LOAD STAR: NEW 100% ELECTRIC KANGOO VAN DOES THE BUSINESS
Renault’s Kangoo Z.E. 33 electric van is a green, cost-saving alternative for anyone who needs a mid-sized business vehicle, says Paul Connolly
RENAULT KANGOO Z. E.
WHAT’S NEW? Renault unveiled a boost last year for its Kangoo Z.E. electric van – a new motor and battery package that increased the model’s driving range by more than 50 per cent.
This gave the Kangoo an ideal-condi- tions range of 168 miles, and an official real-world range of 124 miles, which gave it with a significant advantage over rivals.
These are the sort of range figures that manufacturers could only dream of a few years ago.
And with battery technology galloping ahead at a quickening pace, range anxiety – the syndrome where electric vehicle drivers worry about running out of power – will start to become a thing of the past.
Until then, vans like the Kangoo Z.E. will be for businesses that don’t do big miles daily – or who do more miles but have ready access to commercial-grade rapid chargers. WHAT’S IT LIKE? Unless you look closely, the Kango Z.E. 33 closely resembles a ‘normal’ Kangoo van but one with an electric motor and batteries under the bonnet instead of an internal combustion engine.
My review model, courtesy of Charles Hurst Renault, was a longer wheelbase model with lots of load space in the rear.
Electric vehicles have several advantages over regular models, chiefly, very low fuel costs, low vehicle maintenance costs, zero emissions, and a lovely driving experience.
After last year’s upgrade, the Z.E.33 boasts a new, Continued on Page 2 >>
higher density 33kwh battery (hence the name ‘Z.E. 33’).
This means the new van can travel a longer distance between charges. The available payload of up to 640kg (100.7-stone) remains unchanged.
The new Z.E.33 also benefits from a new, more efficient, R60, 44Kw (60hp) electric motor.
As well as improved range, it boasts improved charging capabilities – charging from 0 to 100% in six hours, compared to eight hours (for a lower range) on the previous version – thanks to a new 32 amp charger.
Crew variants allow you to travel in a crew of five, whilst retaining a load volume of 2.4m behind the rear bench.
The review van came professionally panelled in hard-wearing plywood, and access to tools and other equipment is easy due to sliding doors on either side as well as full-opening doors at the rear.
There are a wide range of partitions offered: tubular, full steel bulkhead, glazed steel bulkhead, swinging mesh partition or a multi-positional mesh allowing a second row of seats or additional load space on the Maxi 5-seater.
It’s a van, so no-one expects car-level luxury. The cabin is hard-wearing, functional and easily cleaned. But you can spec a range of Renault extras like R-link multimedia, cruise control and metallic paint.
WHO WOULD BUY ONE? This is not just a van for eco-warriors or organisations seeking to minimise their carbon footprint.
A significant value proposition lies in a use-case scenario involving daily urban usage patterns that don’t involve long journeys.
Or potentially a company or organisation using longer journeys which has access to commercial rapid chargers (these can now charge vehicles to 80 percent within 30 minutes).
The range starts from £14,799 on the road including government EV grant and excluding VAT.
My longer wheelbase review model costs £15,939 on the road also including the grant and minus the VAT.
As battery technology improves, and demand for electric vehicles grows, manufacturers will enter a virtuous circle, prices will come down and you will see more electric vehicles on our roads. Watch this space.