The South Korean off-shoot of Groupe Renault, Renault Samsung Motors, has announced an updated version of its SM3 Z.E.. Customer demand, in combination with what Renault Samsung refers to as ‘the EV expertise it has gained over the past eight years, not to mention its status as the European market leader’, has led to the revised SM3, which first appeared in 2013.
“Groupe Renault, Europe’s number one EV brand and the market’s pioneer, is in the process of introducing second-generation versions of its electric vehicles,” said Gilles Normand, SVP, Electric Vehicle, Renault. “As laid out in our Drive the Future plan, this process will enable Groupe Renault to strengthen its geographical and segment coverage and foster a step-up in the electric vehicle market.”
Oddly, the SM3 Z.E. is the segment’s only three-box saloon EV, and the revisions to the powertrain will see range increased by 57% to 213km (132.3m) based on the Korean type approval cycle.
Battery power has been upped to 36kWh with no increase in weight and, with the average daily trip in South Korea standing at 40km (24.8mi) in 2016 according to a Korean Transportation Safety Authority (KOTSA) report, the new SM3 Z.E. is capable of running for approximately five days on a single charge.
This increase in autonomy and the model’s spacious cabin will permit the SM3 Z.E. to address the strong demand expressed not only by retail customers, but also by state-run fleets and taxi operators. 1,200 examples of the EV were purchased by South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare last April, while the model is also popular as an all-electric taxi in Seoul, Daegu and Jeju Island.