An initiative to make electric cars more accessible to local motorists, two Renault models are now available for booking
Photos: Low Fai Ming
Renault unveiled four electric concept cars at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, with a promise to make them widely available to motorists by this year.
Since then, Renault has publicised each milestone in this ambitious and unique project, securing the backing of governments, signing partnership agreements and testing battery safety.
Renault has focused on training its network, sales staff, technicians and repairers with the aim of offering customers seamless service. It even conducted a 1 million kilometer reliability test, which reaped success. Electric vehicles were first tested in 'The Sims 3' virtual community before being put through real-world trials involving more than 400 EVs and a panel of users.
Today, Renault is honouring the commitment it made at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show with the release of its first electric vehicles. Renault is demonstrating its drive for innovation, clearly investing in a future with mankind at its core. Electric cars are no longer a dream out of reach for many, but now a reality accessible to all.
To date, Renault has invested $4 billion Euros into the development of electric cars. That investment has churned out four electric car models for consumers, namely the Twizy, Zoe, Kangoo Z.E (Zero Emission) and Fluence Z.E.
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 wider range of vehicles that deliver a holistic gain in terms of respect for the environment.
With that, Renault’s Singapore distributor, Wearnes Automotive last week introduced the Fluence Z.E and Kangoo Z.E for local consumers.
Wearnes Automotive has opened the order books for the Renault Fluence Z.E with a price (including COE) of $175,000 for consumers, and $90,000 under TIDES (Transport Technology Innovation Development Scheme). The latter allows corporations that are involved in the research and development of alternative fuel transportation technology - recognized by authorities - to utilise vehicles bought under this scheme for a maximum period of six years.
According to Wearnes Automotive during a press discussion held at the same time, the Fluence Z.E is powered by a Synchronous AC electric motor and produces 70 kW (or 95bhp) and a maximum torque of – get this – 226Nm. It takes 13 seconds to reach 100km/h, and top speed has been capped at 135km/h. On a short press drive however, it felt faster than what was stated.
A single charge can take you as far as 185km as per Renault’s test, but on a test done by Wearnes Automotive locally, the realistic distance was as far as 165-170 km if driven economically, 140-145 km for the average driver and 110-120 km if you put on your racing suit.
Safety wise, Electronic Stability Control, Electronic Brake Assist and Anti-lock Brake System comes standard – this is on top of the six cabin airbags. Speaking of which, the cabin has also been strengthened to cope with the additional weight of the battery that is located at the rear of the car. As safety is one of the French brand’s core values, the battery has also been designed to drop downwards when a rear collision occurs.
Every Fluence Z.E purchased will also come with a Z.E Box charging station (including a 1-year warranty) – however the catch is this only applies if the car owner lives in a landed property or private housing (eg. condominiums).
A single full-charge will only cost you $6.08, and the smart Z.E Box will only charge the amount of power required by the car.
Watch this space for our full local review.