Dacia's VP of sales, marketing, and operations, Xavier Martinet, has claimed a lot of EVs are too heavy and therefore bad for the environment. Martinet believes "if we're serious about collectively reducing emissions, then excessive weight should not be acceptable".
Romanian automaker Dacia launched its first EV, the Spring, in 2021. A compact crossover available exclusively in mainland Europe, the Spring weighs just 2138 lbs. For reference, a GMC Hummer EV weighs over four times as much as that.
The Spring is so light because it's powered by a 26.8 kWh battery and comes with a minimum amount of features. Hence it can only go 140 miles on a single charge and has a top speed of 78 mph. But according to Dacia range and performance are irrelevant to its customers, with the typical Spring owner driving just 25 miles a day at an average speed of 18 mph.
The Spring comes with cloth seats and a radio, with a touchscreen being available on higher trim levels. Prices start at under €15,000 ($16,070) after incentives in Germany.
Martinet told UK outlet AutoCar that it's "insanity" to allow manufacturers to produce "two-, three-tonne vehicles that are occupied by one person and which drive just 35 miles a day". He believes the Spring is perfect evidence of Dacia's mindset - don't add unnecessary weight and power if it won't be used.
Although it will never be sold in the US, the Spring is doing well in Europe. Part of the reason for its success is the fact that no other 4/5-seat EV is remotely as cheap as it. Dacia reportedly plans on launching a RHD version of the Spring for the UK and Irish markets later this year.