8 333
BAIC D20 Hatch 1.3 R149 990 $8 836
Kia Picanto 1.0 Start R158 995 $9 638
Dutsun Go 1.2 Lux R168 995 $9 957
Tata Bolt Hatch 1.2T XT R169 995 $9 984
Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 Motion R171 900 $10 075
Toyota Aygo 1.0 R174 900 $10 250
Nissan Micra Active 1.2 Visia R179 700 $10 532
Volkswagen Move up! 1.0 R192 600 $11 288
Renault Sandero 66 kW Turbo Expression R184 900 $10 837
Renault K-ZE All Electric $10 000*

*Author’s own entry price point to illustrate a price point/lobby price under certain country-specific incentives across Africa

Let’s assume we manage to get some incentives and also Renault manages to ship or manufacture this EV in South Africa in decent volumes. The new Renault K-ZE could then land in the targeted countries at about $10,000. That sticker price would make it very competitive compared with the 11 models in the table above. The new Renault K-ZE would definitely offer a better ride quality with its lower center of gravity, thanks to the battery pack. A lot of these small hatchbacks do feel a bit light on the highway.

This small car segment is a popular segment as it offers an entry point for college students, graduates, early career professionals, and small families into the world of new car ownership in South Africa. The monthly payments for cars in this segment over 5 years are also are quite reasonable for consumers, which would be a big plus for adoption. At this suggested price tag of $10,000, this new could be an ICE killer in this segment in South Africa and in other African countries.

2019 Renault K-ZE

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Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has been fascinated with batteries since he was in primary school. As part of his High School Physics class he had to choose an elective course. He picked the renewable energy course and he has been hooked ever since.

Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai has 754 posts and counting. See all posts by Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai