The Renault Fluence Z.E is the newest in a forthcoming range of electric cars to come from the French vehicle maker.
key highlights of the vehicle are as follows,
- Fluence Z.E. joins Kangoo Van Z.E. as second model to arrive in UK to launch Renault’s industry-leading electric vehicle assault
- Europe’s first all-electric C-segment saloon, based on the petrol/diesel Fluence which is sold globally
- Installation of electric drivetrain brings no compromise in passenger or loadspace. Vehicle gains 130mm in overall length so lithium-ion battery can be located between the rear seats and the boot
- Affordable monthly battery hire scheme gives customers value for money and complete peace of mind
- 70kW (95hp) electric motor delivers 226Nm of torque for crisp acceleration and confident cruising
- Driving range up to 115 miles (New European Driving Cycle)
- Eco Mode maximises vehicle range by reducing power consumption from climate control system
- Simple and safe battery recharging – full charge possible in six to eight hours, via Renault’s recommended wall box system from British Gas
- Available to order in the UK from 1st March 2012 in Expression+ and Dynamique trim levels
- No stinting on standard features, which include Carminat TomTom satellite navigation, automatic headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, 16” alloy wheels and electric windows and door mirrors and Bluetooth
- Customers supported by UK network of specialist dealerships and service centres (Z.E. Experts)
- Renault 4+ customer care package: four year/100,000-mile warranty, free 4 years/48,000 miles routine servicing, free four years roadside assistance and four years finance package if desired. Electric drivetrain warranty of up to five years/100,000 miles
- Fluence Z.E. built exclusively at the OYAK-Renault plant in Bursa, Turkey
Its first wave of electric-powered Z.E. range – zero emissions in use – includes Fluence Z.E., the first production C-segment saloon electric vehicle in Europe. It is aimed at motorists and fleet operators who want a car that is economical to run and respectful of the environment, and which will contribute to personal or corporate commitments to reducing carbon emissions.
Based on the standard petrol/diesel-powered Fluence, Fluence Z.E. is not compromised in any way in terms of accommodation or equipment. An extra 130mm have been added to the car’s overall length so that the lithium-ion battery can be installed unobtrusively between the rear seats and the boot. As a result, there is just as much room in the cabin – and in the loadspace – as in the conventional Fluence.
In design terms, the rear end has been subtly reworked to take the extra length into account, while at the front recharging points have handily been provided in both wings.
Two trim levels are available in the UK, Expression+ and Dynamique, and their specification demonstrates that owners of Z.E. vehicles do not have to make sacrifices in terms of features for comfort and convenience. The standard equipment includes Carminat TomTom satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, low rolling resistance tyres and electric windows and door mirrors.
The heart of Fluence Z.E. is its 70kW 95hp electric motor, a unit that offers a prodigious 226Nm of torque, ensuring the car is well suited to the cut-and-thrust of urban traffic, as well as comfortable cruising. With a fully charged battery the car has an official driving range of up to 115 miles (NEDC cycle), but in town traffic where the electric system is most efficient, this can extend to 125 miles. In swift motorway driving, this can become in the region of 60 miles, depending on driving style and prevailing traffic conditions.
A full battery recharge will take between six and eight hours using Renault’s recommended Wall-Box system from British Gas – its preferred partner for providing recharging systems and infrastructure. It is part of the cost efficiency of Fluence Z.E. which owners can take advantage of lower tariff electricity by scheduling their recharging during off-peak hours.
Using an optional EVSE 10 amp battery connecting cable, Fluence Z.E. can also be recharged from conventional 240V power supplies at workplaces, and at roadside charge points. Three hours’ charging will be sufficient for around 25 miles.
The cost efficiency of Fluence Z.E. further extends to Renault’s decision to provide the lithium-ion batteries on hire to customers. This gives total peace of mind should any problems arise with the unit, and also covers all matters concerning recycling. Different monthly hire charges are available to suit individual use.
The introduction of Fluence Z.E. in the UK is fully supported by specialist Renault Z.E. Expert dealerships and service centres with trained technicians and purpose-equipped workshops to handle the special sales, service and repair requirements. With fewer moving parts to maintain or replace, regular servicing costs are kept lower.
To ensure an appropriate infrastructure, Renault has reached partnership agreements around the world – the first of them signed as early as 2008.
Fluence Z.E. is manufactured at the OYAK-Renault plant in Bursa, Turkey, on the same production line as the Fluence models which use an internal combustion engine.
The ‘electrified’ dashboard
Fluence Z.E.’s electric drive train introduces some EV-specific controls to the dashboard. These include a gauge which indicates the level of charge in the battery, and an econometer, which tells the driver how energy is being used.
The econometer is divided into three colour indicators: light blue shows the vehicle is running normally; dark blue denotes optimum performance; and red signals that the way energy is being used will have an impact on the driving range.
The on-board computer is also tailored to suit the needs of driving an electric vehicle. It displays the remaining range in kilometres; the battery’s remaining capacity in kWh; and average and instantaneous energy consumption.
The speedometer adopts a Z.E. colour scheme, with figures highlighted on a turquoise blue semi-circular background.
Carminat TomTom Z.E. LIVE navigation
Fluence Z.E. Dynamique is equipped as standard with Carminat TomTom Z.E. Live navigation, a system that has been specially designed to support and enhance the driving experience in a Renault Z.E. model.
MOTOR AND BATTERY
Fluence Z.E. offers a completely different driving experience, with no engine noise; at standstill there is a sound alert and a green “go” light to signal that the car is ready to move off. Apply the throttle pedal and vehicle pulls smoothly away, in silence, emitting no tailpipe CO2, soot or particulates, nor any noxious odours.
Acceleration from a standing start through the mid-range is crisp, as the 70kW (95hp) electric motor’s maximum 226Nm of torque are delivered instantly. The reducer, which operates in place of a gearbox, gives linear, seamless driving.
The quiet running and the absence of any gear changes contributes to a calmer and more relaxed driving experience, something that will be particularly appreciated by business users and those who spend much of the time in stop-start urban traffic. Fluence Z.E.’s vehicle dynamics – its body control and steering – are identical to those of its internal combustion-engined sister model.
Quite an interesting addition to Renault’s spec sheet is the inclusion of, “In the event of a Fluence Z.E. running out of charge while on the road, the owner can take advantage of assistance provided as part of the battery hire contract. Available 24 hours a day, this allows for the vehicle to be towed to a charging point of the owner’s choice, up to a distance of 50 miles.
For those occasions when Fluence Z.E. owners need to make journeys beyond their vehicle’s range, Renault can provide short-term rental of a petrol or diesel vehicle at preferential rates. For added convenience, bookings can also be made on-line via My Renault at Renault.co.uk.”
Source; Renault UK