2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. Debuts With 132-Mile Range


2018 – SM3 Z.E.

The new 36-kWh battery pack grants a maximum range of 213 kilometers (132 miles).

Remember the Renault Fluence? The Megane-based compact sedan was introduced back in 2009 and is still alive and kicking in some parts of the world, including in South Korea where it’s known as the Samsung SM3. Built at a factory in Busan, the latter has been available since late 2013 in an all-electric Z.E. (Zero Emission) flavor, which is now being updated.

Gone is the old 22-kWh battery as it has been replaced by a higher-capacity 36-kWh pack without having an impact on the car’s weight. As a result of the newly gained battery, the 2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. will be able to travel for up to 213 kilometers (132 miles) between charges, though we should mention these numbers are based on the Korean type approval cycle (think more like 115-120 miles/185-195 km in the real world/EPA-estimated). Compared to its predecessor, the driving range has increased by a considerable 57 percent.

2018 – SM3 Z.E.

The updated SM3 Zero Emission was unveiled today on the occasion of the Daegu International Future Auto Expo.

According to a local study conducted by the Korean Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA), the average daily trip in South Korea lasted for approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) last year, prompting Renault and Samsung to say the revised version of the electric sedan will (theoretically) run for about five days without having to recharge the battery pack. That should cure range anxiety once and for all, at least when it comes down to driving only in the city.

2018 – SM3 Z.E.

The SM3 Z.E. is a big deal in South Korea as not only is it popular with regular customers, but also among taxi operators and state-run fleets. Last April, no less than 1,200 cars were acquired by the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare, so the battery update will be appreciated by many.

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12 Comments on "2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. Debuts With 132-Mile Range"

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Given how many new EVs with decent range we are seeing or are soon to see, it’s not enough to build an ugly car anymore, a lesson Nissan learned with Leaf.

I don’t remember who it was out of Tesla’s senior management, but he said something to the effect of that most EVs looked like toasters on wheels. That is an exaggeration, but only a mild one. We need much better-looking cars instead of warmed over designs from 5-10 years ago who look very boxy.

I’m also surprised by this… The Fluence ZE was Project Better Place’s car — as a conversion, its design is neither aerodynamic or very space-efficient (it’s not that small on the outside — larger than the LEAF and almost as large as the Tesla Model 3).

However, at least the versions sold in Europe & Israel (manufactured in Turkey, IIRC — at least the ICE version was) were fully homologated for the EU. If it can be made cheaply enough (no new tooling needed ,existing assembly lines), the car might make sense as a local commuter for some markets.

Not sure where you guys are coming from… as @wavelet writes, this car was first an ICE car, so its external shape is as plain-vanilla Old World sedan as one can find.

So, certainly less sleek than the Ioniq (no wonder, it was designed nearly a decade ago), but not something to seriously hold it back.

And if this starts selling in January, then it will be the longest-range BEV sedan available in Korea at mid-market prices, b/c the Ioniq has yet to release its own range upgrade.

…and that’s another thing to note: thus far this car has been sold only in Korea. Given the new Korean incentives and resurgence of the EV market there, you need to put on the perspective of would-be Korean auto buyers, not American ones.

It will only start exporting after succeeding in Korea, and even then likely only to similar markets, or to Europe, rather than straight to here. Because Renault maintains zero presence in the US AFAIK.

Yet another small EV sedan… yawn.

Yawn all you want… then sit and think how many BEV compact/midsize sedans with this type of range and mid-market prices are actually available right now outside of China.

Then… count how many non-electric cars of the same type are available.

Until we reach availability parity, yawning is a silly luxury.

@Adrian, do you know whether it has a quick-charge port?

There’s no DC connector.


Nonetheless it now has the same 43 kW Chameleon internal charger that you can find on Zoe.

I would probably buy that if:
– hatchback
– at least doubled battery capacity (the Zoe has 41kWh, why this one >10% less?!)
– at least 100kW CCS and 2.3-43kW Typ2 chameleon charger where CCS not available/too expensive
– sold as Renault
– the usual stuff I expect in my car and acceptable price of course


This car along with the Bolt EV beg the question of how serious Samsung and LG are in expanding their partnerships and even building their own EVs. Samsung has a heavy industry division that builds ships and the Bolt EV has so far proven successful. The SM3 may be an old humble car, but with ambition and capital Samsung can do much better and it is not too late for them.

5 years with Fluence ze and so happy. Aerodynamic is good. Berlina alwais better than 2 volumes (see nascar) and better than Zoe and perhaps Ionic.
11kwh/100 is my mean.
I’d like my rental battery switched with 36kwh, why not.
Actually fluence replacement is sm3 ze battery with 22kwh and LG cells, confirmed by several replacement in Spain.
Great and beautifull car. You better try one before speak.

ABE Fluence why not try ordering the new battery from Korea, slide it in and cancel your rental?