The French brand is gunning directly for its Japanese Alliance partner with an all-electric compact car, destined to sit above the little Zoe.

Renault is readying two new electric cars for 2022, one of which will go head-to-head with the Nissan Leaf.

Reports from Auto Express have revealed the brand is waiting for batteries to become more affordable before launching what would be its largest electric vehicle to date.

“We will continue in the B-segment; that is our strongest segment and it is the heart of the European market," Eric Feunteun, electric vehicle director for Renault, told the British publication.

"Then we clearly go down and then we will go up into the C-segment, so we will increase our coverage. The idea is to bring the car with the right timing."

That means waiting for the "right timing to be sure we have a competitive offer", rather than fitting its Leaf rival with a massive battery today and the associated massive price tag.

“If I do it with the cost of the battery today, then I will be at the price of my luxury competitors. If you want to go to C, D, E-segment – we can see what Tesla is doing, and Jaguar – you need to go with very big batteries," said Feunteun.

“But that means very expensive cars. I’m a strong believer that the DNA of Renault is to bring affordable technology; the Zoe is the most affordable electric car on the market and price is the number one deciding factor."

In Australia, the most affordable EV on the market is the base Hyundai Ioniq Electric, priced from $44,990 before on-road costs. It has 230km of range in the real world, down on the 270km offered by the $49,990 Nissan Leaf.

Comparatively, the Renault Zoe is priced from an exxy $51,990 plus on-roads in Australia, offering up to 300 kilometres of 'real-life range'.