A formidable competitor to the Dacia Spring has arrived in France for less than €12,000

This small car, which is almost bigger than a Smart, is one of the best selling cars in the world under its Chinese name. Assembled by a Latvian manufacturer for Europe, it will arrive in France in early 2023, minus the €12,000 bonus.

In China it is known as Wuling Hongguang Mini EV and it is a real business card. There is no need to look far for the reasons for its success: this small electric city car is particularly affordable, while still offering 4 seats on board. In Europe, it will not be sold under its Chinese name, it will be under the name Freze Nikrob EV. Its price has also been raised a bit, but it will still be the most affordable car in Europe from the beginning of 2023. The recruitment of dealers in France is underway, the French importer confirmed to us on 28 November 2022.

Why Freeze Nikrob instead of Wuling Hongguang Mini EV?

This car is an example of a licensed model. Thanks to parts imported from China and supplied by Wuling, manufacturer Dartz developed this electric model in the Baltic countries, which it then sold in Europe under the Freze Nikrob EV badge.

Where the story gets a bit complicated is that the company Dartz Motorz, based in Latvia, is rather known for large armored SUVs with a particular style. One wonders how this revived (by changing its spelling) the name of an old Russian brand (Frese & co) of electric cars from the 1900s. Dartz Motorz ​​bought this brand in 1910, and no doubt wanted to use his name again (but the exact motivation is unclear). All made a small urban electric car, a carbon copy of a Chinese model, quite far from its universe. Despite the somewhat original context, the Freze Nikrob EV is coming to Europe with a competitive price, and that’s what we’ll remember.

A price of €11,900 in France after deducting the bonus

In France, this micro city car is mainly aimed at an urban clientele. For its French importer, the idea is to offer an affordable alternative for motorists who drive in cities subject to the restrictions of Low Emission Zones (ZFE) and cannot afford to buy new cars at 40 000 €. The first points of sale in France will mainly target these major cities, before expanding to the territory.

Freze Nikrob doesn’t stop there. Unlike some heavy quadricycles, accessible with or without a license, such as the Citroën Ami or Microlino, this model is a real car. Like the Dacia Spring, its performance is still limited. It can reach up to 105 km/h, but the highway will not be its playground.

Two versions are to be introduced in France: the “standard” with 200 km of autonomy and the “long range” with 300 km of autonomy. Despite these names, nothing really has anything to do with Tesla. It is probably the most affordable version that attracts attention and that can be seen often at the point of sale.

For that price, what do we get?

For this price of €11,900, once the ecological bonus is deducted, we have an electric car with 4 wheels, an engine and a steering wheel. What else ?

More seriously, at this price, it is a 2-door micro city car, less than 3 meters long that can accommodate up to 4 people. However, don’t expect a big trunk, you will be disappointed.

Freeze Nikrob Configurator. // Source: Freze

Here are the first features released by the brand:

Standard Long Range
The length 2.92m 3.06m
Total mass 1070kg 1070kg
Powerful 29kW (40hp) 32kW (43hp)
Battery 13.8 kWh 26.5 kWh
Autonomy 200 km 300 km
Charging time 6 hours 7 hours
fastest 100 km/h 105 km/h
Rims 12 inches 12 inches

Technological equipment is reduced to the essentials, although the model is still equipped as standard with LED headlights, a reversing camera, central locking and a Bluetooth car radio. So far, it hasn’t undergone Euro NCAP crash tests, but in the absence of many driver aids, it shouldn’t do better than the Dacia Spring and its only star at this point. . This does not prevent it from being considered safe in China, during the tests conducted.

The model also ignores fast charging (DC). This may put off some buyers. At this point, the Dacia Spring offers a 7.4 kW AC on-board charger and accepts DC recharges up to 30 kW, allowing more versatility in use. Not so with this Freze Nikrob.

The selection of the first dealers for France is currently underway, the car should therefore be marketed from the beginning of the year 2023. The convertible version should follow a little later in the year.

The convertible version of the Chinese model // Source: By JustAnotherCarDesigner
The convertible version of the Chinese model. // Source: By JustAnotherCarDesigner

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