Renault Starts EV Road Tests

Whereas its partner Nissan is on the verge of launching the world's first mass produced electric vehicle, French manufacturer Renault is just beginning road testing of its future line of EVs, which will be comprised of the Fluence ZE and Kangoo ZE.

Beginning this month, Renault will start an European tour which will take 10 electric vehicles through Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, UK, Belgium, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey and Nordic countries. The tour will end in February 2011, a few months before the cars are launched on the market.

Perhaps for the first time in the EV world, the tour will not be just a show and tell event, but a comparative test. People will be asked to drive the two models and compare them to one another.

Aside for the tour, Renault will carry out 10 customer experiments in Europe and Israel, together with partners EDF, RWE and Better Place. 660 cars will be handed to possible buyers, "guinea pigs" as Renault likes to call them for testing.

“The idea is to have electric cars used by "real customers" for a few months: a big opportunity to get real life feedback from customers and make the most of that,”
the carmaker says.

The Fluence ZEwill be powered by an electric motor that develops 95 horsepower and 226 Nm of torque and comes with a lithium-ion battery that ensures a range of 160 km. It will be released in 2011.

The Kangoo ZE will also offer an operating range of 160 km. According to Renault, the fact that the car is powered by an electric motor will not affect the carrying capacity of the vehicle. It will also hit the market next year.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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