Back in 2009, Renault introduced to us the Fluence, a compact sedan that was based on the Megane. Whether you remember it or not, that model is still available in many parts of the world such as South Korea, where it is referred to as the Samsung SM3. It was first built at a factory in Busan, and since then it has been available in an all-electric Z.E. (Zero Emission). After several years, the automaker will finally update the said model.
The former Samsung SM3 came equipped with a 22-kilowatt per hour battery pack, while the updated version will be given a bigger battery pack of 36-kWh. The best part about this is that it will not have an impact on the car’s weight. This new and improved battery will let the 2018 Samsung SM3 Z.E. drive for as far as 213 kilometers (132 miles) between charges. However, these are based on the Korean type approval cycle. Overall, the new SM3’s driving range has improved by 57 percent. In the real world (EPA estimated), that would probably be equivalent to 115-120 miles / 185-195 kilometers.
It was just the other day when the SM3 Zero Emission first made its reveal, during the Daegu International Future Auto Expo. In one of their studies, it was found that an average person’s daily trip around South Korea lasted for approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) last year. This was where Renault and Samsung based their development of the electric sedan, enabling it to run for about five days without the need for its battery to recharge. This will be the perfect choice for those who suffer from range anxiety. The SM3 Z.E. also is considered the market’s only three box saloon.
Gilles Normand, Renault senior VP for electric vehicles once said that Europe number one EV brand and pioneer that is Groupe Renault, is in the process of introducing second-generation versions of its original electric vehicles. As part of their 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.
The reason why this model is quite popular in South Korea is because it is popular not just among regular customers but also among taxi operators and state-run fleets. The new battery update will make a lot of people happy. Furthermore, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare bought at least 1,200 units of the Samsung SM3.
For now, the Renault Samsung electric vehicle will exclusively be released in the South Korean market. But there’s no reason for it not to also work in other continents like Europe. We can only hope.