Renault Kagoo ZE: You Guessed It, Another Electric

Illustration for article titled Renault Kagoo ZE: You Guessed It, Another Electric

Memo to Renault: Everyone at car shows stops caring after your second electric car. Example? Your Renault Kangoo ZE. Yes, we know ya worked hard on them all, but save some for later. Also, turn on the lights.

Oh, hey! Hi there, fourth of four electric Renault vehicles with very little possibility for actual production to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, what was your name again? Oh, right, the Renault Kangoo ZE, how do you do? What's that? You have a 93 HP electric motor, 166 lb-ft of torque, an 80 MPH top speed and a 100 mile range? Oh yeah, that's totally impressive. Um... there's this thing we've got to do over there with the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, it'll just take a second. No, it's not you, we'll be back in a bit, we swear.


* Kangoo Z.E. Concept is based on Renault Kangoo and brings zero-emission mobility to the professional road-user.
* Kangoo Z.E. Concept is powered by a 70kW electric motor which delivers 226Nm of torque, in conjunction with a lithium-ion battery. Energy consumption is minimized thanks not only to the careful attention that has been paid to its overall design, but also to the energy optimization solutions it features, without the necessary high standard of comfort suffering in any way.
* Kangoo Z.E. Concept's many information functions make it a particularly user-friendly, efficient and interactive vehicle.


Kangoo Z.E. Concept's dimensions (length 3.95m, height: 1.85m) ensure that it is perfectly nimble and manoeuvrable in and about town. Its high torque (226Nm) is instantly available to ensure responsive acceleration performance in built-up areas.


The Kangoo Z.E. Concept provides a foretaste of what mobility promises to resemble in the future for urban-based transporter and delivery companies, while at the same time carrying over the same acclaimed strengths as Kangoo when it comes to travelling comfort, space and safety performance. To facilitate loading, the hatch-type rear door and wide, folding sill ensures that parcels and other types of loads are easy to slide into the boot.


The design of Kangoo Z.E. Concept has been thought through in keeping with its mission as an electric vehicle which needs to minimize energy consumption, yet without losing sight of the need for modern comfort-related refinements.

The use of heat-reflective paint and bodywork featuring large surface areas reduces temperature fluctuations. Indeed, the bodywork functions along the same lines as a Thermos flask and comprises two insulating panels with a sandwich of air in between. This air, which is still the most effective insulant known today, serves to moderate temperature extremes between the exterior and the interior of the car. Thermal insulation is further optimized thanks to special treatment of the glazed surfaces, meaning that less call is made of the climate control and heating systems which are big consumers of energy.

Solar panels positioned on the roof are employed to power a temperature regulation system inside the car. Keeping the cabin cool uses a significant amount of energy, but this system also permits a pleasant temperature to be maintained inside the cabin, even at a standstill or when parking, and avoids having to put the climate control system on boost when first getting in the car on a hot day.

The entire layout of the heating and climate control systems has been developed to achieve a particularly efficient trade-off between performance and energy consumption. For example, the impression of heat is especially felt by the face and hands. Accordingly, if the cabin temperature is, say, 15 C, warmth is channelled as close as possible to these more sensitive zones (in the form of a heated steeringwheel, for example) in order to ensure that the driver feels comfortable, while using less electrical energy.

The conventional drag-producing exterior mirrors have been replaced by streamlined, low-energy cameras which are powered by the roof-mounted solar panels. These cameras provide improved allround visibility, which is especially practical when manoeuvring. The full-disc aluminium alloy wheels produce less drag, too, while the headlights use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) which are not only longlasting but also low consumers of energy.


The Kangoo Z.E. Concept enables the driver to communicate with the vehicle with a view to profiting fully from its technology. For example, logos light up to signal that the vehicle recognizes occupants as they approach.

As a socially responsible car, it is also equipped with polyurethane gel bumpers which deform easily to soak up minor knocks, while customers and pedestrians are reassured by their absorbent aspect.

A linear display on the outside of the door provides an indication of how much range remains even before the driver gets inside the vehicle. This lit display can be likened to the charge indicator of a cell phone. Innovative navigation system interfaces also contribute to intelligent management of the vehicle's energy requirements.

The idea is to simplify journeys with a view to using as little energy as possible. The Man Machine Interfaces (MMI) inside the car have been designed to provide information concerning the location of the nearest car park or charge station as a function of how much range remains. The car not only warns and calculates, but it also thinks ahead. Information is communicated to the driver via a cell phone which slots into the dashboard.

Using this cell-phone for the navigation function avoids having to run an energy-consuming in-car computer.

The dashboard itself is divided into distinct functional units which incorporate:

* a new-format minimalist display providing data specifically relating to the electric motor.
* a remotely-positioned control between the seats incorporating a touchpad to facilitate the keying in of data.

Kangoo Z.E. Concept provides a foretaste of the user-friendly, practical and efficient Renault electric utility vehicle of the future.


The driver has two options when it comes to 'filling up' on energy: A standard charge: takes between four and eight hours, via a charging socket situated on the outside of the vehicle, A quick charge: in 20 minutes, using the same socket at bespoke charge stations.


Motor Electric

Maximum power EEC (kW/hp) 70/95

Maximum revs (rpm) 12,000

Maximum torque EEC (Nm) 226

Drive train Electric

Batteries Lithium-ion

Tyres 245/35 R21


Length (mm) 3,945

Width (mm) 1,856

Unladen height (mm) 1,748

Height with hatch open (mm) 1,902

Wheelbase (mm) 2,406

Front/rear track (mm) 1,572/1,572

Front/rear overhang (mm) 794/745

Weight (kg) 1,520


Range (km) 160

Top speed (kph) capped electronically 130


Bodywork D 3

Pilot Sport PS2 tyres Michelin

Samsung F480 cell phone for

communicating with the vehicle


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You say electric.

I say pathetic.