Dartz Freze Nikrob EV with Froggy Beachstar Version: Europe’s cheapest electric car

Dartz Freze Nikrob EV with Froggy Beachstar Version: Europe’s cheapest electric car

The Dartz Freze Nikrob EV with Froggy Beachstar version is an electric vehicle based on the Hongguang Mini EV from China. While the standard version has been available in Europe for some time, a unique roadster variant is now being introduced.

The Freze Nikrob EV, originally known as the Hongguang Mini EV, has gained popularity in China as an affordable electric city car since its release in July 2020. Recognizing its success, the Dartz company decided to introduce the Freze Nikrob EV in Europe in mid-2021, aiming to generate interest with its rear-wheel drive and compact size. Additionally, an open-top convertible version named Freze Froggy EV is also offered.

The Froggy Beachstar version of the Freze Nikrob EV stands out with its distinctive design features. It includes contrasting color elements, an ultra-short windscreen, a combination of the roll bar and rear wing, a side blade extending between the B and C pillars, a tailgate, and paneled wheels.

The vehicle’s color concept is typically extroverted, with yellow and green being one of the options suggested by Dartz, although other configurations are possible to suit the branding requirements of car sharing, car rental companies, and hotel fleets that the vehicle targets.

Dartz launches Freze Nikrob as "cheapest EV in the EU" | Autocar

The design inspiration for the Froggy Beachstar version comes from two peculiar vehicles. The first is the “Millennium Mercedes,” an SLK 230 from the first generation modified with the chassis and turbo diesel drive of a G model, which was used by investor and author Jim Rogers for a trip around the world. The second vehicle belongs to Leonard Yankelovich, the founder of Dartz, and is a heavily modified VW Beetle with a reptile-inspired appearance.

To comply with safety regulations for European markets, both the sedan and convertible versions of the Freze Nikrob EV require significant adjustments. Dartz needs to install airbags, and electromechanical power steering (EPS), strengthen certain vehicle parts, and incorporate an EU interface for accessing vehicle data.

Dartz claims that the Freze meets all EU requirements, despite a video circulating on the internet showing a Freze vehicle that was completely destroyed in an unofficial crash test. Official crash test results for the Freze Nikrob EV are yet to be determined.

Dartz offers the Freze Nikrob EV for configuration and purchases through an Austrian website. However, the Lithuanian company cannot match the Chinese price of approximately 3,700 euros. Nonetheless, the price is still appealing, especially considering that the Freze Nikrob EV is eligible for innovation premiums in Germany.

After deducting both the manufacturer’s share (3,000 euros) and the federal subsidy (6,000 euros) from the net list price of 16,000 euros, the Freze Nikrob EV can be purchased in Germany starting from 7,000 euros net or 8,330 euros including VAT. Even with additional equipment options, the electric vehicle remains relatively affordable at 9,500 euros net or 11,305 euros including VAT.

Freze Nikrob the "cheapest EV in the EU" - Automotive Daily

In terms of performance, Dartz claims that the Froggy Beachstar version can cover up to 305 kilometers on a single battery charge, although the basic model falls short of that range. Through the implementation of a new alternator, Dartz managed to increase the range by 30 kilometers compared to the Chinese counterpart, but the Freze Nikrob EV typically achieves a range of just over 200 kilometers.

The vehicle features a lithium iron phosphate battery with a nominal capacity of 105-ampere hours (Ah) and a voltage of 109 volts, resulting in approximately 16.35-kilowatt hours (kWh). The Siemens-supplied electric motor has an output of 29 kW (39 hp), enabling the car to reach a top speed of 110 km/h. Standard features of the Freze Nikrob EV include LED headlights, a reversing camera, and air conditioning.