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The Renault City K-ZE all-electric crossover was launched in China on Tuesday and this entry-level electric vehicle (EV) looks set to become the real “Tesla Killer” simply because it’s the cheapest EV anywhere.
The cheapest version of this Renault baby retails for a mere $8,700, or four times cheaper than the cheapest Tesla.
Contrast that with the cheapest Tesla Model 3 with its $38,990 price tag and the $29,990 price for the Nissan Leaf (the cheapest of the lot before the City K-ZE), and you’ll understand why some car pundits now refer to this Renault as the “world’s most important electric car.” Don’t even think about the new Porsche Taycan that starts from $150,900 in the United States.
Pundits assert the City K-ZE will likely boost the adoption of EVs among the common folk only able to gawk at, but not afford, the famous EV brands marketed worldwide today. Hence, the lavish praise being heaped on this new Renault machine.
Renault said it’s looking to revolutionize the EV market (and perhaps wrest world leadership from Tesla Inc.) with the City K-ZE.
Prices for the Renault K-ZE start at $8,684 for the cheapest of three variants. The mid-spec option variant $9,389, while the top-spec sells for $10,091.
Unfortunately for the masses, the City K-ZE is currently only available in China. Renault has, however, said this EV will make its way to other global markets in the future.
Developed by Renault and Dongfeng Motor Group, the City K-ZE was first previewed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
City K-ZE is propelled by a front-mounted electric motor with 44 hp (33 kW) and 125 Nm of torque. This gives this machine a top speed of 105 km/h, fast enough for city driving.
City K-ZE draws power from a 26.8 kWh lithium-ion battery. The battery gives it a range of 271 km. Rated power consumption is 10.8 kWh per 100 km.
City K-ZE supports both AC and DC charging. The former lasts some four hours for a full charge with a Type 2 connection and a 6.6 kW power output. On the other hand, DC fast charging via a GB/T connection goes from a 30 percent charge to 80 percent in just half an hour.
The interior sports a new semi-digital instrument cluster and a somewhat misleading “gear selector” knob. Accessories include an Easy Link infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen, 4G WiFi, online music and two speakers.
There’s also air-conditioning with a PM2.5 sensor, a reverse camera, remote vehicle telemetry via a smartphone app and tire pressure monitoring.
City K-ZE comes with 14-inch wheels as standard and still has 300 liters of boot space available despite the presence of a large Li-ion battery.
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