Renault Electric Cars Review
E-cars have only appeared at the end of the last decade. Nevertheless, they are increasingly becoming a larger part of our lives while getting better and exploring new dimensions. For instance, it’s been a long time since the first unmanned electric vehicle was introduced to a mass market.
Among the manufacturers of electric cars, the French company Renault belongs to the five companies with the largest range of vehicles. In this review, we will be discussing the models of Renault e-cars available for sale.
Renault Electric Vehicles Features
Among other e-cars manufacturers, Renault was the first of its kind. In 2011, the French started producing copies of their most common car models equipped with electric engines instead of gasoline-powered. Also, most of Renault electric cars have the signature Z.E. (“Zero Emission”) prefix in the name.
Below, you’ll find a detailed description of each model that’s relevant today. All the reviewed variations are equipped with a battery that can be charged not only at special gas stations but also from the supplied cable compatible with a standard 220 V household outlet.
Renault ZOE car is a full-scale hatchback with an electric motor. The company launched production in 2012, and very soon ZOE became known as the best-selling electric car at the time.
Being the largest one in this French auto group, ZOE electric car is equipped with the most powerful units (compared to other Renault models). For instance, the electric engine has got an unprecedented 87 hp. and a torque of 220 Nm, while the battery has a capacity of 41 kWh. The Renault ZOE range is 135 miles, and to keep the car a-going longer, the French developed several charging schemes. In normal mode, ZOE charges for 6–9 hours. In accelerated mode with the maximum power intake, it only takes about 40 minutes.
In 2018, the ZOE model was modernized. The manufacturer installed a 108-hp. engine with a torque of 225 Nm, while the range was increased up to 185 miles. In addition, the fuel system experienced partial modifications that brought it in line with the latest environmental standards.
Both versions are still available for purchase.
In 2011, Renault started the production of electric versions of the popular minivan/van. The novel second-gen Kangoo Express Z.E. has got an electric motor with 70 horsepower under the hood and a charge reserve sufficient for 105 miles. Also, the French sell this model’s batteries separately in their home country.
Overall, the electric version has the same characteristics as its gasoline-powered predecessor. The main difference is the location of the batteries. They were placed under the bottom of the cabin, further increasing the usable space. So the luggage compartment of the van-body model can fit 1400 lbs maximum payload. In addition, the battery reached a capacity of 22 Nh and gets fully charged in 6-8 hours.
By the way, here’s an interesting fact: early versions of Renault Kangoo electric cars retained the gasoline filler hole. As heating the car with electricity was economically irrational, a traditional heater was installed where the gas tank is usually supposed to be.
Car model review:
Renault has also taken care of the residents of metropolises when a line of Twizy models was launched.
Strictly speaking, this is not quite a car. Because of its super-tiny size, some countries mark this vehicle as ATV. With the width of 47 inches and the length of 88 inches, it’s even smaller than the famous Smart made by Daimler! That’s why you need to check with the vehicle category in your place of residence, else you may have to get a new driving license.
Twizy is available in two versions. The first version, Urban 45 has a small 5-horsepower engine that speeds up to 28 mph. The second one, Urban 80 is equipped with a 4.7-gallon engine and accelerates to 64 mph. When buying any of them, you can choose how to arrange the seating: two seats can be installed either side by side or one upfront, another behind.
A bit later, Renault released a Twizy Cargo modification specifically designed for freightage. The luggage compartment replaces the rear passenger seat. Cargo 45 and Cargo 80 are available with the same characteristics as in the corresponding versions of the Urban car model.
It was clear that such a small car might get crushed in traffic jams along with the driver. That’s why manufacturers made sure the vehicle has increased security. The frame and the body have a deformable structure, and the wheels are mounted in suspension to protect passengers from side impact. Finally, the Twizy model is equipped with an airbag.
As in other Renault electric cars, a lithium-ion battery under the front seat has a capacity of 6.1 kWh. Although the charge won’t last long (60-miles range only), it should be enough for the intended “work-home-work” route. Also, Twizy shares another common feature with Renault’s Kangoo electric vehicles: its batteries are sold separately as well.
Fluence is the sedan lineup that replaced Megane in 2009. The production of electric and gasoline versions launched at the same time.
Fluence is the first model to use the Quickdrop technology which allows you to quickly replace a low battery with a new one.
With an engine power of 95 hp and a torque of 226 Nm, the fully charged battery of Fluence Z.E. will last for 115 miles. Ergonomics, on the other hand, received more attention from the engineers. Fluence has extremely comfortable bucket seats that saved up space for an enlarged spoiler and diffuser at the rear of the car.
Unfortunately, this model was not in great demand, so it was discontinued in 2014. Nevertheless, the Fluence electric car is still quite popular on the secondary market.
It’s a remarkable model for several reasons. First of all, it’s more of a concept car. Since the only-begotten test release of 2017, the production has still not been established. Second, as an unmanned vehicle, it’s a pioneer for Renault, France, and all of Europe.
Symbioz is a huge, 16-inch hatchback with a slightly inclined rooftop. The body is 6.5 inches wide with a weight of 2.2 tons. Such a colossus is driven by two electric engines with a capacity of 490 hp, both hidden at the rear wheels. The battery capacity is 72 kWh, which lasts for 310 (sic!) miles.
The car range reads in the interior design. The first thing to catch your eye is the lack of rear-view mirrors. They were replaced by cameras installed in the corners of the cabin. In addition, the front panel consists almost entirely of touchscreen displays that replace traditional buttons and levers.
Symbioz is equipped with one of the most advanced autopilot systems (4 stars out of 5 on the SAE scale). On the trip, the driver can even rotate the seat 180 degrees to face the passenger compartment and communicate with fellow travelers more conveniently. The steering wheel and dashboard both get shifted towards the hood. The autopilot is supported by a number of sensors and radars that completely cover the lower parts of the body from both sides.
The mass production of the novelty is planned somewhere in 2023 after all tests on the roads are completed.
Renault Electric Car Price And Official Dealers
First of all, we should say that the countries of the former USSR are supplied with a limited assortment of Renault electric car models. For example, residents of Ukraine only have a Kangoo electric car available for purchase. Russian citizens can only buy Twizy. Because of this, it’s hard to disclose the Renault ZOE price in Russia, since this model is not officially sold there despite having a strong demand in Europe.
In Ukraine, there are about 60 official dealers of Renault electric vehicles. The biggest players are the Autocentre Goloseevsky and Arma Motors in Kyiv, as well as the Solly Plus in Kharkiv. You can buy an electric van at a price of 688 000 UAH.
For the Russian Federation, Renault electric car price varies depending on the location of the auto-center. The farther from Moscow, the more expensive it will cost. The Moscow branch of the largest dealer, Renault Automir offers Twizy electric cars for 950 000 rubles. In Novosibirsk, the very same dealer sells this model for 978 000 rubles. Among the Russian representatives of the brand, we can also recommend Avtoprodiks in St. Petersburg and Lucky Motors in Kazan.
In the fall of 2020, we’re going to see the third-generation Kangoo model presented to the public. Although its detailed characteristics are still unknown, it’s clear that the French will add one more body type to the lineup: a pickup truck.
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