Most Popular EV In South Korea Gets 57 Percent More Range For 2018

The Renault Fluence is yesterday’s news considering the Megane Sedan replaced it in Europe, but not in South Korea. In this part of the world, the Fluence soldiers on as the Samsung SM3, and it’s also available as an EV.
2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. 4 photos
2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E.2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E.2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E.
Introduced at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show as the SM3 Z.E., the compact-sized sedan enters the 2018 model year with improved everything. Part of these improvements for the most popular EV in South Korea is driving range, which has been boosted by 57 percent to 213 kilometers (132 miles). It isn’t impressive, but worse still, SM3 Z.E. isn’t great value for the money.

Renault Samsung Motors offers the electric vehicle at KRW 39,000,000 including the government incentive, translating to a well-equipped QM6 (a.k.a. Renault Koleos) or $35,970 at current exchange rates. For that dribble of cash, gone is the 22 kWh battery of the old model. The 36 kWh that replaces the old pack doesn’t take a toll on weight, which is good news considering that heftiness is one of the biggest enemies of range.

The drivetrain soldiers on as is, with the electric motor developing 95 PS (94 horsepower) and 226 Nm (167 pound-feet) of torque. As ever, drive is sent to the front axle through an automatic transmission. From a practical standpoint, the rear bench seats three at a squeeze and the trunk can swallow up to 450 liters (15.9 cubic feet) of bits and bobs and whatnots.

“1,200 cars were purchased by South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare last April, while the model is also popular as an EV taxi in Seoul, Daegu and Jeju Island,” highlights the South Korean automaker. If Samsung were to offer the subcompact-sized Renault Zoe Z.E. 40, however, the SM3 Z.E. would be rendered obsolete.

In related news, Renault took to itself to bring 8 electric vehicles and 12 electrified vehicles on the market by 2022. This roadmap is made possible by synergies within the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, synergies that could see the Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan Patrol share the same platform in a few years' time.


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