|Kangoo Maxi ZE. Click to enlarge.|
Renault is adding a fifth model to its lineup of four electric vehicles (earlier post), the new Kangoo Maxi ZE; Renault will thus have two electric vehicles in the small van segment by the end of 2011, the other being the Kangoo Express ZE. Kangoo Maxi ZE is an extended version of Kangoo ZE which was unveiled at last year’s Hanover Motor Show, in Germany. The wheelbase has been lengthened by almost 40cm to obtain an overall length of 4.60 meters, and the van will be available in two- and five-seater form.
The first of these two versions essentially targets transport use. Its two front seats are separated from the cargo carrying area by an optional bulkhead. This configuration optimizes Kangoo Maxi ZE’s carrying capacity, resulting in a carrying capacity of up to 4.6m3 (which is 1.1m3 more than Kangoo ZE) and maximum load length of up to 2.90 meters.
Its height of 1.82 metres permits access to underground car parks. The equipment and options that can be ordered for the internal combustion-engined version of Kangoo Maxi will also be available for Kangoo Maxi ZE.
The crew van version of Kangoo Maxi ZE comes with a 60/40-split folding rear benchseat and seats up to five occupants. This modular van can be put into one of four different interior layouts depending on the number of passengers. The rear benchseat folds away into the floor to produce a completely flat deck and free up almost 3.4m3 of carrying space.
A 44kW, (226 N·m) synchronous electric motor with rotor coil underneath the hood is powered by a 22kWh lithium-ion battery located beneath the floor. The Maxi ZE features a direct transmission with a reduction gear. The vehicle’s combined-cycle range of 170 km (106 miles) NEDC can vary one way or the other depending on factors such as type of road, temperature, speed or driving style. Top speed is limited to 130 km/h (81 mph).
To optimize range management, the dashboard has been revised to incorporate a new HMI (Human Machine Interface) which displays the battery’s level of charge and the vehicle’s remaining range (in kilometers). Eco-driving systems and the ability to pre-heat the vehicle while the battery is being charged have also been developed. To further optimize range and reassure customers, Renault will market a number of connected services, tailored to meet the needs of individual motorists (Connected Pack) or fleet managers (Fleet Asset Management).
Kangoo Maxi ZE will go on sale in autumn 2011 in Europe at a pre-tax price of €21,200 (US$29,000)—not including the battery subscription—for the two-seater version, or €22,000 (US$30,000) for the five-seater crew van version. The €5,000 subsidy available in certain countries such as France will bring this price down to the equivalent of that of a diesel Kangoo Maxi, i.e. €16,200 (US$22,000) and €17,000 (US$23,000) respectively.
As is the case for the rest of its electric vehicle range, Renault separates ownership of the vehicle and battery. Customers will either buy or lease their vans and take out a monthly subscription for the battery, with pre-tax prices starting from €72/month (US$99). Renault calculates that running costs—including battery lease, the electricity required for battery charging (average for a full charge: €1.5) and maintenance—will be similar to those of an equivalent internal combustion-engined vehicle when the annual distance travelled is less than 15,000 km (9,300 miles). They will be competitive when the annual distance travelled exceeds this figure.
Kangoo Maxi ZE carries over the same overall interior and exterior styling as the internal combustion-engined version. The model will be built at Renault’s MCA plant (Maubeuge Carrosserie Automobile) in France, on the same lines as those which manufacture the rest of the Kangoo range.
By the end of 2011, the Kangoo line-up will offer business customers a range of vans with seven models, a choice of three lengths and three energy types (gasoline, diesel or electric).