Renault eyes electric vehicle dominance with Fluence Kangoo ZE MotorTorque

22 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Renault eyes electric vehicle dominance with Fluence Kangoo ZE MotorTorque отключены
RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars

Renault eyes electric dominance with Fluence, ZE

Renault launched its Fluence ZE and ZE electric vehicles this amid some bold about aspirations for EV sales and the of both models.

The Fluence ZE is an version of the mid-size saloon on on continental Europe that into the compact family car alongside the Ford Focus, Astra and Renault’s own Megane.

a little longer than the Fluence so that it can incorporate packs and offer the same of interior and storage space so more akin to a Mondeo, or Laguna.

The Kangoo ZE, on the other is identical to the combustion models in the Available in Kangoo van and Kangoo — the latter with or seven seats — it only be offered as a commercial so does not benefit from the £5K plug-in car discount.

The Kangoo in its various incarnations — is on in the UK now while the Fluence will go on in the UK early in 2012. Both will be sold as a battery-lease meaning an extra monthly on top of asking prices that at £17,850 (with government for the Fluence ZE and £21,038 fior the ZE.

The pair have an official of 114 and 106 miles for Fluence and Kangoo and can be charged using either a wallbox or charging point in 6-8 using a cable that is

Both can be charged using a household socket, but charging extend to around 12 hours and requires an extra cable costs £414.

Sales and

Renault says its Fluence EV is the most affordable electric car cocking a snoop at its more sister-brand car the Nissan Leaf and the expensive Mitsubishi I-MiEV, the Japanese cars come a battery pack included.

Renault says the price is designed to make it comparable to a petrol or diesel model. The in either format isn’t in the UK, but Renault says the comparable car is the diesel Mégane Hatch TomTom.

The Renault Fluence ZE £17,850 on-the-road following a UK Car Grant that knocks off any electric vehicle.

For that you get 16 wheels, climate control, control, ecoMeter and Carminat Live smart satellite with EV-specific data on points and range — with charging sockets on front wings.

Monthly lease prices start £75 per month for a 6,000-mile/three-year contract but according to the length of contract and mileages

Renault says the cost per kilometre — on the cheapest lease option and night-time energy — of either the Fluence of Kangoo ZE is five Euro cents pence) when energy and lease costs are taken account. That compares with the combustion costs for Fluence or Kangoo ICE models, put at Euro cents (seven

With list prices the for electric versus combustion in the Fluence and Kangoo ranges, will says it is doing all it can to car-buyers a transparent choice its electric and petrol/diesel models. than being a more option, the costs position the EVs as a alternative.

Green or economical?

Are cars green? That’s a vexed question. They zero emissions at source, but the of where that energy from is difficult to answer in of putting a figure on how green cars are.

For the time being I’ll EVs the benefit of the doubt and suggest in general, they’re probably for less CO2 and other pollutants per Electric motors are far more than petrol or diesel they’re more efficient in driving, where they’ll be most and where ICE vehicles are at worst.

Renault says the has enough lithium to make six such battery packs for — and is investing in end-of-life to recycle these lithium ion battery packs.

The focus of materials for electric cars to me, to have shifted away the green argument — because the point is harder to than it was once believed, but likely because running are an easier sell in these economic times.


Used values for electric like the Fluence ZE and vans the Kangoo ZE are, perhaps, the sticking point for those up an electric-car purchase.

Renault that it has worked hard to residual values for its electric and believes that its EV models roughly shadow combustion counterparts in terms of residuals.

that equation will be decided by factors beyond control. Incentives and infrastructure in countries will probably the most significant bearing on used values for these vehicles.

Even if running are favourable and there are no problems batteries or ranges, a lack of in terms of a public charging will make EVs unattractive to potential buyers against or diesel rivals.

For now an EV purchase is of a trip into the unknown; I residual values for the Fluence and ZE will be strong, or at least to petrol and diesel variants but that’s only a hunch.


Renault’s decision to the lithium-ion battery pack like a good idea at the – certainly a better bet than it outright, as Nissan Leaf must. When the car is out warranty, owners will have to their fingers crossed old battery packs have lives – or shell out for another.

battery lease approach even more attractive now as a way to run an EV. there’s still a question as to whether a Fluence actually out as cheaper to run than a low-CO2 Focus or Vauxhall Astra, will enjoy the peace of of a battery pack that is to hold at least 75 per cent of its capacity. If it doesn’t, or the pack damaged, Renault replaces it.

it comes to resale, the battery stays with the car throughout its so a new buyer will either an existing battery lease or have to strike a new one. No no battery.

Battery safety, and life-span

Renault uses manganese battery packs to its current range of ZE electric They use 48 modules weighing in at a 280kg, which each four storage cells.

The packs output 400V and can be from a home electrical Renault’s preferred partner in the UK for which can cut charging times by a and cost £995, is British

Renault says that 90 per of all charging will take at home or at work, with the at roadside stations or in car-parks.

On models Renault will add a facility that will an 80 per cent charge from 30 minutes of charging from a outlet.

Renault says the battery will last between years, by which time may be more efficient batteries longer ranges on the block. says that it may be possible for and kangoo ZE owners to swap first-generation batteries for improved battery packs in the future.

In countries Renault will offer battery swapping, for very swift battery at specialist stations. Neither be available for the current Renault of Kangoo ZE models.

RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars

Neither the ZE nor Kangoo ZE has any fast charge meaning slow overnight or recharge times only. might raise eyebrows but doesn’t believe that will be required for the Fluence or

In the latter case that’s the expeccted profile of Kangoo ZE means that the electric will be pressed into urban driving during the day and recharge overnight, when cheapest.

The lack of fast-charge seems to be to keep costs to a minimum, but Renault’s coyness the issue may point to a desire not to battery-swap partners BetterPlace.

says that it should be for its battery packs to explode, as happens with mobile or laptop batteries, diue to a of failsafes in the battery packs. one of the 140 cells in the battery fail, it can be

Renault adds that in testing it took ten minutes for a ZE to catch fire, as opposed to one and two minutes for a petrol tank to fire and explode. It also a nail into the battery and conducted repeat rear-impact to ensure the pack didn’t into the rear of the cabin.


In the Fluence ZE, the electric outputs 95bhp but develops a 226Nm (166lb-ft) of torque. means that the Fluence top 100mph — it’s to preserve battery packs but it is very fast off the line, to 50kph in 4.1 seconds — than its internal combustion

It’s good for a range of 180km — or 114 miles on a full charge but that can vary significantly depending on style, temperature, driving, the of terrain and more. Allowing for factors, full-charge ranges can be between 80-200km.

In the Kangoo ZE, the same torque from the drivetrain, but power is limited to

The battery pack can be regenerated the driver takes his or her foot off the gas similar to how a KERS system on a Formula One car and allowing for longer for more careful drivers.

in both Fluence and Kangoo EVs are for five years or 100,000km by while the vehicle is covered for years.

Both cars are by 24-hour breakdown cover into the battery lease — and batteries are guaranteed for as as they are leased. If they beyond 75 per cent of their capacity or fail they are

Electric avenue

Renault that ten per cent of all the cars on the by 2020 will be electric, and determined to be the leader of the pack on the vehicle front.

It’s cash into technology it will make its own batteries at its plant in France; it will specialist electric car stations specialist technicians across it’s working with companies to bring down the of running EVs; it has four virtually ready for market now and has more on the drawing board.

There are huge advantages to first to market with like this. Toyota has looked back as the ‘green’ in the car market since it launched the Prius a decade ago. is betting on being the first and therefore best in the eyes of — with a real-world car you’ll be seeing on the streets any day

Of course sister company and a couple of others beat to the punch, but Renault is going out to embed its brand with cars.

If they truly are the way then the gamble will pay And it is a gamble — building new does not come cheap.

does have its impressive dci 130 diesel engines and will unveil a new range of efficient engines too — but it has ploughed amount of financial and political into EVs.

Should EVs not off — and there are many to suspect they may not — will be heading down a instead of an electric avenue.

RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars


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