Renault unveils electric Fluence, Kangoo van

The Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Van Z.E. prototypes have been finalised and will now be produced ready for UK launch next year.

The first ever production saloon electric vehicle, the Fluence Z.E. breaks new ground in the electric vehicle segment and Renault claims it offers class-leading elbow room inside despite the battery behind the rear seats.

The exterior has been redesigned with battery charge flaps on both wings and a longer rear overhand. A sports-coupe inspired rear end features new rear lights and a rear screen with gloss black trim.

A 70kW motor powers the Fluence Z.E. and energy is stored in a 22kW/h lithium-ion battery. The battery can be charged in six to eight hours using a standard charger or in just 30 minutes with a 400V supply.

Owners of the four-door electric saloon will lease the battery separately from the car and a new QuickDrop system means the battery can be changed in three minutes.

The Kangoo Van Z.E. houses its lithium-ion battery beneath the boot floor. This means the van boasts the same payload (650kg) and load capacity 3.5 cubic metres) as the combustion engine-powered models.

The van has a range of 160km and like the Fluence Z.E., can be charged via a household or a 400V socket. The motor supplies 44kW of power and Renault claims it boosts energy efficiency by 80 per cent over diesel models.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Van Z.E. will be arrive in Europe in 2011, although customers can register interest for them on the Renault website.