Given it was launched in 2009, the second- generation Renault Kangoo is no spring chicken, but by offering an all-electric drivetrain under the hood, the clever people at Renault have quite literally transformed the tireless little workhorse, according to Paul Matthei.
If it weren’t for the EV (electric vehicle) decals and the absence of a tail pipe, along with the additional signage added by Cricks Highway Renault, there’s really nothing externally to suggest this Kangoo Maxi Z.E. (zero emissions) van is any different from its petroleum-powered brethren.
Even the fuel filler flap belies its electric propulsion and believe it or not still has a purpose in colder climes such as the vehicle’s home country of France, but more about that later.
Renault Australia started selling the Kangoo Z.E. compact van to Australian customers in November 2017. According to a Renault Australia press release circulated at the time, bringing the Renault Kangoo Z.E. to Australia has been a long-held goal for the company.
‘The Renault Kangoo Z.E. is a pioneering electric van that incorporates a wealth of innovation and is designed to better meet customer requirements and environmental targets,’ said the release from September 2017. ‘To date, more than 25,000 examples have been sold in Europe to a wide range of users, making it the most popular battery-powered van, with a 34.5 per cent share of Europe’s commercial EV market. It has been the best seller in its segment in the six years since its European launch.
‘Gilles Normand, Senior Vice President and global head of the Electric Vehicle Business Unit for Renault said: “As the European standard-bearer in the realm of all-electric mobility, Renault is continually improving and refining its electric vehicles to extend operating range and make charging as simple as possible for its customers. The technological innovations built into the Kangoo Z.E. – a new high energy density battery mated to a new motor, plus a heat pump for interior climate control and a new charger that is twice as powerful as before – have resulted in a driving range gain of more than 50 per cent, along with a faster, simpler charging process.”
The new Kangoo Z.E.’s driving range is now 270km, as measured on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). This is equivalent to 200km in real-world summer-climate driving. This compares with 170km under the NEDC achieved with the earlier version.
This extended range is thanks to the Kangoo Z.E.’s new, high-efficiency battery, promising a 50 per cent range increase compared to the previous battery. It also comprises a new motor, which delivers greater efficiency along with a new on-board charging system delivering faster recovery.
Its battery can now be fully charged in as little as six hours, while a one-hour lunch break allows enough time to add a 35km top-up, helping operators to optimise their working day.’