Renault Unveils Finalized Designs of Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Express Z.E.; Opens Pre-Reservations
15 April 2010
|The Fluence Z.E. Click to enlarge.|
Renault has unveiled the finalized designs of Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Express Z.E., and has opened pre-reservations on the website www.renault-ze.com. Registration allows prospective buyers to choose their electric vehicle and benefit from priority availability as soon as it comes onto the market.
Renault estimates that electric vehicles will account for 10% of the world market by 2020. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is investing €4 billion (US$5.4 billion) in its electric mobility and a 2,000-strong team (1,000 at Renault and 1,000 at Nissan) is already working on electric vehicles.
Fluence Z.E. Renault says that it is targeting the Fluence Z.E., which is due to go on sale in Israel, Denmark and the rest of Europe from 2011, at motorists and fleet operators who are looking for a “status-enhancing vehicle” that is both economical to run and respectful of the environment.
Renault strove to make the Fluence Z.E.—the compact segment’s first three-box electric vehicle—recognizable at first glance. To distinguish it from the internal combustion engined-version, it comes with a package of specific features and details that associate it with Renault’s electric vehicle range.
The electric version of Fluence stands at a length of 4.75 meters, which is 13 centimeters longer than its internal combustion-engined cousin in order to accommodate the battery behind the rear seats.
Fluence Z.E. is powered by a synchronous electric motor with rotor coil. Peak power is 70 kW000 rpm,000rpm, while maximum torque is 226 N·m (167 lb-ft). The weight of the motor—excluding peripherals—is 160 kg.
The capacity of Renault Fluence Z.E.’s lithium-ion battery is 22 kWh. The battery weighs 250 g and is located behind the rear seats in order to free up a trunk volume of 300 dm3 (VDA/ISO). An energy recovery system enables the battery to be charged when the car decelerates.
Charging is possible in one of three ways: via a household mains supply (10A or 16A, 220V) which will fully charge the battery in between six and 9 eight hours; 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); and the QuickDrop battery switch system which 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 oncombustion-enginedionengined 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 tires. The Goodyear-developed EfficientGrip enables lower energy consumption thanks to extensive work on tire casings and sidewalls. The tread is identical to that of a conventional tire in order to ensure high-performance road holding and braking.
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 combustion-engined version.
Range is 160 km (99 miles) NEDC combined cycle. Top speed is 135 km/h (84 mph).
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.
|The Kangoo Express Z.E. Click to enlarge.|
Kangoo Express Z.E. This light commercial vehicle aimed at business users will be released in the first half of 2011 and with an operational range of 160 km (99 miles). The 22 kWh battery pack is located in a central position beneath the floor, enabling the electric version of Kangoo to offer the same carrying capacity (from 3 to 3.5 m3) as the internal combustion-engined version.
Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. is powered by a 44 kW electric motor, with a peak torque of 226 N·m. 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 says.
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.
Batteries. 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, according to the Alliance. Annual produciton capacity will eventually reach 475,000 units.
Renault-Nissan approach to e-vehicles and batteries mass production is smart, distributed and production can be increased to match the local and worldwide markets.
Wonder how long it will take Renault-Nissan to come up with JV with local producers in China and India to meet those tow future huge markets and to produce lower cost e-cars..
Posted by: HarveyD | 15 April 2010 at 09:17 AM
Not a word about range is posted. At the cost of approximately $1000 US per Kwh for a lithium battery one can't help but wonder who would buy such a vehicle.
Posted by: Mannstein | 15 April 2010 at 09:38 AM
Range is 160 km (99 miles) NEDC combined cycle. Top speed is 135 km/h (84 mph).
Posted by: Nick Lyons | 15 April 2010 at 09:58 AM
Speaking of their "Fluence ZE", I reckon it is too big a car for it to be an all-electric one. A car of this size (4 metres 75 and no words on its weight) would have to be a hybrid (series or series-parallel, the best systems to me). My reasoning is that ev's will be used primarily in built-up areas due to range issues and thus small is better-suited. I will have a bet and say it won't be successful.
Posted by: broze | 15 April 2010 at 12:33 PM
@Mannstein "At the cost of approximately $1000 US per Kwh for a lithium battery"
Have you been keeping up with Renault-Nissan's EV programme? They've publically stated that the *packs* are less than $350/kwH - I expect with the investments they've made over a long period of time and using a chemistry that uses hardly any cobalt they're going to be knocking out these packs at about $250/kwH if that. So... enjoy the EV revolution!
Posted by: KronA | 15 April 2010 at 01:00 PM
Carlos Ghosn recently said that it wont be long for BEVs to match equivalent ICE in price. Mass produced improved performance batteries will be much cheaper by 2015. With less total weight, lighter improved batteries will supply better e-range between charges.
Basic BEVs are not very complex, have less parts and should not cost as much when batteries price come down.
Posted by: HarveyD | 15 April 2010 at 01:47 PM
The article mentions a weight of 160 kg for the electric motor. That must be a typo. A 70 kW electric motor is more like 16 kg. The much more powerful motor in the Tesla Roadster for example reportedly weighs 32 kg.
Posted by: Arne | 16 April 2010 at 05:39 AM
Very shrewd Anne. You are most probably right about the e-motor weight unless they have included all controls and cooling systems etc..
Posted by: HarveyD | 16 April 2010 at 12:10 PM
It's even better than that, see how light the battery is:
"The battery weighs 250 g and is located behind the rear seats"
If only it were true. Yes I think we can say the motor is 15kg and the batteries are 250kg. Not a bad combined weight when you consider there's no engine, gearbox and exhaust system.
Posted by: KronA | 16 April 2010 at 12:26 PM
At $5.1B invested, it's hard for people to say nothing's being done about fossil fuel consumption. These are not trvial amounts for people in business to make profits. And with the cost at $250/kWh li-ion batteries will no longer push total pricing beyond entry level buyers.
There's plenty going on to counter fossil fuel use - attention NPR.
Posted by: sulleny | 16 April 2010 at 02:48 PM
Miev, Leaf now these. Do you think we will see a BEV version of the Clarity magically come out of nowhere?
Posted by: 3PeaceSweet | 16 April 2010 at 03:18 PM
A BEV Clarity? "Make no mistake" - a 300 miles range charged at a filling station is the only working model for personal mobility, whatever the cost!
Posted by: KronA | 17 April 2010 at 03:35 PM
The weight of Tesla Roadster motor is 110 lbs (50 kg). Pre-production version of the motor was 70 lbs (32 kg). It has probably the highest power/weight ratio of any non-PM based motors.
Increased weight for the same (peak) power, with only air cooling, means that the motor can sustain longer runs at high power (because of higher thermal capacity).
Obviously there are some typos in the text, but the motor is I believe at least 40 kg. Renault went for cheaper option (non PM). The async motor (like in Tesla roadster and BMW mini prototype) is much more complex to program, not too many people around with experience in vector control.
When I first saw 160 kg motor, I thought Renault contracted out the design of motor to Alstom, and they made it by downsizing a locomotive motor.
Posted by: MG | 18 April 2010 at 04:23 AM
Synchronous electric motor with wound rotor (like the one here) was used in earlier models of French TGV trains (? made by Alstom), don't know what type the new ones use. Newer (UK design) Channel tunnel train use the asynchronous motor as in Tesla roadster.
Actually that/asynchronous motor would be called "Tesla motor", if Tesla was German (or English, or American), as rightfully as Diesel motor, after his inventor.
The low weight of electric motor in this configuration (with heavy battery pack behind rear wheels) is not a priority IMO, would leave very low percent of weight on front axle, and make the car dangereous to drive, like once NSU Prinz - many people were unable to follow sharp corners and crashed.
This type of synchronous motor use replaceable brushes (can last thousands of hours, almost like timing belts in ICEs) that produce dust that needs to be removed. Good thing is that the motor spins only when car moves (except on dyno) and therefore creates airflow that can be used for dust blowing.
Posted by: MG | 18 April 2010 at 05:01 AM