2011 Renault Kangoo Express Z.E: Value For Money EV Van

Follow Antony

Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. electric van

Renault Kangoo Express Z.E. electric van

Enlarge Photo

Renault may not have much of an impact to U.S. motorists, but thanks to their partnership with Nissan, they have a large part to play in the future of electric vehicles.

The French company has been a market leader in the European light commercial vehicle (LCV) market since 1998, so it's only natural that one of their new Z.E. range of EVs would be a small, all-electric panel van. The Kangoo Express Z.E. should hit the European market in mid 2011.

Renault and Nissan

The French and Japanese manufacturers have worked together on several projects since the start of their partnership in 1999. Much of the development for the 2011 Nissan Leaf was done on a converted Versa platform, which underpins Renault's Clio, one of Europe's most popular subcompacts.

There is even the possibility that Renault could provide the platforms for future Nissan and Infiniti sports and luxury EVs, having received positive comments to their DeZir Concept, due to be shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show next month.

The bottom line is that Renault could have a lot of influence on future Stateside-bound EVs. And given the latest details about the Kangoo Express Z.E, we hope that includes pricing.

€20,000 before incentives

Renault have revealed that their Kangoo Express Z.E. will cost only €20,000, and that's before any government incentives have been taken into consideration. This works out as only $26,800. The French tax incentive brings this down to little over $20,000, almost $5,000 less than Nissan's own Leaf after the $7,500 federal incentive.

Of course, you get three fewer seats and considerably less style than the distinctive Leaf offers you, and quite a bit less power too - the Kangoo Z.E. uses a 44 kW (60 horsepower) electric motor powered by a 22 kilowatt-hour Lithium-ion battery pack. Torque is a useful 166 pounds feet though, and range is 100 miles with a top speed limited to 80mph.

The figures then are competitive with many current EVs, but the price after incentives is competitive with Renault's own diesel-powered Kangoo in France, something almost unprecedented in EVs up until now. No prices have yet been released for Renault's other upcoming EVs, the Fluence Z.E. compact sedan, the Zoe Z.E. subcompact and the Twizy city car, a tandem two-seater smaller than the 2011 Smart ForTwo.

So even if we never see a Renault E.V. on U.S. shores, hopefully Nissan and other manufacturers will soon be able to price their electric vehicles at a level competitive with gasoline and diesel models. Renault have previously suggested their Fluence Z.E. would cost less than gasoline models - the Kangoo is evidence that they were serious.

With EV prices a major barrier to many consumers, it will be interesting to follow the progress of the Kangoo Express Z.E. compared to its combustion-engined cousins.


Follow Us

Comments (2)
  1. OK, so Renault is the Better Place partner, right? But this vehicle does not seem to have battery swapping capability. What should we make of that?
    So far, Renault is the only company in the battery swapping camp. Is it significant that even Renault does not put the technology in to all of its EVs?

  2. Concerning the Renault EV family, it seems there are serious disagreements right now between Ghosn and Agassi over the implementation of battery swapping, at least in non-initial-better-place-countries, esp. France ; but the system (dubbed "quickdrop" by Renault) still will be implemented in France for the Fluence ZE, only not by better place (EDF maybe?).
    The ZOE has been announced at € 15000 base price, which is very interesting (don't know if it's before or after the € 5000 incentive, though, but it's still interesting)but this comes at the expense of battery-swapping possibilities in France at least (shit!).
    But IMHO Renault's best idea (thx better place) is to LEASE the battery so that :
    -the fixed costs will be more or less the same whatever the mobility needs (neglectible electricity)
    - nobody will have to worry about his car value AND his battery value
    - customers may benefit from upgraded batteries all along the car's life

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Find Green Cars


© 2015 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by izmo, Inc.