|The Kangoo be bop Z.E. electric vehicle. Click to enlarge.|
Renault used the Annual General Meeting of its shareholders today in Paris, France, as the stage for introducing its new prototype electric vehicle, Kangoo be bop Z.E.. Renault said that the technology featured on this vehicle is very similar to that featured on the brand’s upcoming production electric vehicles which are currently under development.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is an all-electric zero emission (in road use) vehicle. It is powered by a 44 kW (60 hp) electric motor which revs to 12,000 rpm. Kangoo be bop Z.E.’s electric motor is coupled to a reducer which replaces the gearbox traditionally mated to heat engines. This reducer has a single, constant output ratio. Electrical energy is transmitted to the motor by a power electronics unit which incorporates the controller that delivers the required amount of energy to the rotor.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack produced by AESC (Automotive Electric Supply Corporation), a Nissan-NEC joint venture which was founded in April 2007. AESC is currently producing laminated lithium-ion cells using a manganese spinel cathode material (LiMn2O4). (Earlier post.) The AESC battery pack is expected to deliver between 80 and 100% of its original capacity for a duration of six years.
The compact dimensions of the lithium-ion pack enable the vehicle’s configuration to be optimized and a wide range of applications to be envisaged. In the case of Kangoo be bop Z.E., the battery is located underneath the dashboard. It consequently doesn’t encroach on either cabin space or boot capacity, making it possible to keep the same arrangement of four individual seats as that seen on the heat-engined Kangoo be bop.
The battery comprises 48 modules, each of which incorporates four cells. A year and a half ahead of the launch of Renault’s production electric vehicles, the 15 kWh battery of the Kangoo be bop Z.E. prototype delivers a range of approximately 100 km (62 miles). When released, Renault electric vehicles will profit from an evolution to their battery technology which will take their real-world range to 160 km (99 miles). The speed of the Kangoo be bop Z.E. is capped at 130 km/h (81 mph).
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is charged via a Marechal-type socket located behind a flap at the front of the vehicle alongside the right-hand headlamp. The other end of the cable is fitted with a normal plug which connects to the mains supply. This plug permits two different battery-charging modes:
A conventional charge via a household mains supply (10A or 16A 220V) which can charge the vehicle in a timescale of between six to eight hours. This mode is perfectly suited to vehicles which are parked up overnight or during the day at the workplace.
A quick charge using a 32A 400V three phase socket, enabling up to 80% of Kangoo be bop Z.E.’s capacity to be charged in approximately 30 minutes.
Twenty or so car manufacturers—including Renault—and energy groups have been working with the German group RWE with a view to developing a universal standard plug. This universal standard plug was shown at April’s Hanover Messe technology fair and will be used to charge the batteries of future Renault electric vehicles.
This three phase plug can be used with a 400V supply and will enable a complete charge in approximately 20 minutes. Kangoo be bop Z.E. is also equipped with a brake energy recovery system which enables it to be charged while on the move.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is derived from the production Kangoo be bop. Like the Z.E. Concept concept car which was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Kangoo be bop Z.E. is equipped with low-energy light-emitting diodes front and rear lighting with a view to optimizing energy use. Meanwhile, the car’s aerodynamics have been significantly reworked in order to reduce energy consumption.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has its sights set on becoming the leading manufacturer of massmarket zero emission vehicles. The Alliance is actively forging innovative associations with governments, city authorities and energy companies with a view to promoting the widespread use of electric vehicles across the world. Twenty-four such partnerships have already been sealed to date.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is planning to have a comprehensive range of high-quality, reliable, innovative and affordable electric vehicles. The first all-electric Nissan vehicle is due to be launched in the United States and Japan in 2010, and Nissan is set to market its electric vehicles worldwide from 2012.
Renault will start marketing all-electric models in 2011, beginning with a family sedan in Israel, and a utility version of New Kangoo in Europe. Two new vehicles are then scheduled for release in 2012.