Under the Skin Renault at the Paris motor show

28 Мар 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Under the Skin Renault at the Paris motor show отключены
RENAULT Kangoo Van Z.E. – 22 kWh Li-ion

Overview: Renault at the Paris motor show


Renault s forthcoming range of electric vehicles has been in the news for the better part of a year. It s not just because a major manufacturer is launching several electrically-powered vehicles relatively soon though you won t be able to take delivery of an electric Renault passenger car for well over a year but also because the cars have taken shape in front of our eyes, with prototypes turning into production models and technical details finalised.

Here is a quick reminder of what Renault will be selling. Each electrically-powered model is designated Z.E. for zero emissions , though we re none too fond of this phrase.

Fluence: This Turkish-built three-box saloon is based on Mйgane running-gear and is normally powered by Renault s diesel and petrol engines. The Z.E. version is visually different from its internally-combusted siblings: partly (at the front) for marketing reasons, and partly (at the rear) to maintain boost-space while accommodating the bulky battery-pack bhind the rear seat. The Fluence Z.E. will be launched in Britain in 2012.

Kangoo van: British buyers can already order one, but deliveries won t begin until late next year. Like the Fluence, the electric Kangoo is based on a conventionally-powered vehicle; the battery-pack is hidden under the load-floor, and there are few aesthetic differences.

Twizy: New from the ground up, this low-powered two-sweater urban runabout will be available from early 2012.

Zoe: Available from mid-2012, the Zoe is a small hatchback, breaking no new ground in its format but designed from the outset for electric power.

In an attempt to make its electric vehicles affordable, Renault has excluded the (very high) cost of the vehicle s battery from the purchase price. The battery-pack is leased according to a separate agreement. Renault is also offering a one-stop shop for insurance and for obtaining a wall-box battery-charging station for the owner s home.

The result is that if you are able to obtain a government grant for buying the vehicle, its price (excluding the battery) should be roughly the same as an equivalent diesel-engined model. In the case of the Fluence Z.E. the mainland European price will be around #x20ac;26,000 (depending on local VAT rates). In France, after deducting the government s #x20ac;5000 incentive, the purchase price works out to be #x20ac;21,300 inclusive of local VAT.

British prices for Renault Kangoo van Z.E. will start from £16,990, excluding VAT and the separate cost of leasing the battery-pack. In mainland Europe, battery lease for a Fluence Z.E. is #x20ac;79 per month including VAT assuming the car does not exceed 10,000km a year. British customers for the Kangoo van will pay £59 per month for a four-year, 9000 miles per annum agreement.

As we have described elsewhere on these pages, there are three methods for keeping a Renault E.V. charged.

Standard charge: This will be the most common method of charging. The vehicle would be charged at home or at a publically-accessible charging point. A full charge will take between 3.5 and eight hours, depending on model Twizy, 3.5 hours; Kangoo Z.E. Zoe and Fluence between six and eight hours).

For charging at home there are two methods: either a connection via a wall-box (this protects the domestic circuit) or EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). The recommended option is the wall-box, with the advantages of ergonomics, speed, load optimisation and protection of both the domestic circuit and the vehicle.

Fast charge: In an emergency, when the customer needs to charge the battery quickly, they can connect via a public fast charge point. This will give 37 miles range in less than 10 minutes or 80 per cent. battery capacity in 30 minutes. This system will be will be available on the Zoe and, at a later date, on the Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Van Z.E.

Quickdrop battery exchange stations: In some countries, Quickdrop battery exchange stations will be available. The customer will be able to change his depeleted battery for a fully-charged battery, a process that Renault says takes only three minutes. This scheme is currently planned in Israel and Denmark, in partnership with Better Place.

Both Zoe and Fluence are equipped to operate with Quickdrop, where available.

Drivers main concern when it comes to electric vehicles is undoubtedly range. When charging infrastructure is well developed, this worry will disappear; at present, reassuring potential buyers that driving an electric car will not be a fraught experience is one of Renault s chief concerns. The instrument displays fitted to the Company s E.V.s give information about about the state of charge of their battery and the estimated remaining range. There is also an econometer to inform the driver about his real-time energy consumption by means of a simple colour-coding system: light blue represents normal vehicle use, dark blue for optimal use and red to warn of excessive energy consumption.

Of course, this information in itself does not provide charging stations.

As a further aid, Renault fits the Carminat TomTom smart navigation system to its electric passenger cars. This takes range-related data into account, and permanently displays the location of the nearest Quickdrop or battery charging station.

As you would expect, kinetic energy capture is a feature of the Renault Z.E.s.

Test fleet

Ahead of the Renault Z.E. line-up s release from the middle of 2011, a fleet of 600 prototype vehicles will be on the road in the hands of corporate customers. This real-life testing will take place in 10 countries, and the vehicles are expected to clock up several hundred thousand kilometres in total.

Each local test fleet will be tasked with a number of objectives aimed at evaluating both the vehicles and their eco-system :

The testing of the vehicles in real-world conditions by demanding fleet operators and collecting their observations.

An evaluation of how customers use their vehicles in real-world situations.

An appraisal of the technical solutions used for charging batteries standard charge, fast charge stations, usage, frequency of charging, duration of each charge and so on.

An evaluation of the economic models associated with electric vehicles.

The operation will permit Renault and its partners to evaluate technical solutions and economic models in real-world situations. This will help the companies prepare for the large-scale appearance of electric vehicles on the roads.


Renault s Kangoo Van Z.E. is a compact light commercial vehicle intended for use mainly in built-up areas and suburbs. Its carrying capacity 3 or 3.5m³ depending on the version is identical to that of the conventionally-powered version.

The Kangoo s battery-pack is the 22kWh lithium-ion unit used in other Renault E.V.s, charged by way of a socket behind a flap next to the offside headlamp. Using an ordinary mains supply (230V 16A), the battery can be charged completely in between six and eight hours; unfortunately, and probably for cost reasons, a fast-charging facility is not available. The NEDC combined cycle operating range is 100 miles.

The Kangoo can be pre-heated or pre-cooled while the battery is being charged.

The electric version of the Kangoo will be manufactured alongside conventional versions at Renault s MCA de Maubeuge plant in France.


The Renault Fluence Z.E. is due to go on sale in Europe from mid-2011, and will be the market s first mass-produced electric saloon car. Based on the conventionally-powered version, with changes to the rear structure, the passenger space is unaffected by the new drivetrain. The boot has been extended to maintain space which would otherwise be lost through the mounting of the battery-pack behind the rear seats.

The NEDC combined cycle operating range of the Fluence Z.E. is 100 miles. Like the Kangoo, the Fluence can be pre-heated or pre-cooled when the battery is being charged.

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