The automobile has reached an historic turning point. Energy-related challenges and essential environmental requirements have seen electric technology establish itself as a solution of tomorrow. In the near future, this form of power will see the development of a range of vehicles that deliver an holistic gain in terms of respect for the environment.
As a pioneer in this field, Renault is today introducing Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E., two models which were designed from the outset to incorporate an electric version. The market’s first range of affordable electric vehicles is poised to be extended with the addition of Twizy and Zoe.
FLUENCE Z.E., AN ENLIGHTENED CHOICE
First unveiled as a concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2009, Fluence Z.E. is about to arrive in the Renault sales network. This vehicle is aimed at private customers and fleet operators looking for a status-enhancing vehicle which is both economical and more respectful of the environment.
Renault Fluence Z.E. is the first affordable, all-electric three-volume saloon, and completes Renault’s offer in this segment with a version that doesn’t produce any emissions during its use on the road. It features elegant lines, a omfortable interior and a raft of useful technologies. Along with Kangoo Z.E., this model is the first of the Renault Z.E. range to reach the market.
Renault Fluence Z.E. will be manufactured at the OYAK-Renault plant in Bursa, Turkey, on the same production line that makes the internal combustion-engined versions of Fluence.
“The first Renault electric vehicles will soon be delivered to their customers... This will be the realisation of an ambitious strategy which seeks to make Renault the leader in zero-emission mobility. Our sales network staff is fully trained and ready to sell and service electric vehicles, with a wide-ranging offer that will include the vehicle, battery rental, battery charging and a package of other services. This is an important moment for Renault, for the Alliance and for our customers who are eagerly awaiting delivery of the first Fluence Z.E.s and Kangoo Z.E.s this year.”
Thierry Koskas, Director, Electric Vehicle Programme
i’ve decided , i’m buying a FLUENCE Z.E. !
We’re offering you a unique experience: to put yourselves in the skin of a customer experiencing their first steps with an electric vehicle, Fluence Z.E.. From the dealer’s door to the first battery charge, welcome to a connected world!
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR FIRST ELECTRIC CAR
As the saloon segment ’s first three -vo lume electric vehic le, it was necess ary for Ren ault Fluence Z.E. to be inst ant ly recognis able...
To distinguish itself from its internal combustion-engined cousin, Fluence Z.E. features the distinctive and defining hallmarks of Renault’s electric vehicles. Fluence Z.E. is instantly recognisable thanks to a number of blue-tinted details, from the lights and fog light surrounds, to the front and rear Renault logos and the Fluence badge. Fluence Z.E. also features entirely redesigned rear lights – including a strip of blue-tinted diamond shapes – plus a specific, more open grille design. Standing at an overall length of 4.75 metres, the electric version of Fluence is 13 cm longer than the internal combustion-engined model.
This has enabled the batteries to be located behind the rear seats. The sides have consequently been redesigned to maintain the visual balance of the original version. Employing fluid, crisp lines, the design of Fluence Z.E. features longer quarter panels which harmonise with the longer rear overhang.
The rear window, now framed by lengthened quarter panels similar to those seen on some coupés, is extended by a smart gloss black strip. The lights also contribute to the overall visual balance of the car by extending onto the sides of the body.
In harmony with this distinctive profile, Renault Fluence Z.E. stands out through its gloss black mirror housings, body colour bumpers (standard on Dynamique versions) and two charging flaps located on the front wheel arches. The boot lid features a chrome strip with an embossed, blue-tinted Fluence Z.E. monogram. Finally, the lower part of the rear bumper features a black diffuser to reduce aerodynamic drag. In the same spirit, the wheel design, which is unique to Renault Fluence Z.E., has been conceived to reduce aerodynamic turbulence. Seven body colours are available, including Energie Blue, a new shade exclusive to Fluence Z.E..
A WELCOMING INTERIOR
Ren ault Fluence Z.E. is proof th at an electric vehicle doesn ’t have to be a sm all city car with limited open road ability .
Renault Fluence Z.E.’s interior comes with all the features available for the internal combustion-engined version. The on-board computer now displays essential ‘electric vehicle’ information, such as instantaneous and average fuel consumption, range, battery charge and discharge. The ‘energy gauge’ indicates the battery’s level of charge, in the same way as a conventional fuel gauge. The trim strip on the uncluttered dashboard wears an exclusive aluminium shade, while markings on the centre console indicate the range of possible positions for the transmission control lever (forward drive, rear drive, neutral and park).
The width of Renault Fluence Z.E. is the same as that of the internal combustion-engined version, which means its cabin is as spacious as that of a saloon car from the next segment up, including elbow room (1,480mm front/1,475mm rear) and rear space among the best in its class.
Thanks to the lengthened rear section, boot capacity remains unchanged at 317dm3, in spite of the incorporation of the battery. A folding panel is incorporated at the back of boot to facilitate stowage of the battery charging cable, for example, Stowage is optimised when this panel is positioned vertically. Access is simplified thanks to the low sill (698mm) and wide aperture (1,020mm).
Fluence Z.E. provides more than 23 litres of storage space in the cabin, including a nine-litre lit glove box for the Dynamique version, a 2.2 litre cubby in the centre console and front door bins of 2.6 litres each.
ERGONOMIC DRIVING POSITION
It takes no time to adapt to Renault Fluence Z.E. thanks to its carefully designed ergonomics and simplified interfaces .
It is easy to find the ideal driving position thanks to a range of adjustment possibilities, as well as controls that fall readily to hand. In a matter of seconds, it is possible to adjust the angle of the seat back and head rest, modify the lumbar support, adjust the height of the steering wheel or adapt the seating position (height and fore/aft position adjustable through 70mm and 240mm respectively).
Renault Fluence Z.E. features a raft of useful technologies, such as an integrated navigation system, networked and adapted for electric vehicles, Bluetooth® telephony and dual-zone automatic climate control, plus automatic headlight and wiper activation. In order to make them easier to use, these systems are perfectly integrated to ensure impeccable ergonomics: controls for the radio, telephone and cruise control, for example, can be reached without removing one’s hands from the steering wheel.
ON THE ROAD TO A NEW EXPERIENCE
Now you’re there with your hands on the wheel... The engine starts. You can’t hear anything? That’s perfectly normal...
The first surprise when you test an electric vehicle is the silence when you’re on the move. There’s no engine noise, and careful attention has been paid to the cabin’s soundproofing to make the most of this new environment. At standstill, the car seems to be ‘switched off’, although an audible signal – coupled with a ‘GO’ light – tells you that Fluence Z.E. is ready to drive. It pulls away in total silence, but you soon become guided by wind and road noise. Driving is calmer, more serene; motoring has never felt quite so Zen...
The second surprise is its electric motor. Peak power of this synchronous electric motor with rotor coil is 70kW (equivalent to 95hp) at 3,000rpm, while maximum torque is 226Nm. This torque is delivered instantaneously and ensures crisp, immediate and constant acceleration across the power band. Having maximum torque available very time you press the
throttle guarantees a safe and enjoyable drive. It’s a unique, astonishing feeling, and perfectly suited to today’s mobility needs and driving challenges. You no longer need to shift gear, either; you just concentrate on the road ahead. Driving is as fun as it is reassuring.
Fluence Z.E. also signals the disappearance of exhaust fumes; no unpleasant smells, no more smoke... Clean and quiet, Fluence Z.E. will radically change the quality of life in built-up areas.
A BESPOKE ARCHITECTURE
Fluence Z.E. has been completely rethought. Not only is it longer, but its weight distribution is also influenced by the electric motor which is lighter than any of the internal combustion engines available for Fluence (160 kg compared to 200 kg for an entry level diesel engine). The front end has consequently been designed with softer suspension. At the rear, however, the battery has introduced additional mass, 280 kg, although its location near the drive train – between the rear seats and the boot – has no detrimental impact on handling. The redesigned rear end contributes to Fluence Z.E.’s safety performance and driving enjoyment, since the revised weight distribution ensures a well-balanced handling package.
Renault Fluence Z.E. is fitted with low rolling resistance tyres. The Goodyear-developed EfficientGrip permits reduced fuel consumption thanks to extensive work on its carcass and sidewalls. The tread pattern, which is identical to that of a traditional tyre, permits a high standard of road holding and braking performance.
The electronic driving aids – ABS and ESC – have been recalibrated to match the different weight distribution resulting from the addition of the battery. In terms of passive safety, the structure of Renault Fluence Z.E. has been modified to ensure the same level of safety as the internal combustion-engined version of the car. Meanwhile, the rear sub-frame and chassis rails have been strengthened in order to accommodate the battery. Renault Fluence Z.E. is extensively equipped for its segment, with features including double seat belt pretensioners and six airbags as standard.
MILLIONS OF KILOMETRES OF TESTING
Renault Fluence Z.E. has benefited from a design process totally independent from that of Fluence. It has been subjected to numerous extreme endurance tests in order to guarantee optimal reliability and durability, particularly with respect to the demanding driving conditions encountered in certain markets. It has also been developed to deliver optimum safety thanks to a long list of equipment including ABS and emergency brake assist as standard features, ESC, up to six airbags, three-point seat belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, cruise control and speed limiter, etc.
In the course of its development, Fluence Z.E. underwent a gruelling endurance test programme in extremely exacting conditions (extreme heat, cold weather, poor roads, dusty conditions, etc.). More than 100 test vehicles completed almost five million kilometres. In addition to the standard procedures, additional tests were carried out to cover the specific requirements of electric drive.
As an electric vehicle, Fluence Z.E. inaugurated fresh ways to torture a new car, from fire tests and flooding to electronic compatibility and cutting open, etc. This work was carried out in close collaboration with specialist engineers, fire fighters and France’s Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Lodging, but Fluence Z.E. came through every test with flying colours.
Months of more conventional road tests also enabled Fluence Z.E.’s ability to cope with real-world motoring conditions to be validated.
DAILY DISTANCES SUITED TO Z.E. USAGE
With an NEDC combined cycle range of 185 km, Fluence Z.E. is wellsuited to the majority of daily journeys. In real-world use, range can be as high as 200km in ideal driving conditions. In extreme conditions (combining severe weather, a sporty driving style, hilly terrain, etc.), range can fall to around 80km. In effect, the range of electric vehicles varies more than that of internal combustion-engined vehicles and depends on factors such as speed, the lie of the land, use of the climate control system or heater, the outside temperature, driving style (sporty, normal or ‘eco-driving’), etc.
In contrast to internal combustion-engined vehicles, electric vehicles are most economical in built-up areas, in heavy traffic. This is partly explained by the fact that, when an electric vehicle is at a standstill (red light, heavy traffic, etc.), it consumes almost no energy. At the same time, thanks to the system which recovers energy under deceleration, frequent stops partially compensate for the energy consumed while on the move.
DO YOU WANT TO HEAD OFF ON HOLIDAY?
Improved battery range and a developing network for exchanging batteries should enable electric vehicles to cover even greater distances in several years’ time...
Meanwhile, in light of the limited range of electric power when heading off on holiday, Renault is introducing a mobility guarantee, no matter what the destination.
As a Z.E. customer, you have access to short-term ren al of an internal combustion-engined vehicle for longer journeys at preferential rates (up to 25 percent). This service will be available through Renault Rent, Avis and Europcar, which ensures significant territorial coverage. The service will also be available through My Renault, which can be accessed through Renault.fr. Hire costs are payable as and when the service is used, at the agency or via the internet.
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