Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lithium Drive: All-electric Renault Fluence Z.E. saloon delivers quiet and relaxed zero-emissions driving at a sensible price ilc.v, tnr.v, czx.v, rm.v, lmr.v, abn.v, asm.v, btt.v, bva.v, bvg.v, epz.v, fst.v, gbn.v, hao.v, jnn.v, ks.v, ktn.v, kxm.v, mgn, mxr.v, rvm.to, svb, ura.v, nup.ax, srz.ax, usa.ax


  Renault talks about The Electric Revolution in 3 days and we think that Renault business model with lease of the lithium batteries will be the game changer in the electric cars market space. Can Europe lead the way in the electric cars space? By all means - if you consider the price of gas at over $8 per gallon in UK now.

Lithium Drive: Renault Z.E.: Putting An End To The Myths About Electric Cars

"Renault is moving forward with its Electric Revolution to be unveiled in the next couple of weeks. The company has produced the great documentary about Electric Cars and will launch its new marketing scheme with leasing Lithium batteries instead of selling them. It will be the game changer in the Electric space. Innovative approach allows to sell EVs at the price of the similar car with ICE, when lease payments for the battery and payments for the electricity will be less than the gas bills. All the Green credits are yours as the  difference, when the Oil price will continue its rise. The very important issues of the Lithium battery reliability, warranty and upgrade will be taken out of the customer decision process - Renault will manage your Lithium battery for you. It is simple, but very logical and powerful solution and will make mass market for Electric Cars reality. We do never pay for the gas upfront - why should we pay to drive Electric?
  Visit Renault Z.E website for the interactive information board:"

Electric Vehicle Lithium Battery Market to Reach $14.6 Billion in Revenues by 2017, According to Pike Research

"Now we can talk about the growth and the hot market for the Lithium batteries. Asia is leading the way forward and Asian trading houses and Lithium materials producers are securing the Lithium supply for the Green Revolution in transportationWith Oil moving above $90 today more bids are coming into the Lithium developers space which are bitten into the dust with the end of the world scare during past couple of months. Insiders are buying into Orocobre Lithium and International Lithium now and, maybe, this sell off will be another major entry point into this generational Bull market. Future will tell."


By Luke Madden

Electric vehicles are currently limited to hatchback models like the Nissan Leaf – but Renault is about to change all that with the introduction of the Renault Fluence Z.E. saloon.

While you might not recognise it, the Fluence is already produced for European markets with a traditional combustion engine. In this Z.E. guise it’s powered by a 70kW electric motor – about 94bhp – and produces 226Nm of torque.

To fit the Fluence with the batteries necessary to power an electric car, Renault engineers have had to stretch the body by 130mm and it shows in the slightly awkward silhouette. Otherwise though, the Fluence Z.E. looks like any other car and, aside from the charging flaps on both front fenders, you’d be hard pushed to tell it was an electric vehicle. Look closely though and the giveaways are blue tinted lights and badges.

Inside is a well-built cabin with soft-touch materials covering the dashboard and a range of solid feeling buttons and switches. This car’s battery-powered status is marked out by bespoke dials and a few Z.E. badges.

Changes under the skin are more thorough. The electric motor is about 40kgs lighter than a traditional diesel engine but the batteries – located at the rear – add an extra 280kgs. This makes the front suspension softer while the rear subframe has been strengthened to deal with the extra weight.

The driving experience is typical of an electric car with 226Nm delivered from a standstill. That allows for punchy acceleration that's so impressive we couldn't believe the official 0-62mph time of 13 seconds. Meanwhile the lack of vibration and noise from the engine do wonders for refinement around town.

Handling is safe and predictable but never particularly rewarding. This feels like a car more geared for town driving with a soft ride and light, but precise steering.

Range is still a concern though, with Renault claiming an official figure of 115 miles, dropping as low as 50 miles under the worst conditions. By contrast they say good conditions will allow for up to 125 miles of zero tailpipe emissions motoring.

To top up the batteries you can get a Wall-Box installed at your house for £799 which will fully charge the battery in six to eight hours – charging from a normal 240v socket will take between 10 and 12 hours.

At launch Renault is only offering one version of the Fluence – called Prime Time – and it costs from £17,850 including the £5,000 government grant for electric vehicles.

The price is so low because it doesn’t include the expensive batteries; instead Renault will lease these to you on a monthly basis. For example a 9,000-mile-a-year lease over three years will cost £81 – though covering 15,000 miles a year will warrant a monthly cost of £103.80.

Renault bills the Fluence Z.E. as the first all-electric saloon car and it’s based on the combustion engine Fluence sold elsewhere in the world – but not in the UK. Buyers pay for the car and lease the expensive batteries for a monthly fee and in return they’re rewarded with cheap running costs and zero exhaust emissions.


Although the Renault Fluence Z.E. may be new to the UK, the design itself has been around in Europe for a while now and it’s beginning to show its age. Renault has done its best to make the Fluence Z.E. look futuristic with blue tinted badges and exterior trim but it’s not a particularly exciting design. To fit the large battery pack engineers have had to stretch the Fluence’s body too which makes it look slightly stretched. Inside the cabin you’re greeted by an interior that feels functional and well-built. The dash is covered in soft-touch plastic and there’s a good range of equipment included too. Changes over the combustion-engined car include Z.E. badging on the dash and new dials showing battery charge and energy usage.

Driving and Performance

Despite only boasting 94bhp the Fluence feels like it has plenty of power. That’s down to the 226Nm torque figure that – unlike a combustion-engined car – is available as soon as you put your foot down. This means acceleration off the line is impressive but it certainly doesn't look it from its official 13-second 0-62mph time.

MPG and running costs

Running costs should be less than a combustion engined car, with a full charge expected to cost around £3. The monthly lease price of the battery depends on your mileage but for most it should be £81. Renault is keen to point out that servicing and insurance costs will also be lower than a traditional car.


The Fluence Z.E. is a large car with a spacious interior. There’s room to seat three adults across the back bench while boot space is 317 litres. Normally electric conversions lose boot space because of the bulky batteries but the lengthened body has ensured this figure is identical to the standard Fluence. There’s a wide 1,020mm opening and low 698mm sill which makes loading extremely easy.

Safety and reliability

People will no doubt have worries about battery technology but Renault offers various warranties and guarantees to give buyers peace of mind. Included in the lease price is breakdown cover if you run out of charge and Renault is committed to providing you with a battery that has at least 75 per cent of the full charge capacity it had when new. The heavy batteries shouldn't pose any extra danger during a crash either as Renault has braced the rear subframe to ensure the batteries can't pierce through into the cabin during a rear impact.

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