First drive Renault Kangoo ZE

30/11/2011 in

print twitter fb in
Read more:

"It’s not until you climb aboard an electric vehicle and glide off down the road that you appreciate just how smooth, quiet and efficient they are."

  • Renault Kangoo ZE
No Information available
Calculate running costs for this vehicle

It’s not until you climb aboard an electric vehicle and glide off down the road that you appreciate just how smooth, quiet and efficient they are.

There are doubts over the future of electric power, mainly due to price and range limitations, but whatever the practicalities, everyone will love the driving experience.

Turn the key of the Renault Kangoo ZE and all that happens is that a few lights start winking on the dashboard. Put the gear lever in drive (it’s similar to an automatic), dab your foot on the accelerator and your vehicle surges forward, totally silently and at a surprising pace.

Being an electric motor, maximum torque is available from 0mph, so it initially feels like this van is flying, despite on paper there being only the equivalent of 60bhp on tap.

With most mileage likely to be stop-start in urban areas, the more relevant 0-31mph time comes in a spritely five seconds, although the 0-62mph time is a rather more sluggish 20 seconds.

We tried both standard and Maxi versions and both impressed. It’s not just the smoothness of this van but, as the batteries are slung under the floor with their 280kg weight low down, road handling is not compromised.

The Kangoo features an Eco button which restricts torque and speed to boost range by up to 10% (maximum range is 106 miles). In town there was no noticeable drop in performance.
However, on the open road the Kangoo felt sluggish and I ended up sticking my foot to the floor, over-riding the ECO mode.

Electric vans have to be driven differently from diesels to get maximum efficiency and that’s where the Econometer, which tells you how much energy is being used, comes in handy. By keeping an eye on whether it was leaning towards dark blue (optimum) or red (high usage), I soon got the hang of economy motoring.

Renault has opted for to lease the battery separately to the vehicle, which changes the funding dynamics. With vans prices starting at £16,900, the battery lease adds £85 a month. Glass’s has given this approach its blessing by setting an impressive 45.7% three-year residual value.
I came on this launch an EV sceptic but left with a huge amount of respect for this Renault Kangoo proposition.

By Trevor Gelken

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

comment-top

Comment:

(no need to login)

Your name:

Your email:

(will not be shown)


Please enter the code above.


Notify me when people reply

Click here to login to leave a comment
comment-bottom

Comments (0)

Fleet Recruitment
Latest Fleet News
Fuel Cost Calculator

© 2014 Bauer Automotive
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)