Renault’s new mass-market CMF-BEV platform promises to slash new electric vehicle prices by a third – meaning Australia’s first $33,000 European electric car could be on the way.
Renault has detailed a new compact electric vehicle platform that could be capable of bringing Australia its first $33,000 European electric hatchback.
Known as CMF-BEV, the new platform will be used for ‘B-segment’ city cars (classified as ‘light cars’ in Australia), and promises to reduce the cost of the vehicles it underpins by 33 per cent versus Renault’s sole electric passenger car still on sale, the Zoe hatchback.
When the Renault Zoe was last offered in Australia in 2019, prices started from $49,490 before on-road costs – meaning a vehicle on the new CMF-BEV platform could start from as little as $33,000 before on-road costs.
Recent $3000 electric vehicle incentives introduced in New South Wales and Victoria could drop the price to exactly or below $30,000 before on-road costs – on par with an entry-level Captur Life city SUV, which starts from $29,990 before on-road costs locally, powered by a conventional turbo-petrol engine.
That would make CMF-BEV-based vehicles some of the cheapest electric vehicles on the market, though it remains to be seen how far below its claimed $35,000 figure Chinese brand BYD – claimed to launch in Australia in 2022 – will price its vehicles.
The first vehicle to use the platform will be the retro-styled Renault 5, previewed with a ‘Prototype’ concept car earlier this year (above and top of story), and due to enter production in 2023 or 2024 at a new ‘ElectriCity’ megafactory in France.
While the reborn 5 EV has not been confirmed for an Australian launch, its low price – combined with recent developments in charging infrastructure and government incentives – should help to overcome the market challenges that saw the existing Zoe officially axed from Australian showrooms in 2020.
Renault claims the CMF-BEV platform will enable a maximum driving range of up to 400km on Europe’s WLTP test cycle – exceeding the 263km and 270km figures claimed by Australia’s cheapest electric vehicles currently on sale, the MG ZS EV and Nissan Leaf 40kWh respectively.
The platform’s low price can be attributed to the sharing of parts with the combustion-engined version of CMF-BEV, known as CMF-B, which underpins the Captur. The platform’s modularity in track widths, wheelbase and battery sizes, along with a new nickel-cobalt-manganese battery construction, also reduce costs.
Joining the new 5 will be a reborn version of the classic Renault 4 (teased below, middle), slated to morph into a compact SUV wearing the 4Ever name – as leaked in concept form through recent patent filings – along with a new electric van, which teaser images suggest will be inspired by classic ‘Fourgonette’ versions of the original Renault 4 (teased below, top).
Performance brand Alpine is also planning a new hot hatch based on the platform, which teaser images (bottom of story) confirm will be based on the new 5, adding a large rear spoiler, bulged bonnet and what appear to be rally-inspired fog lights.
The aforementioned slew of electric cars are part of Renault’s plan to launch seven new electric vehicles overseas by 2025, ahead of a goal for 90 per cent of its European sales to be all-electric by 2030.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest on Renault’s new CMF-BEV platform, as its European launch nears in 2023 with the new 5 hatchback.
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New Renault 5 could become Australia’s cheapest electric car: CMF-BEV electric platform to cut prices by a third