The roadshow will give more than 2,000 people a chance to test-drive these two electric vehicles. Kangoo Express Z.E. and Fluence Z.E. were both unveiled in April and will be the first models of the Renault Z.E. range to go on sale in the middle of 2011.
With one year to go before the launch of its first two electric vehicles, Renault is to embark on a Europe-wide tour with Kangoo Express Z.E. and Fluence Z.E.. The roadshow will give some 2,000 people – media, national and local authorities and opinion leaders – a chance to get behind the wheel of Renault’s two prototype electric vehicles.
Kangoo Express Z.E. and Fluence Z.E. were unveiled on April 15, 2010, since which time it has been possible to place pre-orders for the two models via the website www.renault-ze.com. After registering online, visitors to the site are able to select their vehicle and thereby enjoy priority access to their choice when the two models go on sale.
Aware of the impact that motor vehicles can have on the environment over their complete life cycle, Renault has been working actively for many years to achieve ongoing improvements regarding the ecological footprint of a vehicle at every phase of its life (production, on-road use, recycling). As demonstrated by its Renault eco² programme in favour of the environment, Renault believes it is essential to ensure that the most effective technologies are available to as many motorists as possible at an affordable price.
Electric vehicles represent a clean-break solution aimed at making CO2 emissions-free mobility in use, except wear parts. Renault estimates that electric vehicles will account for 10 per cent of the world market by 2020. The Alliance is investing €4 billion in its zero emissions programme and a 2,000-strong team (1,000 at Renault and 1,000 at Nissan) is already working on electric vehicles.
THE ZERO EMISSION† STRATEGY
It was in 2008 that the Renault-Nissan Alliance announced its intention to mass market zero emission vehicles. This clean break technology is the only affordable solution involving vehicles that emit neither CO2 nor harmful particulates.
Renault’s electric car product plan
From next year, Renault will begin to market four electric cars, starting with Kangoo Express Z.E. and Fluence Z.E., with lithium ion batteries, both of which are derived from models powered by an internal combustion engine. The range will then be extended to include two new, all-electric models which will have their own specific, innovative design based on the Twizy and Zoe concept cars.
This product plan will enable customers to find the type of vehicle they are looking for in Renault’s electric range, since the four models – a small city car, a compact hatchback, a family saloon and an LCV – are set to cover the vast majority of motorists’ needs.
Infrastructure and existing pilot projects
Within the framework of its zero emissions strategy, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is working actively with governments, administrative bodies, local authorities, energy providers and other partners. To date, it has signed more than 60 agreements across the world aimed at preparing markets and establishing the necessary infrastructure for the mass marketing of electric vehicles from 2011.
These privately- and publicly-steered undertakings indicate that the necessary infrastructures and charging facilities will be operational when electric vehicles come to market.
This will consequently reassure prospective electric vehicle users that simple, practical solutions will be in place to enable them to charge their battery, both at home and by the roadside.
Since beginning of 2011, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will work closely with a number of pilot projects aimed at evaluating full-scale mobility systems.
– the SAVE Project (Seine Aval Véhicules Electrique), in association with EDF, Schneider Electric and other partners in France’s Yvelines department,
– a scheme with German energy provider RWE (North Rhine-Westphalia),
– another scheme with Italian energy provider A2A (Lombardy),
– and the VERT Project on the French-administrated Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) which sets out to look at the special case of island communities.
An innovative business model
Renault’s objective is to make electric vehicle technology available to as many road users as possible. To this end, Renault will introduce a range of innovative ownership formulae.
For the first time, the vehicle and the battery will belong to different owners. Customers will either buy or hire their vehicle and take out a subscription that covers the hire of the battery and the availability of new mobility services designed to facilitate the life of consumers.
Renault’s aim is to market electric vehicles at prices comparable with those of a diesel-powered car of an equivalent size and equipment level. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of electric vehicles will be similar to that of internal combustion-engined vehicles from launch.
Renault’s electric vehicle production strategy
Renault will manufacture its first four zero-emission vehicles in four different factories, with production beginning mid 2011.
Renault will make the vehicle previewed by Zoe Z.E. Concept in Flins, near Paris, while the electric versions of Kangoo Express will be manufactured in Maubeuge, in northern France.
The car derived from the Twizy Z.E. Concept concept car will be produced at the Valladolid factory in Spain. Last but not least, electric versions of Fluence will be made in Bursa, Turkey.
This will permit Renault to supply Western Europe with zero-emission vehicles on a large scale thanks to the location of production plants as near as possible to the market. This will also allow Renault to benefit from the expertise of these factories with regard to productivity and quality.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance’s batteries
All Renault’s electric vehicles are powered by a latest-generation lithium-ion battery. The battery comprises 48 power modules, positioned in two rows, side by side. Modules are similar in size to a laptop computer and each one incorporates four elementary cells. It is inside these cells that the electrochemical reactions take place, enabling electrical current to be produced or energy to be stored.
The four cells of each module store 8.4V each, making a combined total of 400V for the 48 modules that make up the battery. These compact, innovative lithium-ion batteries are produced by AESC (Automotive Electric Supply Corporation), a Nissan-NEC joint venture founded in April 2007.
The performance of these batteries compared with former-generation nickel metal hydride batteries is superior in every domain, including range, performance, reliability and safety.
• Lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from the so-called memory effect resulting from incomplete charge cycles which can ultimately lead to a fall-off in capacity in the case of conventional batteries
• The battery is maintenance-free and delivers between 80 and 100 per cent of its original capacity for an average duration of six years. It will also be possible to charge it for short cycles with no adverse effect on capacity.
• The battery is cooled by ambient airflow thanks to the heat-dissipation properties of its aluminium casing
• The energy capacity is in break with that of the previous generations: 100 Wh/kg against 25 for a Lead ion battery and 63 for a NiMh battery.
Lithium-ion batteries are recyclable and the Renault-Nissan Alliance is actively working on establishing recycling processes and infrastructures suited to automotive batteries. It is important to remember that lithium-ion batteries – which are made up of non-toxic materials (lithium, manganese oxide or iron phosphate, and graphite) – do not present any danger for the environment, unlike former nickel-cadmium batteries.
To put the demand for lithium supplies into perspective, the Alliance’s AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corp.) 250kg batteries contain just 3kg of lithium. According to the mining companies Chemetall and SQM, worldwide lithium reserves are currently estimated to be between 14 and 17 million tonnes.
Range management is a key consideration when it comes to electric vehicles, and this is why Renault has made a point of making optimization as straightforward and efficient as possible. A specific MMI (Man Machine Interface) has been developed to keep the driver informed about the vehicle’s current state of charge and remaining range:
– a gauge alongside the speedometer displays the battery’s level of charge.
– an ‘econo-meter’ uses a new a new colour-coded system to tell the driver how economical his or her driving is in terms of energy consumption (light blue for ‘normal’ vehicle use, dark blue for ‘optimal’ driving and red for excessive energy consumption likely to reduce the vehicle’s range).
– The trip computer is adapted to the needs of electric vehicles and indicates the number of kWh remaining, average and instantaneous energy consumption and remaining range (in kilometres).
Driving an electric car can be fun, too, as the driver endeavours to accelerate as gently as possible with a view to minimizing energy consumption and maximizing range.
Three battery-charging techniques:
• A standard charge using a conventional plug via the household mains supply or at the workplace (between six and eight hours).
• Fast charge: permits batteries to be charged to 80 per cent of their capacity in 20 minutes.
• Battery exchange stations: rapid battery exchange in bespoke exchange stations. In Israel, Better Place is currently putting a network of such stations into place. About 100 will be operational in 2011 and they will be compatible with Renault’s first three-volume all-electric saloon car, Fluence Z.E.. Other stations will be opened progressively in other countries.
Battery production will become one of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s core activities. Renault and Nissan will produce lithium-ion batteries on three continents – America, Asia and Europe – in order to supply the assembly plants for the forthcoming EVs from a local source.
Batteries will initially be purchased from the Nissan-NEC joint venture AESC and imported from Japan. Factories will then gradually be established as close as possible to the vehicle production facilities.
Battery production facilities are currently under development in: Flins (France), Sunderland (UK), Cacia (Portugal), Smyrna (Tennessee, USA), Zama (Japan).
This multi-localization will lead to secure supplies and lower logistical costs, while also permitting higher production volumes. Thanks to this arrangement, the Alliance will eventually be capable of producing 475,000 batteries yearly.
Electric vehicle safety: at the heart of Renault’s priorities
As a major volume manufacturer, Renault has profited from its acclaimed knowhow in the realm of safety to produce electric vehicles that meet the same exacting standards expected of a current heat-engined vehicle.
Renault’s safety experts have added their own particular line of expertise to that of all those involved in the project. The advanced tools at Renault’s disposal include a range of structural dimensioning calculation software, failure and crash simulators, and physical prototype evaluation.
– Battery: the incorporation of a 250kg battery in the vehicle has not been without effect and has called for specific bracing of the body structure in order to protect against impact. Given that the battery is as sensitive a component as a conventional fuel tank, it, too, has undergone bespoke strengthening with a view to ensuring that its modules are effectively protected.
– Wiring : the layout of the electrical wiring has also been optimized with a view to preventing chafing, while the power supply is immediately switched off in the case of a big impact. Batteries should not overheat during everyday use, but their temperature is constantly monitored and abnormal heating is not permitted by the battery’s electronic control unit.
– Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC): all the electric, electronic and electro-mechanical equipment employed by Renault’s electric vehicles (e.g. the controls for the motor, charger and battery) must meet the brand’s own, exacting EMC standards which are even stricter than those dictated by European legislation. Compliance with these demands ensures that the systems of a given vehicle do not interfere with those of other vehicles, and viceversa.
Use / maintenance: Owners of electric vehicles may carry out everyday servicing work in compliance with the instructions provided in the user’s manual. Safeguards have been put into place to prevent accidents such as electrocution when working around the motor.
As is the case with all types of vehicle, the insulation and waterproofing of the vehicle’s electrics have been designed to cover foreseeable driving situations in complete safety (e.g. water crossings).
In exceptional circumstances, such as flooding or immersion, the damaged caused by water will not pose any particular risks, either for people or for the environment.
At speeds of less than 30kph, electric vehicles are extremely quiet, although it should be noted that electric vehicles can be heard beyond this speed – if only because of the road-noise generated by the Safety, one otyres, in addition to the sound of displaced air. In response to this apprehension, we are currently working on the artificial generation of noise that would be audible, for example, thanks to a loudspeaker located in the motor compartment.
Renault’s work in this domain anticipates possible forthcoming legislation.
When customers decide to buy new technology like an electric vehicle, it is absolutely essential that they feel totally reassured. The confidence inspired by a brand like Renault – which is widely acclaimed for the excellence of its work on safety, which stands out today as one of the industry’s very best carmakers in terms of quality, and which benefits from one of Europe’s most extensive networks – gives it a decisive edge over its competitors.
RENAULT FLUENCE Z.E. THE FIRST STATUS-ENHANCING ELECTRIC VEHICLE
Renault Fluence Z.E. will go on sale from 2011. As the C segment’s first production saloon electric vehicle, Renault Fluence Z.E. targets motorists and fleet operators who are looking for a status-enhancing vehicle that is both economical to run and respectful of the environment.
Renault Fluence Z.E. will be manufactured at the OYAK-Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey, on the same production line as the internal combustion engine-powered versions of Fluence. Production is due to begin in the first half of 2011.
As the compact segment’s first three-box electric vehicle, it was imperative that Renault Fluence Z.E. should be recognizable at first glance. To distinguish it from the internal combustion engined-version, it comes with a package of specific features and details that unmistakably associate it with Renault’s electric vehicle range.
The electric version of Fluence stands at a length of 4.75 metres, which is 13 centimetres longer than its internal combustion-engined cousin in order to accommodate the battery behind the rear seats. At the same time, the lines of its flanks have been revised in order to maintain the same overall balance as the original version.
At the front, the Renault logo, foglamp surrounds, headlamp brows and lower part of the headlamp mask are all picked out in a blue-hued colour. The upper air intake is traversed by a gloss black strip incorporating a blue chrome trim that links two similarly-finished circles situated either side of the grille. Finally, the lower air-intake incorporates a body-colour strip that runs between the two foglamps.
Renault Fluence Z.E.’s lines are taut and fluid, while the rear quarter panels have been harmoniously extended in order to absorb the additional length resulting from the longer rear overhang. This design encases the rear screen in a way that recalls the rear-end styling of prestigious sports coupés, while a gloss black trim at the bottom of the screen emphasizes the rear’s harmonious proportions. The design of the rear lights, which extend forward either side of the car, also contributes to the overall balance of Renault Fluence Z.E.’s lines. The clusters themselves feature a pattern made up of backlit blue-hued lozenges.
Gloss black exterior mirror housings, body-colour painted side protective mouldings and the battery charge flaps on both wings add the finishing touch to Renault Fluence Z.E.’s uniquely expressive looks, as do the boot lid’s blue-hued panel and the Fluence Z.E. badge. Last but not least, the rear bumper incorporates a black diffuser which is engineered to reduce aerodynamic drag, while the wheels have been specially designed to minimize turbulence. Several body colours are available, including Energy Blue, a new colour that is specific to Renault’s electric vehicle range.
A spacious, status-enhancing vehicle
Renault Fluence Z.E. is conclusive proof that electric vehicles do not have to be small, narrow and uncomfortable city cars with a limited touring ability. The new model is the same width as the internal combustion engined-version of Fluence, and the cabin space it
delivers is worthy of that of a saloon car from the next segment up, including best-in-class front and rear elbow room.
Renault Fluence Z.E.’s interior is based on the same layout as the internal combustion-engined version. Only the rev-counter has been replaced by a bespoke instrument which displays data concerning remaining range and battery charge. The decorative trim of the uncluttered dashboard is picked out in a colour that is exclusive to the model, while the centre console includes the displays "forward", "reverse", "neutral" and "parking" which are the different positions for the transmission control lever.
Renault Fluence Z.E. also packs a raft of useful technologies, including a built-in smart navigation system, Bluetooth telephony and automatic dual-zone climate control, plus automatic headlamp and windscreen-wiper activation.
Renault Fluence Z.E. targets families looking for a spacious, comfortable vehicle, and total boot space amounts to 300dm3 (VDA/ISO). The electric version of Renault Fluence is likely to figure on the shopping list of many fleet operators thanks to its low running costs.
Renault Fluence Z.E. is an entirely electric vehicle.
Fluence Z.E. is powered by a synchronous electric motor with rotor coil. Peak power is 70kW at 11,000rpm, while maximum torque is 226Nm. The weight of the motor – excluding peripherals – is 160kg. Acceleration performance is crisp and linear, with maximum torque available very early on.
The capacity of Renault Fluence Z.E.’s lithium-ion battery is 22kW/h. The battery itself tips the scales at 250kg and is located behind the rear seats in order to free up a boot volume of 300dm3 (VDA/ISO). An energy recovery system enables the battery to be charged when the car decelerates.
• Battery charging methods
It will be possible to charge the battery of Renault Fluence Z.E. in one of three ways:
– Via a household mains supply (10A or 16A, 220V) which will fully charge the battery in between six and eight hours. This method is particularly suited to vehicles which are charged during the workday or at night, since it permits owners to benefit from the off-peak rates available in certain countries.
– At fast charge stations using a 32A 400V supply which enables the battery to be charged in approximately 30 minutes (available in 2012 or 2013, depending on model).
– The QuickDrop battery switch system will enable Renault Fluence Z.E.’s battery to be swapped in approximately three minutes at bespoke battery exchange stations.
In order to adapt the ride to Renault Fluence Z.E.’s specific characteristics (dimensions, weight distribution), the suspension has revised settings compared with the layout seen on internal combution-engined versions of Fluence.
The front suspension setting is softer, since electric motors are lighter than all the internal combustion engines available for Fluence. Meanwhile, the rear suspension has been revised to cope with the heavier weight due to the presence of the battery.
Renault Fluence Z.E. runs on low rolling resistance tyres. The Goodyear-developed EfficientGrip enables lower energy consumption thanks to extensive work on tyre casings and sidewalls. The tread is identical to that of a conventional tyre in order to ensure high-performance road holding and braking.
• Dialled-in safety
The ABS and ESC electronic driving aids have been recalibrated. On the passive safety front, Renault Fluence Z.E.’s body structure has been strengthened in order to deliver the same high standard of safety performance as the shorter and consequently lighter internal combution-engined version.
Renault Fluence Z.E. will be manufactured at the OYAK-Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey, on the same production line as the internal combustion-engined versions of Fluence. Production will begin in the first half of 2011. This solution will enable Renault to minimize capital outlay and get production under way rapidly, while at the same time guaranteeing a very high standard of quality.
The production of Renault Fluence Z.E. at Bursa will also permit Renault to benefit from plant’s outstanding performance in terms of quality, cost and delivery times, as well as from its local network of suppliers. This in turn means that the Group will be able to market this zero-emission saloon car at prices that are as attractive as those of the internal combustion-engined versions of the model.
RENAULT KANGOO EXPRESS Z.E., THE ZERO EMISSION‡ LCV
Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. is a light commercial vehicle aimed at business users. It is due to be released in 2011 and will chiefly be used in and around built-up areas.
Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. targets extremely exacting business users looking to minimize running costs and has accordingly been engineered to guarantee a very high standard of reliability and durability. Its outstanding TCO rating (Total Cost of Ownership) makes it a first class solution for small businesses and fleet operators alike. It will also benefit from Renault’s extensive experience of van production. To this end, Renault has chosen to manufacture the electric version of Kangoo Express at its M.C.A. facilities (Maubeuge Carrosserie Automobile) in northern France. Production is due to begin in the first half of 2011.
The new vehicle will be manufactured on the same line as internal combustion-engined versions, and will consequently benefit from the same know-how, supplier network and logistical framework as the current Kangoo.
The Maubeuge plant has specialized in van production for 20 years and is capable of adapting both to the broad range of specifications associated with this type of vehicle (short and long versions, with or without windows, etc.) and to demand. The choice of Maubeuge will enable production to get under way rapidly, while at the same time guaranteeing a very high standard of quality.
Kangoo Express Z.E.’s exterior styling
The length of Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. stands at 4.21 metres, while carrying capacity ranges from 3 to 3.5m3. The battery is located in a central position beneath the floor, enabling the electric version of Kangoo to boast the same carrying capacity as the internal combustion-engined version. The asymmetric hinged rear doors and sliding side door provide easy access to the cargo area.
New Kangoo Express Z.E.’s overall design is similar to that of the internal combustion-engined version, with a short nose, robust front end and teardrop-shaped crystal headlamps. A chromed Z.E. badge in the form of a leaf with turquoise lettering at the rear indicates that it is an electric vehicle. The flap situated at the front of the vehicle, near the right-hand headlamp, is badged "Z.E.", another sign that this vehicle is powered by electricity. Energyefficiency is further enhanced by the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres.
New Kangoo Express Z.E. will be available in a choice of 11 different special effect or non-metallic body colours, and the colour that has been chosen for the launch is Silver Blue. Customers will also be to specify the colours of their business, since Kangoo Express Z.E. is above all intended for fleet use.
Kangoo Express Z.E.’s interior
Range management is a key factor when it comes to electric vehicles, and Renault has taken significant steps to make this aspect as straightforward and efficient as possible. A specific dashboard display has been developed to ensure that the driver is kept informed about remaining battery charge and operational range:
– a gauge alongside the speedometer indicates how much battery charge remains, – an ‘econo’-meter provides the driver with an indication of energy consumption based on a system that employs three colours: light blue depicts normal use, dark blue reveals optimal energy use, while red informs drivers when they are using excessive energy in a way that will have an adverse effect on the vehicle’s operational range,
– the speedometer needle moves across a turquoise arc,
– the trip computer’s functions are adapted to the needs of electric vehicles. It displays remaining range and remaining battery energy (kWh), as well as real-time and average energy consumption.
An all-electric motor
Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. is an all-electric vehicle. Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. is powered by a 44kW electric motor which boasts energy efficiency of 90 per cent, a figure that is far superior to the 25 per cent associated with internal combustion engines which suffer from energy losses. For example, when an electric vehicle consumes 10kWh of energy, 9kWh is actually transmitted to the wheels, compared with just 2.5kWh in the case of an internal combustion engine.
This motor revs to 10,500rpm and instantly delivers peak torque, which is a constant 226Nm. Acceleration from low speed is particularly responsive. The electric motor is very quiet, too. The 22kWh battery is located beneath the boot floor and does not affect Kangoo Express Z.E.’s load capacity.
When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the lithium-ion battery transmits energy to the electric motor. The latter converts this energy into mechanical movement which is in turn transmitted to the driven wheels. The battery charges whenever the vehicle decelerates. When the driver lifts his or her foot from the pedal, the vehicle’s kinetic energy is recovered by the motor which converts it into electric current. The current generated is stored in the battery.
The vehicle’s other ride-related performance features (control of body roll, steering, etc.) are identical to those of the internal combustion-engined Renault Kangoo Express.
Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. is charged via a socket located behind a flap alongside the right-hand headlamp. A conventional charge via a household mains supply (16A 220V) will charge the vehicle in between six and eight hours. This method is perfectly suited to vehicles that are parked up overnight or during the day at the workplace. Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. will go on sale in the first half of 2011 with an operational range of 160km.