Renault’s brand-new EV is a tiny crossover

Six months after it made its debut as a concept car at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the Renault K-ZE broke cover in production form at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. The tiny electric crossover was designed in China as part of the eGT New Energy Automotive Co. Ltd. joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and local carmaker Dongfeng.

The Renault K-ZE is the company’s sixth EV

The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production
- image 835854

Renault might not benefit from much exposure outside Europe, but it’s actually one of the world’s biggest EV producers. The K-ZE is its sixth electric vehicle and follows stand-alone like the Twizy and Zoe and electric versions of the Fluence and Kangoo, which are part of the Z.E. lineup. But the really big deal here is that the K-ZE is Renault’s first electric crossover. Granted, it’s tiny and it won’t be sold globally, but it marks Renault’s entry in the world’s fastest-growing EV market.

The Renault K-ZE looks a lot like the concept car

left right
Renault actually kept most of the features that define the concept car

Concepts are usually toned down for production, but Renault actually kept most of the features that define the show car. The headlamps and the lights in the bumper aren’t as fancy as on the concept and lack the blue accents, but the shape, size, and LED patterns are still there. More importantly, the grille is basically identical to the concept’s.

The same goes for the profile, which boasts the same features minus the touch-sensitive door handles and the fancy wheels. The rear fascia also carries over from the concept car with minor changes to the taillights, which are simpler for cost-cutting purposes, and a revised lower tailgate.

left right

But although the concept arrived in 2018, the design isn’t actually new. The K-ZE is in fact based on the Kwid, a crossover that Renault began selling in India and Brazil in 2015. The Kwid looks very similar to the production Kwid, with slightly different lights and a vented front grille. More importantly, the Kwid doesn’t have an electric drivetrain, being powered by small-displacement gasoline engines instead. The Kwid will be discontinued in 2020.

The Renault K-ZE is compact yet spacious

The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production
- image 835857

The K-ZE might be one of the smallest crossovers on the market, but it offers sufficient passenger room thanks to its 2,423-mm (95.4-inch wheelbase), a class-leading figure. More importantly, it comes with up to 300 liters (10.6 cubic feet) of luggage room, also superior to Asian competitors from Datsun, Tata, and Maruti.

The Renault K-ZE is fully electric

The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production
- image 835862
The K-ZE should run for around 150 miles on a single charge

Unlike the Kwid, the K-ZE features an electric motor and a battery pack. Final performance figures aren’t yet available, but the production model should return better mileage than the concept vehicle thanks to technological upgrades. The concept returns 250 km (or 155 miles) per single charge on the old NEDC standard, which translates to around 120 miles based on the new WLTP guidelines. This is far from impressive compared to other electric vehicles on the market, but the revised motor and the new battery pack should boost that figure to around 150 miles. For a vehicle this size, it’s more than enough, especially if you’re using it in the city.

The K-ZE’s charging system is compatible with both 220V domestic plugs and public chargers. A domestic plug will charge the battery in around four hours, but the fast charge function will fill the battery up to 80 percent in just 50 minutes.

The Renault K-ZE has plenty of technology

The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production
- image 835852

Despite the small size and likely affordable sticker, the K-ZE is no stranger to modern technology. The crossover comes with an eight-inch touchscreen, the largest in this class, and remote control via a special app. It also has online navigation and real-time monitoring for the electric drivetrain. There’s also 4G WiFi, voice recognition, and an air quality control system. Mandatory in China’s polluted cities, this system enables evaluation of cabin air and automatic switching between interior and exterior air circulation.

Further reading

The Future of Renault Lies in this KWID-Based Electric Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show
- image 797989

Read our full review on the 2018 Renault K-ZE Concept.

2015 Renault KWID High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 630825

Read our full review on the 2015 Renault KWID.

oday is an important milestone for Groupe Renault in China. During a press conference (access to broadcast) at the Shanghai Motor Show, Thierry Bolloré, CEO of Groupe Renault, presented a clear road map and high ambitions for the Group in China by 2022: a target of 550,000 units sold per year – in line with the Drive the Future plan. To realise this ambition, Groupe Renault is opening a new chapter of Renault’s history in China’s EV market with the presentation of Renault City K-ZE: a global A segment fully-electric urban vehicle with a SUV design.

With the world premiere of Renault City K-ZE, Groupe Renault is entering the world’s largest and fastest growing electric vehicle market. Six months after the concept was presented at the Paris Motor Show, the sixth 100% electric vehicle in the Renault range is coming to life this week at the Shanghai Motor Show.

This first public presentation demonstrates the capacity of Renault and DRAC to turn an EV concept into reality with the start of sales to be announced before the end of the year.

The first joint-venture brand EV in the A segment designed in China for China, Renault City K-ZE will be produced in China as part of the eGT New Energy Automotive Co. Ltd. joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the local manufacturer Dongfeng.

All about Renault City K-ZE’s assets in China:

Renault City K-ZE features smart design:

It has assertive lines and a muscular, compact form, with LED Daytime Running Lights.
It embodies classic SUV design with 150mm ground clearance
The 2,423mm long wheelbase and 300L boot space, which are leading in its segment, make K-ZE reliable and practical for everyday life.
Renault City K-ZE: human-centric intelligence & competitive charging modes

Its multiple charging modes make it compatible with both 220V domestic plugs and public infrastructures. In fast charge, it takes only 50 minutes to charge from 0% to 80%. In slow charge, it takes 4 hours to charge to 100%, totally adequate for fast-paced urban life.
Its segment-leading intelligent interactive system with 8-inch multi-functional colour LCD touch screen ensures that the passengers stay connected all the time wherever they go. They can also access remotely control on their App. It has online navigation and real time monitoring for EV features. Users have easy access to features such as on-line entertainment, 4G WiFi and smart voice recognition.
Consistent with Renault’s human-centric philosophy, Renault City K-ZE packs PM2.5 sensors and air quality control system, which enables evaluation of cabin air quality and automatic switching between interior and exterior air circulation, offering a healthy, refreshing cabin space.
Renault City K-ZE: high European quality standards

It is built in China to rigorous global quality standards. It adopts Renault’s advanced electric technology.
It provides an assured journey with safety features, such as Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and rear imaging.

View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: