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Electric Renault Kangoo Van Maxi

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The Renault Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E., the long wheelbase version of the Kangoo Van Z.E., will join Renault’s range of electric vehicles and it will go on sale at the end of 2011.

The Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E will cost £17,990 excluding VAT for the two-seat version, and £18,690 for the five-seat crew van. There will also be a battery lease cost of £59 per month (based on 9,000 miles per year, over 4 years).

Renault launched its electric vehicle plan in 2008 with the announcement of its upcoming line-up of four vehicles. The first of these is due to go on sale this autumn, and the original list will now be extended thanks to the availability of a new version of Kangoo Van Z.E.

The Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E. is an extended version of the Kangoo Van Z.E. The wheelbase has been lengthened by 40cm to obtain an overall length of 4.60 metres, and the van will be available in two- and five-seat form.

The first of these two versions targets transport use. Its two front seats are separated from the cargo carrying area by an optional bulkhead, which optimises the Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E.’s carrying capacity.

It will have a carrying capacity of up to 4.6 m cubed (1.1 m cubed more than Kangoo Van Z.E.) with a maximum load length of up to 2.90 metres.

Its height of just 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 Van Maxi will also be available for Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E.

The crew van version of Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E. 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 3.4 m cubed of carrying space.

Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E. carries over the same overall interior and exterior styling as the internal combustion-engined version. A choice of nine standard body colours will be available, while customers will also be able to specify the livery of their own company.

The battery can be charged in between six and eight hours. The Kangoo has a 44kW motor (equivalent to 60hp) which is powered by a 22kWh lithium-ion battery located beneath the floor. The vehicle has a combined-cycle range of 105 miles.

To optimise range management, the dashboard has been revised to incorporate a new MMI (‘Man Machine Interface’) which displays the battery’s level of charge and the vehicle’s remaining range (in miles).

The Eco-driving mode and the ability to pre-heat the vehicle while the battery is being charged have also been developed to maximise the range.

The Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E. will go on sale at the end of 2011 in Europe at a price of £17,990 (excluding VAT) for the two-seat version, or £18,690 for the five-seat crew van version. Light commercial vehicles are not currently eligible for the UK’s Plug-In Car Grant.

As is the case for the rest of its electric vehicle range, Renault separates ownership of the vehicle and battery to ensure optimal capacity of the battery throughout the vehicle’s working life. Customers will either buy or lease their vans and take out a monthly subscription for the battery, with UK pricing starting from £59 month excluding VAT, based on 9,000 miles and a 48 month commitment.

Running costs – including battery lease, the electricity required for battery charging (£2.50 average for a full charge) and maintenance – will be similar to those of an equivalent internal combustion-engined vehicle when the annual distance travelled is less than 9,375 miles. Renault says that they will be ‘competitive’ when the annual distance travelled exceeds this figure.