Currently reading: Next Dacia Sandero to get EV and ICE options in 2028
Dacia will be "the champion" of low-carbon combustion engines and an ICE Sandero could be on sale until 2035

Dacia CEO Denis Le Vot has doubled down on a commitment to going all-electric at the last possible moment, revealing that the firm will continue to develop combustion engines and strongly hinting the next-generation Dacia Sandero will continue to offer an ICE powertrain - though an EV is highly likely.

Speaking to reporters before the Paris motor show, Le Vot said the company won't pursue an all-electric line-up by 2030, in Europe or globally, because it would threaten the brand’s position as one of the most affordable on the market.

But, when Dacia does launch its first mass-market electric car (its Spring EV is only available in parts of Europe), it will most likely be based on the Sandero, Renault Group engineering boss Gilles Le Borgne confirmed.

“We can do a multi energy car [both ICE and EV versions] for Dacia when needed," he said. "We’re well prepared. Sooner or later we know we need multi-energy and we can do this without any problem. There is no date yet but the next Sandero is an ideal candidate for it.”

Le Vot reiterated that, when this time does come, Dacia will electrify as cheaply and efficiently as possible by “leveraging the assets” of the wider Renault Group, using technology and architecture developed by its parent company for its own electric cars, thereby saving significantly on development costs.

This means that any electric Sandero will be based on the Renault–Nissan CMF BEV platform, which shares major components with the CMF-B architecture currently used by Dacia and destined to continue underneath a combustion-powered next-generation car - potentially meaning ICE and EVs could be built on the same line.

A combustion option for the next-gen hatchback ties in with Le Vot's ambition for Dacia "to be the champion of the low-carbon ICE.”

He cited the Romanian company's experience in using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a means of running conventional ICEs more efficiently and cleanly. “We're going to continue working on low-carbon ICE [technology] for the future,” he continued, clarifying that he was referring to Dacia’s own in-house engineers but offering no further details about how they will seek to achieve this.

“The Sandero is going to have two generations before we hit 2035, which is the legal stop-off - if it happens - for ICE in general,” he said, suggesting that the next-generation Sandero (or equivalent B-segment hatchback) could arrive in 2028 or 2029 with an ICE powertrain, to be sold alongside an ICE-powered next-generation Dacia Duster SUV (launching in 2024) and the 2025 Bigster SUV, which will last until 2032 and 2033 respectively.

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Dacia has access to hybrid powertrains from parent company Renault and at Paris is giving new details of the Dacia Jogger Hybrid that it will launch in early 2023. However, Le Vot also said that because his company’s cars are generally lighter than their rivals, they “can still afford to be ICE-LPG when the competition is already hybrid”, suggesting Dacia remains committed to its LPG offering – a rarity among mainstream manufacturers and no longer available in the UK – which could have it continue to offer non-electrically assisted powertrains up to the end of the decade.

Interestingly, sibling brand Alpine is at Paris with a radically styled racing car concept that showcases the potential for hydrogen-combustion technology, citing the aural and performance benefits of converting petrol engines to run on CO2-free LH2 - but Dacia hasn't offered any comment about whether its affinity for gas-combustion could lead it explore this area, too.

Dacia has previously said it aims to move all products onto the Renault-engineered CMF-B architecture, as used by the current Sandero, so any successor is likely to follow suit and thus potentially use (initially, at least) the same turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine familiar from today’s car. But an electrified Sandero – using Renault’s E-Tech full hybrid system – is expected on sale in this generation, and the next generation will need this option to remain on sale in Europe and the UK after 2030’s pure-ICE ban.

While stating his intention to buck the industry shift towards rapid all-out electrification, Le Vot did note that “Dacia is as electric as the market in Europe” at the moment, highlighting that the tiny Spring EV – which remains unconfirmed for a UK launch – accounts for 12% of the company’s volumes, matching an industry-wide average for EV mix.

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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JK Roalding 18 October 2022

I admire the Dacia philosophy, but concerned they might leave leave it too late. By 2028 there are likely to be a multitude of Far Eastern brands in Europe. They have Leaf, Zoe and Ariya tech in their store cupboard . A Zoe based Dacia would suit me very well thank you.


jopami 17 October 2022

That's fair enough, but this will be the first stellantis based car using the same architecture as the mokka and 208 etc which all get very good reviews, so I see no reason why this should be any different.

Copy here……………………………………… 

The Apprentice 17 October 2022
Wise to keep in ICE and hybrid as 2030 and 2035 bans won't happen. Not until much longer on.
Andrew1 17 October 2022
Really? Says who, the leveling up folks?