Dacia CEO on electrification: “Our job is to be late” | Top Gear
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Wednesday 29th March

Dacia CEO on electrification: “Our job is to be late”

Big boss of Dacia Denis Le Vot tells TG that the brand will wait it out before going all-electric

Published: 16 Sep 2022

Dacia boss Denis Le Vot has said that the brand will wait it out for as long as possible before electrifying its entire range, with the plan being to pick the best Renault tech straight off the shelf when the time does eventually come. 

“Our job is to be late,” Le Vot tells TG when pushed on the subject of how a budget brand copes with the switch. “This is what we do. Our job is to arrive at the latest moment and take off the shelf whatever we need.

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“Renault has all the assets – investing in gigafactories, investing in Megane E-Tech and much more to come, investing in electric motors. We have the best E-Tech hybrid system. We have the best E-Tech plug-in hybrid system. We have a small electric car. We have a big electric car. We’re going to have more and more to choose from. The frontrunner is Renault and we are last.”

As to how that move towards electrification will happen, all we know so far is that the Jogger will be the first Dacia to go hybrid when a new powertrain (potentially the Clio’s fancy F1-inspired E-Tech hybrid system) arrives in 2023.  

What happens to the rest of the range is still anyone’s guess. “I’m smiling talking to you but if I was not in the Renault group this would be a live or die question,” says Le Vot. “Make the right choice – do you go hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and when? Which kind of battery? These are questions that segment by segment we’re going to answer. But in two years, three years or four years – the more you wait, the more clever you are because technologies are not yet completely settled.

“We will do it a la Dacia. Which means when we do it, we are not going to develop a Sandero that’s going to have an 800km range and fast charging with an 800-volt architecture for €35,000. This is not us. This is Renault. 

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“Of course we are going to play with voltage [don’t try this at home people], with autonomy and with charging speeds, but we will find the right balance and offer something different to meet the needs of the customers. 

“We have 420 million people in Europe, and not everyone will buy a €60,000 car in London, Berlin or Paris. We also have millions of people that need access to mobility, which in 2036 will have to be electric. We are here for that.

“Look at the Spring, we developed a car that is answering a precise need which is commuting. Hence why it’s less than one tonne. That means we can use a small battery and we can hit less than €20,000. This is very Dacia, right?” 

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