Monday, October 31, 2011

Lithium Drive: Renault Fluence ZE – the best pure electric car yet? 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,, svb, ura.v,,,


  Finally, Renault is making headlines with its promised Electric Revolution. "Normal car", but better one - this electric car has all chances to make EV revolution to take to the streets. Pricing at the level of the ICE car and lease of Lithium batteries is making it the real game changer.

Lithium Drive: Electric Revolution: Renault announces order for over 15,000 Kango Z.E EVs by 19 companies

"Renault has promised us The Electric Revolution and now Kangoo Z.E. EV is launched at all Renault dealerships all across the France. We have expected more mass media attention in Europe, but event went quite low profile. Europe Kangoo EV launch is next and later Renault Fluence Z.E. will be coming out.
  The real revolution can be coming in the recently announced numbers of Renault Kangoo orders - 15,637 models have been ordered and it is compare to the Nissan Leaf world-wide sales of just above 7k units and GM Volt which are still below 4k. Even more impressive is the order from Better Place for Renault Fluence Z.E. for 115,000 electric cars! This is the way to move forward in electric space and we will monitor the delivery progress here.
  We are wondering what has happen with the massive GE order for GM Volts?"


"Renault Fluence ZE – the best pure electric car yet?

It may not be the breakthrough electric car the industry is waiting for, but the ZE makes big strides on range, price and looks

Will Dron

Jeremy Clarkson doesn't like electric cars. Among his more reasonable objections are that you can't go much further than 100 miles on a charge, and that the batteries might cost a bit to replace when they wear out.

Well, Renault's Fluence ZE might go some way to making him feel a bit warmer towards pure electric cars, at least on these fronts.

First of all, the Fluence "Zero Emissions" manages to look like a normal car. That's really not a given – the G-Wiz, for example, looks like something drawn by a sugar-addled five-year-old. The Fluence, by comparison, is a handsome and quite conventional saloon. Observers won't have a clue that it's powered by electrons instead of petrol.

Based on a petrol car's design, this electric version does 0-62mph in 13secs and a top speed of 84mph. Those aren't sports car numbers of course, but because the Fluence ZE delivers all of its torque from zero revs, it does manage to feel quicker than the numbers suggest.

The five-seat interior feels conventional. It's quite roomy up front and there is space in the back for a couple of adults. But because the battery pack lives between the back seat and the boot, the latter is a bit compromised. Otherwise, the only real clue that you're in a pure-electric car is the charge-level indicator where you'd normally find a rev counter. There is also a meter that shows how much energy you're using at any given moment.

And driving the Fluence ZE couldn't be easier. Turn the key and the word "Go" appears on the dash. Slot the automatic shifter into D and off you go. It really is that simple – once you're underway, the only clue that the Renault is electric is the eerie absence of noise at lower speeds and the seamless acceleration, unbroken by the usual gearshift jerks.

The Fluence ZE is actually quite good fun to drive on twisting roads, too. The ride quality, while firm, is not uncomfortable.

And now, the thing that everybody wants to know about – range. Renault says that the Fluence ZE can go 115 miles on a charge. But drive aggressively, as Clarkson might like to, and that could fall to 50 or 60 miles.

Renault is also attempting to address the battery life issue. When you buy the ZE, you own the car but only lease the battery. That means Renault sorts any problems that might arise and guarantees that the battery in your car will never have less than 75% of its original efficiency. And there's a wide range of battery hire options with Renault – for example, a three-year contract costs £81 per month with a 9,000-mile annual mileage allowance.

At £17,850 after the £5,000 government plug-in car grant, the Fluence ZE will be the least expensive pure-electric family car on sale mid-2012. Bear in mind, though, that you'll need to stump up another £799 to install the recommended home charging unit, as well as the monthly battery lease fee. Against that, running costs will be much lower than for a diesel or petrol-powered alternative.

I'm pretty sure that the Fluence ZE wouldn't convert Clarkson, but it could win over a great many others.

• Will Dron is managing editor of electric car site"
Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment