Renault Samsung Motors has unveiled the new SM3 Z.E. at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo in South Korea. Determined to upgrade its electric vehicle range to meet customer demand, and buoyed by the EV expertise it has gained over the past eight years, not to mention its status as the European market leader, Renault is continuing to renew its line-up, the latest example being the new version of the SM3 Z.E. which first appeared in 2013.

Renault SM3 Z.E. gives an extended total distance

The autonomy of the Renault Samsung Motors SM3 Z.E., the market’s only three-box sedan, has been increased by 57 per cent to 213 kilometers (132.3 miles) based on the Korean type approval cycle. At the same time, battery power has been upped to 36kWh with no increase in weight and, with the average daily trip in South Korea standing at 40 kilometers 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. Indeed, 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.

Gilles Normand, SVP, Electric Vehicle, Renault said: “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. 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.”

Renault SN3 line

The SM3 first came about under the Renault-Samsung umbrella, when it was unveiled in South Korea in 2001. The SM3 Z.E. is based on the Nissan Sunny platform. Commencement of production started in third quarter of 2002, with four variants and two engine options.

Sold as the Almera Classic in Russia and Ukraine in 2006, the SM promptly made its debut in South America as the Almera. The model replaced the Sentra as a mid-size sedan. Over in the Middle East, the SM is known as the Nissan Sunny. In Mexico, Egypt and COlombia, it was the Renault Scala. The SM3 and its Classic renditions were discontinued by 2011 in Korea, followed by global discontinuation by 2013.