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Renault’s Green Cars at Frankfurt

Renault's range of electric concept cars

Renault is displaying a number of electric concept cars at the Frankfurt Motor Show, in addition to low CO2 versions of current models.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is working on a range of all-electric powertrains. The four concept cars on display at Frankfurt provide a preview of Renault’s forthcoming range of electric vehicles.

There will be a variety of ‘zero emission’ vehicles with continuous outputs of between 15 and 70kW (20-95hp). The Renault Z.E. range will be launched from 2011 in the form of the Fluence Z.E. and a Kangoo Z.E .

In terms of what you can buy today, two sub-100g/km versions of current models which are due for release soon are the Twingo dCi 85, with 94g/km of CO2 and the Clio dCi 90 with 99g/km of CO2.

Renault has also developed a new six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) which delivers a standard of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions performance markedly better than those compared with conventional automatic transmissions (a gain of up to 17 per cent, i.e. a saving of approximately 30g/km).

This DCT will be introduced in the first quarter of 2010, initially available on 1.5 dCi 110 DPF diesel versions of the Mégane range. With this automatic transmission, the Mégane Hatch will emit just 119g of CO2/km and be the first automatic model to qualify for the Renault eco² signature.

These reductions in CO2 emissions have been obtained thanks to various engine and vehicle design evolutions including longer ratios for all gears; less engine and transmission friction thanks to low-viscosity lubricants; work on the geometry and finish of bottom-end and timing components. These developments will be extended to all Euro 5-compliant 1.5 dCi engines.

Renault is working on the following technologies to reduce car emissions:

* fundamental vehicle characteristics: mass, aerodynamic performance (CdA), rolling resistance,
* the management of electrical energy (battery charging under braking and when decelerating) and thermal efficiency (thermal management aimed at enabling engines to climb in temperature more quickly)
* transverse technologies such as stop&start, which automatically cuts the engine at a standstill, as well as low pressure exhaust gas regeneration
* widespread downsizing of the capacity of internal combustion petrol and diesel engines: smaller, turbocharged engines function more efficiently,
* latest-generation automatic transmissions boasting fuel consumption and emissions comparable with those of manual gearboxes.