First Drive Kangoo Z E electric van Car and Van News

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First Drive: Kangoo electric van

November 28, 2011 0

What is it: Full electric of Renault’s established van

Key features: electric powertrain, zero 106-mile range

Our view: is gearing up for an electric future – the year will see four vehicles hit the market varying a tiny urban runabout to a family hatch.

The first, is targeting commercial customers for going electric is as much saving costs as saving the The Kangoo Z.E. is quite the brand’s established small van its internal-combustion drivetrain taken out and by an electric motor of 44kW – to 60bhp.

In terms of space, the buyer a Kangoo Z.E. loses over the diesel version – it exactly the same 3-3.5 metre carrying capacity and payload, with the motor’s pack not eating into any of the

The Z.E. will also be in two Maxi crew van versions, one a but for this initial test had the basic van. It looks normal from the outside, and standard from the inside – when you turn the key do you get the electric

There is no sound of the vehicle to life, simply a green light illuminating on the dash. The is fully automatic, so you select and touch the accelerator pedal, and the glides away without a We’ve driven a few electric now, but the virtually soundless still produces an odd feeling.

We say virtually soundless because as increases you do become aware of a whistling, as well as quite a lot of noise, to be expected of a van especially empty, and on our test vehicle a mesh screen separating the from the payload bay.

The Z.E. is officially capable of which of course is enough for UK and has a 0-62mph time of 20.3 six or more seconds slower its traditionally-engined siblings. Yet paradoxically it feel sluggish, motoring happily, almost keenly.

Where you really feel the motor’s influence is once you off the power – the ‘engine’ braking is noticeable. Renault tells us effect is designed for a van carrying a and won’t be so prevalent in its passenger-carrying vehicles.

One display on the dash attention throughout the drive – the Renault quotes an official of 106 miles for the Kangoo, regarded as for a day’s work for many using such vehicles.

This will be one of two vital for firms deciding whether to the electric revolution, because the Z.E. from empty take six to eight hours, and for the year at least there be a fast-charge option. Plugging a three-pin socket is not advised (quite apart from the 11 or more it will take way) – you’ll need a socket, with British Gas Renault’s preferred installation

The other big questionmark, of course, be cost. The Z.E. has a basic of £16,990, or £21,038 on-the-road VAT added. But that doesn’t the battery – with these not having the same life as the a buyer leases the battery and gets a warranty as to its life, at a cost varying from £60 to dependent on the annual mileage and of contract signed up for.

RENAULT Kangoo Van Z.E.

So, for those potential commercial some number crunching be necessary, comparing the cost of the van to the potential savings in fuel and

But based on our test, one aspect is – on the road, driving a Kangoo Z.E be little different, and certainly no compared to a diesel Kangoo.

Key specification:

Model Tested: Kangoo Van Z.E.

Price: plus £60-£105 month hire*

Engine: Electric synchronous with rotor

Power (bhp): 60bhp

(lb/ft): 167lbft

0-62mph 20.3

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