PARIS -- Renault's budget brand, Dacia, will preview its first full-electric vehicle at the Geneva auto show on March 3.
The Dacia "urban city car" will be launched in 2021-22, Renault told analysts on Feb. 14 when the automaker published its 2019 financial results.
Dacia and Renault executives did not provide further details ahead of the show, but motoring press reports said it will be a version of the City K-ZE electric car that is produced and sold in China by Renault and its Chinese joint venture partners. The City K-ZE is sold in China for about 8,000 euros.
Dacia does not currently have any electrified vehicles in its low-cost lineup, which is based on older technology from Renault Group. The brand is included in Renault's emissions pool, but its vehicles have relatively high CO2 emissions because the brand does not have hybrids or other expensive electrified drivetrains.
A report from analyst Evercore ISI last year found that Dacia had the most ground to make up among mass-market brands to lower its 2018 emissions to 2020 European Union target levels.
Dacia executives have said that any electric car in its lineup must be affordable and priced significantly less than the Renault Zoe electric car, which starts at about 24,000 euros in France. Former Renault CEO Thierry Bollore said at the 2019 Frankfurt auto show that Renault was working on an electric vehicle that would sell for 10,000 euros in Europe.
The K-ZE is a battery-powered version of the Renault Kwid microcar that is sold in India and Brazil. The Kwid is built on the CMF-A platform that Renault shares with alliance partner Nissan.
The Kwid was joined this year in India by the Triber, a larger version that seats seven passengers. It is not clear whether the Kwid or Triber would meet European safety or other homologation standards, but Renault has not ruled out bringing the K-ZE to Europe.
A report from analyst firm Inovev says that the minicar segment in Europe could switch to electric vehicles because minicars are mostly used in urban areas so a short driving range would not be a disadvantage.
Volkswagen is expected to add an ID1 minicar to its coming family of dedicated EVs, and PSA Group's next minicars from Peugeot and Citroen will most likely have full-electric versions, Inovev said.
Renault said in a news release on Wednesday that it will debut a battery-powered version of its Twingo minicar at the Geneva show, along with the Dacia EV, a Renault electric concept car called the Morphoz illustrating its vision of future mobility and a plug-in hybrid version of its Megane station wagon.