Spy photos have emerged recently of an electric Renault Kiger testing in Bengaluru. And while it would be natural to assume that Renault has developed the electric SUV, that does not seem to be the case.
- Renault Kiger EV could be a proof of concept by Pravaig
- Indian start-up is electrification consultant for Renault
Interestingly, the Kiger EV was spotted emerging from home-grown EV start-up Pravaig Dynamics' facility in Bengaluru. Our sources at Renault have also stated that the company has no plans afoot, as far as an electric Kiger goes. We recently reported that the French firm is all set to announce its next investment phase in India, which will largely go towards bringing in the CMF-B platform and the new-generation Duster built on it.
The Kiger EV is, thus, very likely a Pravaig-built project with two possibilities. For one, it could be a proof of concept for Renault, who is using the Indian start-up as a consultant to get a fresh and different take on electrifying their SUV. It’s not rare for auto manufacturers to use outside engineering services to bypass massive corporate hierarchy in getting off-beat solutions in place, and this could very well be the case with the Renault Kiger EV.
It is also possible that the electric Kiger is built by Pravaig who could launch it as their own EV using Kiger gliders (vehicles with no powertrain). This would be similar to the Jayem Auto-Tata Motors plan for an electric Nano wherein Tata Motors were to supply body shells and associated components, while Jayem Automotive were to source the electric powertrain and manufacture and market the electric Nano.
At the launch of its Defy SUV, Pravaig Dynamics stated that the company has its in-house electric powertrain capability to build the battery, motor as well as the battery management system. The Defy’s body, however – while an evolution over its Extinction concept car – showed that work needs to be done as far as the bodywork's execution and finish are concerned. Therefore, using a ready body as a glider would undoubtedly give Pravaig a massive leg up.
In FY2022, Renault India posted a net profit in almost half a decade, but the company, as well as its partner Nissan, are still operating below their India plants' capacity. Thus, for Renault, the supply of fully built cars, minus the powertrain, would be a welcome business case.
For now, not much is known of the Kiger EV, but what we have seen so far is a blanked-off front grille and a charging slot behind the front logo. Also missing is the gear lever inside.