• Sep 17th 2010 at 1:58PM
  • 24
Renault isn't afraid to acknowledge global warming, is in alignment with alliance partner Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn's prediction that electric vehicles will make up 10 percent of the world market by 2020 and is spending (with Nissan) €4 billion ($5.25 billion U.S. at today's exchange rate) on a zero-emissions program. These are the core parts of Renault's complete zero-emission strategy, which was released this week. You can find the complete plan after the jump. Here are the highlights:
  • Electric vehicles are a "clean-break solution," and represent "the only affordable solution involving vehicles that emit neither CO2, nor harmful particulates."
  • By the end of 2012, Renault will launch four different sized electric vehicles (see the concepts here), emphasizing that electric cars will fit any vehicle-based lifestyle.
  • To make this all a reality, the Renault-Nissan Alliance needs is working with various governments (60 at last count) to prepare communities for plug-in vehicles.
  • Sustainable mobility should be available for everyone, and so purchase and lease options will be available.
It's not a totally radical plan, but it is one of the most comprehensive in the auto industry. Even better, it's all coming very soon.

[Source: Renault]

PRESS RELEASE

RENAULT'S ZERO-EMISSION STRATEGY

Renault is taking a pioneering stance on sustainable mobility for all. Its brand signature 'Drive the Change' symbolises the Company's ongoing bid to reduce the ecological footprint of vehicles through their complete lifecycle, from their design and production, through to their use on the road and to the end of life.

Acutely aware of the importance of the stakes regarding global warming, Renault has worked for many years to reduce the CO2 emissions of its models – throughout their lifecycle – to reduce a vehicle's ecological impact. Meanwhile, as its environmentally respectful Renault eco² policy demonstrates, Renault believes it is essential to make the most effective technologies available to as many motorists as possible, at prices they can afford.

Electric vehicles represent a clean-break solution aimed at making CO2 emissions-free mobility in road use. Renault estimates that electric vehicles will account for 10 per cent of the world market by 2020. The Renault-Nissan Alliance is investing €4 billion in its zero emissions programme and a 2,000-strong team (1,000 at Renault and 1,000 at Nissan) is already working on electric vehicles.

THE ZERO EMISSION[1] STRATEGY

It was in 2008 that the Alliance announced its intention to mass market zero emission vehicles. This clean break technology is the only affordable solution involving vehicles that emit neither CO2, nor harmful particulates.

Renault's electric vehicle product plan

From next year, Renault will begin to introduce an unprecedented four electric vehicle range, starting with Kangoo Van Z.E. From 2012, three further models will be launched: Fluence Z.E. plus two new, all-electric models which will have their own specific, innovative designs based on the Twizy and Zoe concept cars.

This product plan will enable customers to find the type of vehicle they are looking for in Renault's electric range, since the four models – a small city car, a compact hatchback, a family saloon and an LCV – are set to cover a grand spectrum of motorists' needs.

Infrastructure and existing pilot projects

Within the framework of its zero emissions strategy, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is working actively with governments, administrative bodies, local authorities, energy providers and other partners. To date, it has signed more than 60 agreements across the world aimed at preparing markets and establishing the necessary infrastructure for the mass marketing of electric vehicles from 2011.

These privately- and publicly-steered undertakings indicate that the necessary infrastructures and charging facilities will be operational when electric vehicles come to market.

This will consequently reassure prospective electric vehicle users that simple, practical solutions will be in place to enable them to charge their battery, both at home and by the roadside.

The following table lists the partnership agreements that have been signed so far (European deals in bold):


Announcement date

PARTNERS

2008

Israel, Denmark, Kanagawa (Japan), Portugal, Tennessee (USA), EDF (France), Yokohama (Japan), Oregon (USA), Monaco, Sonoma County (USA), EOS (Switzerland)

2009

Greentomatocars (GB), Elektromotive (GB), EWZ (Switzerland), One North East (United Kingdom), San Diego Gas & Electric (USA), Electricity Supply Board (Ireland), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (China), LeasePlan (NL), Phoenix, Arizona (USA), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee (USA), Hong Kong, Seattle (USA), Raleigh, North Carolina (USA), Singapore, Washington D.C. (USA), A2A (Lombardy, Italy), Netherlands, State of Victoria (Australia), RWE (Germany), Vancouver (Canada), Barcelona (Spain), Mexico City (Mexico), GuangDong Province (China), Saitama Prefecture (Japan), Miyazaki Prefecture (Japan), Houston (USA), Guangzhou & Dongfeng (China)

2010

Andalusia (Spain), Reunion Island (France), Ryokan Association (Japan), Hertz (worldwide), Christchurch City Council (New Zealand), Orlando (USA), Houston (USA), Massachusetts (USA), Avis (worldwide), ChaDeMo Association (Japan), Wuhan (China), Castilla y Leon (Spain), Acciona (Spain), ENEL (Italy), ENDESA (Spain), Madrid (Spain), Ireland, Sao Paulo (Brazil), Milton Keynes (United Kingdom), Mobi-e (Portugal)



Pilot projects

From next year, the Renault-Nissan Alliance will work closely with a number of pilot projects aimed at evaluating full-scale mobility systems.

Examples include:

- the SAVE Project (Seine Aval Véhicules Electrique), in association with EDF, Schneider Electric and other partners in France's Yvelines department,

- a scheme with German energy provider RWE (North Rhine-Westphalia),

- another scheme with Italian energy provider A2A (Lombardy),

- and the VERT Project on the French-administrated Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) which sets out to look at the special case of island communities.

An innovative business model

Renault's objective is to make electric vehicle technology available to as many drivers as possible. To this end, Renault will introduce a range of innovative ownership solutions.

Customers will either buy or lease their vehicle and take out a subscription that covers the hire of the battery and the availability of new mobility services.

Renault's aim is to market electric vehicles at the same price as a diesel-powered vehicle of an equivalent size and equipment level. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of electric vehicles will be similar to that of internal combustion-engined vehicles from launch.

Renault's electric vehicle production strategy

Renault will manufacture its first four zero-emission* vehicles in four different factories, with production beginning mid 2011.

Renault will make the vehicle previewed by the Zoe Z.E. Concept in Flins, near Paris, while the electric versions of Kangoo Van will be manufactured in Maubeuge, in northern France. The car derived from the Twizy Z.E. Concept concept car will be produced at the Valladolid factory in Spain. Lastly, the electric versions of Fluence will be made in Bursa, Turkey.

This will enable Renault to supply Western Europe with zero-emission* vehicles on a large scale thanks to the location of production plants as close as possible to the market. This will also allow the company to benefit from the expertise of these factories in terms of productivity and quality.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance's batteries

All Renault's electric vehicles are powered by a latest-generation lithium-ion battery. The battery comprises 48 power modules, positioned in two rows, side by side. Modules are similar in size to a laptop computer and each one incorporates four elementary cells. It is inside these cells that the electrochemical reactions take place, enabling electrical current to be produced or energy to be stored.

The four cells of each module store 8.4V each, making a combined total of 400V for the 48 modules that make up the battery.

These compact, innovative lithium-ion batteries are produced by AESC (Automotive Electric Supply Corporation), a Nissan-NEC joint venture founded in April 2007.

The performance of these batteries compared with former-generation nickel metal hydride batteries is superior in every way, including range, performance, reliability and safety.

* Lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from the so-called memory effect resulting from incomplete charge cycles which can ultimately lead to a reduction in capacity, as with conventional batteries
* The battery is maintenance-free and delivers between 80 and 100 per cent of its original capacity for an average duration of six years. It will also be possible to charge it for short cycles with no adverse effect on capacity
* The battery is cooled by ambient airflow thanks to the heat-dissipation properties of its aluminium casing
* The energy capacity is significantly more than the previous generations: 100 Wh/kg against 25 for a Lead acid battery and 63 for a NiMh battery

Lithium-ion batteries are recyclable and the Renault-Nissan Alliance is actively working on establishing recycling processes and infrastructures suited to automotive batteries. It is important to remember that lithium-ion batteries – which are made up of non-toxic materials (lithium, manganese oxide or iron phosphate, and graphite) – do not present any danger for the environment, unlike former nickel-cadmium batteries.

To put the demand for lithium supplies into perspective, the Alliance's AESC 250kg batteries contain just 3kg of lithium. According to the mining companies Chemetall and SQM, worldwide lithium reserves are currently estimated to be between 14 and 17 million tonnes.

Range management is a key consideration when it comes to electric vehicles, and this is why Renault has made optimisation as straightforward and efficient as possible. A specific MMI (Man Machine Interface) has been developed to keep the driver informed about the vehicle's current state of charge and remaining range:

- a gauge alongside the speedometer displays the battery's level of charge.

- an 'econo-meter' uses a new a new colour-coded system to tell the driver how economical his or her driving is in terms of energy consumption (light blue for 'normal' vehicle use, dark blue for 'optimal' driving and red for excessive energy consumption likely to reduce the vehicle's range).

- The trip computer is adapted to the needs of electric vehicles and indicates the number of kWh remaining, average and instantaneous energy consumption and remaining range (in miles)

- The Carminat TomTom® smart navigation system takes range-related data into account and permanently displays the location of the nearest battery charging station

Driving an electric car can be fun, too, as the driver endeavours to accelerate as gently as possible with a view to minimising energy consumption and maximising range.

Three battery-charging techniques:

* A standard charge using a simple domestic Wall-Box via the household mains supply or at the workplace (between six and eight hours).
* Fast charge: permits batteries to be charged to 80 per cent of their capacity in 20 minutes.
* Battery exchange stations: rapid battery exchange in bespoke exchange stations in some countries. For example, in Israel, Better Place is currently putting a network of such stations into place. About 100 will be operational in 2011 and they will be compatible with Renault's first all-electric saloon car, Fluence Z.E.. Further stations will be opened progressively in other countries.

Battery production will become one of the Renault-Nissan Alliance's core activities. Renault and Nissan will produce lithium-ion batteries on three continents – America, Asia and Europe – in order to supply the assembly plants for the forthcoming EVs from a local source. Batteries will initially be purchased from the Nissan-NEC joint venture AESC and imported from Japan. Factories will then gradually be established as close as possible to the vehicle production facilities.

Battery production facilities are currently under development in: Flins (France), Sunderland (UK), Cacia (Portugal), Smyrna (Tennessee, USA), Zama (Japan).

This multi-localisation will lead to secure supplies and lower logistical costs, whilst enabling higher production volumes. Thanks to this arrangement, the Alliance will eventually be capable of producing 475,000 batteries annually.

Electric vehicle safety: at the heart of Renault's priorities

As a major volume manufacturer, Renault has benefited from its knowledge of safety to produce electric vehicles that meet the same exacting standards expected of a current internal combustion-engined vehicle. Renault's safety experts have added their own particular line of expertise to that of all those involved in the project. The advanced tools at Renault's disposal include a range of structural dimensioning calculation software, failure and crash simulators, and physical prototype evaluation.

- Battery: the incorporation of a 250kg battery in the vehicle has not been without effect and has called for specific bracing of the body structure in order to protect against impact. Given that the battery is as sensitive a component as a conventional fuel tank, it, too, has undergone bespoke strengthening with a view to ensuring that its modules are effectively protected.

- Wiring : the layout of the electrical wiring has also been optimised to preventing chafing, while the power supply is immediately switched off in the case of a large impact. Batteries should not overheat during everyday use, but their temperature is constantly monitored and abnormal heating is not permitted by the battery's electronic control unit.

- Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC): all the electric, electronic and electro-mechanical equipment employed by Renault's electric vehicles (e.g. the controls for the motor, charger and battery) must meet the brand's own, exacting EMC standards which are even stricter than those dictated by European legislation. Compliance with these demands ensures that the systems of a given vehicle do not interfere with those of other vehicles, and vice-versa.

Use / maintenance: Owners of electric vehicles may carry out everyday servicing work in compliance with the instructions provided in the user's manual. Safeguards have been put into place to prevent accidents such as electrocution when working around the motor. As is the case with all types of vehicle, the insulation and waterproofing of the vehicle's electrics have been designed to cover foreseeable driving situations in complete safety (e.g. water crossings).

In exceptional circumstances, such as flooding or immersion, the damaged caused by water will not pose any particular risks, either for people or for the environment.

At speeds of less than 20mph, electric vehicles are extremely quiet, although it should be noted that electric vehicles can be heard beyond this speed – if only because of the road noise generated by the tyres and the sound of displaced air. In response to this issue, Renault is currently working on the artificial generation of noise that would be audible through a loudspeaker located in the motor compartment. Renault's work in this domain anticipates possible forthcoming legislation.

When customers decide to buy new technology like an electric vehicle, it is essential that they feel totally reassured. The confidence inspired by a brand like Renault – which is widely acclaimed for the excellence of its work on safety, one of the industry's very best carmakers in terms of quality and benefits from one of Europe's most extensive networks – gives it a decisive edge over its competitors.

FLUENCE Z.E. - THE FIRST PRODUCTION SALOON ELECTRIC VEHICLE

Fluence Z.E. will go on sale in Europe and Israel from 2011 and in the UK from 2012. As the C segment's first production saloon electric vehicle, Fluence Z.E. targets motorists and fleet operators who are looking for a large car that is both economical to run and respectful of the environment.

Fluence Z.E. will be manufactured at the OYAK-Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey, on the same production line as the internal combustion engine-powered versions of Fluence. Production is due to begin in the first half of 2011.

Immediately identifiable

As the compact segment's first all-electric saloon car, it was important that Fluence Z.E. should be recognisable at first glance. To distinguish it from the internal combustion engined-version, it comes with a package of specific features and details that unmistakably associate it with Renault's electric vehicle range.

The electric version of Fluence stands at a length of 4.75 metres, which is 13 centimetres longer than its internal combustion-engined cousin in order to accommodate the battery behind the rear seats and allow a larger boot space. At the same time, the lines of its flanks have been revised in order to maintain the same overall balance as the original version.

At the front, the Renault logo, foglamp surrounds, headlamp brows and lower part of the headlamp mask are all picked out in a blue-hued colour. The upper air intake is traversed by a gloss black strip incorporating a blue chrome trim that links two similarly-finished circles situated either side of the grille. Finally, the lower air-intake incorporates a body-colour strip that runs between the two foglamps.

Fluence Z.E.'s lines are taut and fluid, while the rear quarter panels have been harmoniously extended in order to absorb the additional length resulting from the longer rear overhang. The design of the rear lights, which extend forward either side of the car, also contributes to the overall balance of Fluence Z.E.'s lines. The clusters themselves feature a pattern made up of backlit blue-hued lozenges.

Gloss black exterior mirror housings, body-colour painted side protective mouldings and the battery charge flaps on both wings add the finishing touch to Fluence Z.E.'s looks, as do the boot lid's blue-hued panel and the Fluence Z.E. badge. The rear bumper incorporates a black diffuser which is engineered to reduce aerodynamic drag, while the wheels have been specially designed to minimise turbulence. Several body colours are available, including Energy Blue, a new colour that is specific to Renault's electric vehicle range.

A spacious, status-enhancing vehicle

Fluence Z.E. is conclusive proof that electric vehicles do not have to be small, narrow and uncomfortable city cars with a limited touring ability.

The new model is the same width as the internal combustion engined-version of Fluence, and the cabin space it delivers is worthy of that of a saloon car from the next segment up, including best-in-class front and rear elbow room.

Fluence Z.E.'s interior is based on the same layout as the internal combustion-engined version. Only the rev-counter has been replaced by a bespoke instrument which displays data concerning remaining range and battery charge. The centre console includes the displays "forward", "reverse", "neutral" and "parking" which are the different positions for the transmission control lever.

Fluence Z.E. also packs a raft of useful technologies, including a built-in smart navigation system, Bluetooth telephony and automatic dual-zone climate control, plus automatic headlamp and windscreen-wiper activation.

Fluence Z.E. targets families looking for a spacious, comfortable vehicle, and total boot space amounts to 300dm3 (VDA/ISO).

The electric version of Fluence is likely to figure on the shopping list of many fleet operators and user-choosers thanks to its low running costs.

Technology

Fluence Z.E. is an entirely electric vehicle.

* Motor

Fluence Z.E. is powered by a synchronous electric motor with rotor coil. Peak power is 70kW (95hp) at 11,000rpm, while maximum torque is 226Nm. The weight of the motor – excluding peripherals – is 160kg. Acceleration performance is crisp and linear, with maximum torque available very early on.

* Battery

The capacity of Fluence Z.E.'s lithium-ion battery is 22kW/h. The battery itself tips the scales at 250kg and is located behind the rear seats in order to free up a boot volume of 300dm3 (VDA/ISO).

An energy recovery system enables the battery to be charged when the car decelerates.

* Battery charging methods

It will be possible to charge the battery of Fluence Z.E. in one of three ways:

- Via a Wall-Box (10A or 16A, 220V) which will fully charge the battery in between six and eight hours. This method is particularly suited to vehicles which are charged during the workday or at night, since it permits owners to benefit from the off-peak rates available in certain countries.

- At fast charge stations using a 32A 400V supply which enables the battery to be charged in approximately 30 minutes (available in 2013).

- The QuickDrop battery switch system will enable Fluence Z.E.'s battery to be swapped in approximately three minutes at bespoke battery exchange stations available in some countries.

* Chassis

In order to adapt the ride to Fluence Z.E.'s specific characteristics (dimensions, weight distribution), the suspension has revised settings compared with the layout seen on internal combution-engined versions of Fluence. The front suspension setting is softer, since electric motors are lighter than all the internal combustion engines available for Fluence. Meanwhile, the rear suspension has been revised to cope with the heavier weight due to the presence of the battery.

* Tyres

Fluence Z.E. runs on low rolling resistance tyres. The Goodyear-developed EfficientGrip enables lower energy consumption thanks to extensive work on tyre casings and sidewalls. The tread is identical to that of a conventional tyre in order to ensure high-performance road holding and braking.

* Dialled-in safety

The ABS and ESC (Electronic Stability Control) have been recalibrated. On the passive safety front, Fluence Z.E.'s body structure has been strengthened in order to deliver the same high standard of safety performance as the shorter and consequently lighter internal combustion-engined version.

* Production

Fluence Z.E. will be manufactured at the OYAK-Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey, on the same production line as the internal combustion-engined versions of Fluence. Production will begin in the first half of 2011. This solution will enable Renault to minimise capital outlay and get production under way rapidly, while at the same time guaranteeing a very high standard of quality.

The production of Renault Fluence Z.E. at Bursa will also permit Renault to benefit from plant's outstanding performance in terms of quality, cost and delivery times, as well as from its local network of suppliers. This in turn means that the Group will be able to market this zero-emission* saloon car at prices that are as attractive as those of the internal combustion-engined versions of the model.

TECHNICAL DATA – RENAULT FLUENCE Z.E.

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

4,748

Width (mm)

1,813

Height (mm)

1,458

Wheelbase (mm)

2,701

Front/rear track (mm)

1,537/1,555

Front/rear overhang (mm)

907/1,140

Unladen weight (kg)

1,543

Standard tyres

205/55 R16

MOTOR

Type

Synchronous electric motor with rotor coil

Transmission type

Direct drive, with reducer and forward/reverse inverter

Maximum power EEC (kW)

70

Maximum torque EEC (Nm)

226

BATTERY

Type

Lithium-ion

STEERING

Power steering

Electric, variable rate

PERFORMANCE

Range (miles, NEDC combined cycle)

100

Top speed (mph)

84 (limited electronically)



RENAULT KANGOO Z.E. - THE ZERO-EMISSION[2] LCV

Renault Kangoo Van Z.E. is a light commercial vehicle aimed at business users. It is due to be introduced in 2011 and will mainly be used in and around built-up areas.

Kangoo Van Z.E. targets extremely exacting business users looking to minimise running costs and has accordingly been engineered to guarantee a very high standard of reliability and durability. Its outstanding TCO rating (Total Cost of Ownership) makes it an ideal solution for small businesses and large fleet operators alike. It will also benefit from Renault's extensive experience of van production. To this end, Renault has chosen to manufacture the electric version of Kangoo Van at its M.C.A. facilities (Maubeuge Carrosserie Automobile) in northern France. Production is due to begin in the first half of 2011.

The new vehicle will be manufactured on the same line as internal combustion-engined versions, and will consequently benefit from the same know-how, supplier network and logistical framework as the current Kangoo. The Maubeuge plant has specialised in van production for 20 years and is capable of adapting both to the broad range of specifications associated with this type of vehicle (short and long versions, with or without windows, etc.) and to demand. The choice of Maubeuge will enable production to get under way rapidly, while at the same time guaranteeing a very high standard of quality.

Kangoo Van Z.E.'s exterior styling

The length of Renault Kangoo Van Z.E. is 4.21 metres, while carrying capacity ranges from 3 to 3.5m3. The battery is located in a central position beneath the floor, enabling the electric version of Kangoo to boast the same carrying capacity as the internal combustion-engined version. The asymmetric hinged rear doors and sliding side door provide easy access to the cargo area.

Kangoo Van Z.E.'s overall design is similar to that of the internal combustion-engined version, with a short nose and teardrop-shaped crystal headlamps. A chromed Z.E. badge in the form of a leaf with turquoise lettering at the rear indicates that it is an electric vehicle. The flap situated at the front of the vehicle, near the right-hand headlamp, is badged "Z.E.", another sign that this vehicle is powered by electricity. Energy-efficiency is further enhanced by the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres.

Kangoo Van Z.E. will be available in a choice of 11 different special effect or non-metallic body colours, and the colour that has been chosen for the launch is Silver Blue. Customers will also be to specify the colours of their own business, since Kangoo Van Z.E. is above all intended for business use.

Kangoo Van Z.E.'s interior

Range management is a key factor when it comes to electric vehicles, and Renault has taken significant steps to make this aspect as straightforward and efficient as possible. A specific dashboard display has been developed to ensure that the driver is kept informed about remaining battery charge and operational range:

- a gauge alongside the speedometer indicates how much battery charge remains,

- an 'econo'-meter provides the driver with an indication of energy consumption based on a system that employs three colours: light blue depicts normal use, dark blue reveals optimal energy use, while red informs drivers when they are using excessive energy in a way that will have an adverse effect on the vehicle's operational range,

- the speedometer needle moves across a turquoise arc,

- the trip computer's functions are adapted to the needs of electric vehicles. It displays remaining range and remaining battery energy (kWh), as well as real-time and average energy consumption.

An all-electric motor

Kangoo Van Z.E. is an all-electric vehicle. It is powered by a 44kW (70hp) electric motor which boasts energy efficiency of 90 per cent, a figure that is far superior to the 25 per cent associated with internal combustion engines which suffer from energy losses. For example, when an electric vehicle consumes 10kWh of energy, 9kWh is actually transmitted to the wheels, compared with just 2.5kWh in the case of an internal combustion engine.

This motor revs to 10,500rpm and instantly delivers peak torque, which is a constant 226Nm. Acceleration from low speed is particularly responsive. The electric motor is very quiet, too. The 22kWh battery is located beneath the boot floor and does not affect Kangoo Van Z.E.'s load capacity.

When the driver presses the accelerator pedal, the lithium-ion battery transmits energy to the electric motor. The latter converts this energy into mechanical movement which is in turn transmitted to the driven wheels. The battery charges whenever the vehicle decelerates. When the driver lifts his or her foot from the pedal, the vehicle's kinetic energy is recovered by the motor which converts it into electric current. The current generated is stored in the battery.

The vehicle's other ride-related performance features (control of body roll, steering, etc.) are identical to those of the internal combustion-engined Kangoo Van.

Battery charging

Kangoo Van Z.E. is charged via a socket located behind a flap alongside the right-hand headlamp. A conventional charge via a household mains supply (16A 220V) will charge the vehicle in between six and eight hours. This method is perfectly suited to vehicles that are parked up overnight or during the day at the workplace.

Kangoo Van Z.E. will go on sale in 2011 with an operational range of 100 miles (NEDC figure).

TECHNICAL DATA – RENAULT KANGOO VAN Z.E.

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

4,213

Width / with exterior mirrors (mm)

1,829 / 2,133

Unladen height (mm)

1,818

Wheelbase (mm)

2,697

Front track (mm)

1,522

Rear track (mm)

1,536

Ground clearance, unladen/laden (mm)

186 /143

Weight (kg)

1,410

Carrying capacity

Between 3 and 3.5 m3

Payload

650kg

Number of seats

2

TECHNICAL DATA

Motor

Synchronous electric motor with rotor coil

Power (kW)

44

Maximum revs (rpm)

10,500

Torque

226 Nm

Transmission

Direct drive with reducer

Battery

Lithium-ion

PERFORMANCE

Range (NEDC cycle)

100 miles

Top speed (mph) (limited electronically)

81mph



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Hi,

      Just wanted to suggest a place which is industry insiders’ first choice for skincare contract manufacturing needs

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      "
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldn't say 'very soon'. 2012 isn't very soon and 10% sales by 2020 is the diametric opposite of very soon.
      and I fully expect things to move ever so slightly faster than that courtesy of peak oil.
      just a shame we have to suffer through these years of recession because the car makers and politicians are so dense
      • 5 Years Ago
      The French certainly have their own style of technology road map unique to other European auto makers. Hopefully they will succeed in EV segment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, with the massive nuclear power infrastructure in France and their high taxes on oil, I'm kinda surprised that France has not made a bigger push into EVs.

        But perhaps they will make a big push now that their home car companies are pushing into EVs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nuclear??? No wonder Iran needs the nuclear power plant, everyone else can have nuclear power plant for EV, they want it too. Just because Iran has oil, they can't rely on them for too long. In order to build their future and reduce their carbon foot print, Iran needs nuclear to power their future EV.

        A little of topic, but perhaps using nuclear power plant as an excuse to support EV isn't a great idea (or vice versa).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Three cheers for Renault/Ghosn, Shai Aggasiz, and the French.

        Thanks for not giving up on your dream. When you free us from
        the stranglehold of oil, we won't be able to repay the debt. Thank you.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The notion that the West not using nuclear power for civil purposes will stop any nation state that wishes to developing nuclear weapons is quaint, but not founded on reality.
        We are a bit beyond such neo-colonialist daydreams, and in spite of the most vigorous efforts of the US Russia acquired nuclear weapons, as did China, as did.....
        The connection you are seeking to draw is not founded on reality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Spec,
        the push is at least as large as that of the US, with a fifth of the population.
        All mail is to have electric delivery, just as in Japan.
        Govenment and quasi Government organisations are to order 50,000 electric vehicles, and they are to install 4 million charging points, from memory around 1 million by 2015.
        Renault's production alone is to be around the same as Nissan's in the US, mainly Zoe's, whilst Peugeot/Citroen are teaming with Mitsubishi.

        Autovelib starts soon in Paris, with 3-4,000 EV cars for hire, a system which is already running in one small French town, La Rochelle:
        'These are obviously older cars that have been converted to electric cars, and on further investigation it appears that the Liselec scheme is a self-service, shared use scheme that residents of the city can subscribe to. For €5.50 per month, they get a card that will unlock all of these cars and allow them to be driven away. Each of the pickup/dropoff points has dedicated parking and charging facilities, so it’s quite an attractive idea. La Rochelle has 50 cars and 7 charging-cum-parking points, all of which are available without booking, 24/7.'

        http://www.motorhomeplanet.co.uk/archives/2659
        • 5 Years Ago
        They've got nuclear power, and so can run millions of EV cars economically without strain whilst eliminating billions in oil imports.
        The Germans and others are fooling around with renewables, so their electricity is a horrific cost and producing more means effectively more coal, BS aside, wind resources there being absolutely lousy, whatever may be the case in Oregon.
        If they go to hydrogen fuel cells they can make the hydrogen out of their coal, and keep up the pretence that they are in some way green.
        Denmark, which also suffers from wind, is seemingly content to pay around $0.45 kwh, and has a huge purchase tax on cars anyway, but is going ahead vigorously with BEVs.
        Presumably they will push more public transport so only a small elite will have electric cars anyway.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only affordable solution that doesn't emit harmful particulates? But alcohol fuel doesn't emit soot, smoke, or particulates when burned. As for affordable, it costs only $130 per car for an automaker to make a given model flex fueled.

      On CO2, they may have a point, but CO2 emissions from ethanol, and biomass derived methanol, are an improvement from CO2 emissions from petroleum, because the former is from the current carbon cycle and would have returned to the air anyway, and the latter had been sequestered underground. Thus alcohol fuel vehicles are a major improvement over the status quo.

      And sweeping claims of zero this and that make you a hostage to fortune. I'm the first to acknowledge that a coal plant powering a fleet of EVs via the grid pollutes less than a fleet of ordinary gasoline cars, but it's not zero.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, but to produce 1 gallon of alcohol you need 1 gallon oil equivalent. Apart from consuming water & other resources.

        Kill the subsidy, kill the ethonol sham.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's France. 90% of their electricity is from nuclear and hydro, 74% nuclear:
        http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article7140014.ece

        Sure, they sell cars outside of France too, but the drive to electrify by Renault is entwined inseparably, and financed in large part, by the French Government's de rigiste planning, which had previously created the French nuclear park.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I find it difficult to see how you can be much more radical than the Twizy!
      The Zoe looks good to me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Hi,

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      G.S. Cosmeceutical is a cosmetics and cosmeceuticals custom formulator offering the state-of-the-art facilities, anti-aging, natural and organics skin care ingredients, experience and responsiveness you expect for your successful skincare product launch.

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      "
      • 5 Years Ago
      "From 2012, three further models will be launched: Fluence Z.E. plus two..."
      "Fluence Z.E. will go on sale in Europe and Israel from 2011"

      So Renault will sell a car before it launches? Maybe they mean on-sale as in you can place an order for a car in 2011, but you won't get it until 2012. But you can go to http://www.renault-ze.com/ and "pre-reserve" right now. Their timeline shows the far-out Twizy city mobility pod "launching" in 2011 before the Fluence "launching" in 2012, even though the they published specs for the Fluence months ago and the latest Twizy is no more than a computer rendering. It makes no sense.

      The calendar widget there shows 559 days... "before the complete Renault Z.E. range has launched", which is 2012-03-29.

      Launch, production, order, on sale,... none of these have their normal meaning when it comes to EVs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The dates that you are looking at seem to refer to whatever market the press release was made in, perhaps the UK.
        Later the article says:
        'Fluence Z.E. will go on sale in Europe and Israel from 2011 and in the UK from 2012. As the C segment's first production saloon electric vehicle, Fluence Z.E. targets motorists and fleet operators who are looking for a large car that is both economical to run and respectful of the environment. '

        So in the UK it will launch after it is already being sold in other markets.

        In any case, the Kangoo and the Fluence are to start production in 2011, and the Zoe and Twizy in 2012.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ghosn might end up being a few years early but that is much better than a few years late. As long as early adopters and buyers of the normal Nissan/Renault gas cars keep paying the bills, Nissan/Renault will be undisputed EV leader.


      Kinda weird to see an automobile revolution coming from a French company (Renault), but I think Nissan is the real leader here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When Renault took over Nissan and put Ghosn in charge in the late '90's few people thought a French company could teach the Japanese how to run a profitable business. The business turnaround, however, exceeded all expectations. Ghosn is pretty amazing from a management perspective. Only a complete fool would not take him seriously.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Check out the history of Citroen if you want to see the French leading an automobile revolution!
        I'd love to see hydropneumatic suspension more widely adopted, it would seem a very good fit for electric cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Two important announcements on the AESC battery (also used in the LEAF) :

      1. energy density of 100wh/kg
      2. delivers between 80 and 100 per cent of its original capacity for an average duration of six years

      The chemistry AESC chose is heavier than what LG is using with the Volt, but the cells are more tolerant of high heat and fast recharges.. thus the lack of liquid cooling.
        • 5 Years Ago
        so 24kwh is 240kg for the pack, 530lbs.. bare cells are 171kg or 377lbs.. thus the battery case alone is 153lbs.

        I dont know, does that sound reasonable?

        Previously AESC has mentioned an energy density of 89wh/kg

        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/05/aesc-lithium-io.html
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was working from memory, as my main computer is down with my bookmarks, but I have googled up this:
        'The battery is high-density laminar-cell Li-ion type with manganese oxide in the cathode, characteristics of a design with low internal resistance, and as a result good thermal stability. The pack weighs 480 lb (218 kg) including the control module and is rated at 24 kW·h total capacity, with an energy density for the cells of 140 W·h/kg, indicating a weight for the cells alone of about 378 lb (171 kg). The front-drive motor is rated at 80 kW and 280 N·m (207 lb·ft).'

        http://www.sae.org/mags/aei/7714

        Wiki used this as a reference but somehow managed to up the weight of the pack from 218kg to 300kg!
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Leaf

        So if this is right ( the first reference) then the specific energy at pack level is around 110Wh/kg

        I knew I had a figure of 140Wh/kg floating around in my mind from somewhere, but perhaps none of the figures that are about are to be greatly trusted as they seem to be used very loosely.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nah, that's battery pack weight, so it is around the same at that level as the Volt.
        At the cell level from memory it is around 140Wh/kg.
      • 5 Years Ago
      My Ghosn impersonation : "I see EVs .. they are everywhere !!"
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