Dacia CEO Denis Le Vot has doubled down on a commitment to going all-electric at the last possible moment, revealing that the firm will continue to develop combustion engines and strongly hinting the next-generation Dacia Sandero will be ICE-powered.
Speaking to reporters before the Paris motor show, Le Vot said the company won’t pursue an all-electric line-up by 2030, in Europe or globally, because it would threaten the brand’s position as one of the most affordable on the market.
He reiterated that Dacia will electrify as cheaply and efficiently as possible by “leveraging the assets” of the wider Renault Group, using technology and architecture developed by its parent company for its own electric cars, thereby saving significantly on development costs. But in the run-up to that, he said: “We’re going to be the champion of the low-carbon ICE.”
He cited the Romanian company’s experience in using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a means of running conventional ICEs more efficiently and cleanly. “We’re going to continue working on low-carbon ICE [technology] for the future,” he continued, clarifying that he was referring to Dacia’s own in-house engineers but offering no further details about how they will seek to achieve this.
“The Sandero is going to have two generations before we hit 2035, which is the legal stop-off – if it happens – for ICE in general,” he said, suggesting that the next-generation Sandero (or equivalent B-segment hatchback) could arrive in 2028 or 2029 with an ICE powertrain, to be sold alongside an ICE-powered next-generation Dacia Duster SUV (launching in 2024) and the 2025 Bigster SUV, which will last until 2032 and 2033 respectively.
Dacia has access to hybrid powertrains from parent company Renault and at Paris is giving new details of the Dacia Jogger Hybrid that it will launch in early 2023. However, Le Vot also said that because his company’s cars are generally lighter than their rivals, they “can still afford to be ICE-LPG when the competition is already hybrid”, suggesting Dacia remains committed to its LPG offering – a rarity among mainstream manufacturers and no longer available in the UK – which could have it continue to offer non-electrically assisted powertrains up to the end of the decade.