PARIS – Renault Group’s low-cost brand Dacia will sell internal-combustion engines for as long as it can, CEO Denis Le Vot said.
While the Renault brand plans to go fully electric by 2030, Dacia will retain the possibility of making the big jump only by 2035, when European regulations will require all cars sold to have zero C02 emissions, effectively banning the sale of fossil fuel engines.
"Renault will push to be the champion of electric engines; this has a risk," Le Vot said on the sidelines of a presentation this week in Le Bourget near Paris. "This is also why Dacia exists. Depending on how fast the market converts to electric engines and of clients' appetite, Dacia is here. The two can co-exist," he said.
Dacia has only one full-electric model, the Chinese-built Spring minicar, which accounts for 12 percent of its order intakes. Executives have said that the brand will electrify as the technology becomes more affordable, so as not to push away Dacia’s price-conscious base.
While it continues to bank on small engines powered by gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas, which make up a third of its sales, Dacia plans to offer its first hybrid model, as an option on the compact Jogger crossover, only in 2023. The Jogger will use Renault’s E-Tech hybrid system, which was first introduced in 2020.
Dacia models are also sold outside Europe in developing and emerging countries, many of which have not yet set EV targets, branded as Renaults.
Renault, which a decade ago was an electric car pioneer along with alliance partner Nissan, has recently been passed in sales in Europe by newcomers such as Tesla, and a range of models from VW Group.
In a bid to rebound, Renault will unveil next month its plan to create separate divisions for electric and combustion engine vehicles.