Renault's Kangoo Van Z.E. may not be the most stylish EV on the market, but it is on its way to becoming one of the most popular. Renault has announced that the results of a competitive bidding process have led to the sale of 15,637 units of the electric van, with 10,000 of those orders coming from the French postal authority. Another 1,500 of the little haulers are slated for Électricité de France, the second largest French utility company.

The Kangoo is priced between £16,990 and £18,690 ($27,640 and $30,410 U.S. at current exchange rates) with a required £59 ($96) per-month lease on the battery. Renault has been able to reduce prices and get the Kangoo to market relatively quickly because it builds the EV version of the van on the same production lines that are already cranking out the internal combustion Kangoo. With a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, the van is expected to get over 100 miles on a change, making it well suited to the demands of most postal routes and other commercial uses.

In 2012, Renault expects to add the Fluence sedan, compact Zoe, and the unique Twizy to its line of EVs. However, the on-again off-again support from the French government may slow the release of some vehicles.
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19 large companies place their trust in Renault with an order of 15,000 Kangoo Z.E. models
October 28, 2011

Renault has won the first lot of a call for bids initiated by the public authorities and organized by the public procurement organization UGAP.
More than 15,000 Kangoo Z.E. models are to be ordered over a four-year period by 19 of France's largest companies, which took part in the call for bids.
This success confirms the relevance of Renault's Electric Vehicle business model and the intrinsic qualities of Kangoo Z.E.

Electric vehicles are a reality at Renault today, for private and professional customers alike. A total 15,637 Kangoo Z.E. models have been ordered by the 19 companies taking part in the call for bids, of which 10,000 for La Poste, 1,500 for ERDF, 1,200 for UGAP, 510 for Veolia Environnement, 450 for GDF-Suez and 330 for Spie.

Multi-phase selection process

Renault has won the first lot in a call for bids initiated a year and a half ago by the public authorities, which called on La Poste chairman Jean-Paul Bailly to form a group of orders from large companies interested in acquiring electric vehicles. The invitation to tender was entrusted to the public procurement organization UGAP.

The first phase of the selection process was referred to as "competitive dialog". Every month, the carmakers taking part in the call for bids met with purchasing representatives from the order group to answer their questions, present the Renault Z.E. range and feed back their needs. This phase was used to build a panorama of the offering and draw up the technical specifications meeting the needs of the members of the order group.

Kangoo Z.E., the first affordable 100% electric van

Renault Kangoo Z.E, the first range of full-electric vans, priced from €15,000 (in France, ex VAT, €5,000 environmental bonus deducted), has been available to order in France across the entire Renault network since September 30. It will be making its first physical appearance at more than 370 dealership in France today, followed by gradual launch in all European countries.

Kangoo Z.E. is produced at the Maubeuge plant in France along with its internal-combustion sister. The plant has been specialized in the production of light commercial vehicles for 20 years and is able to continuously adapt to the diversity inherent to this type of vehicle (short and long versions, panel version, etc.) and to sales demand. The choice of Maubeuge enables rapid industrialization while ensuring extremely high quality.

Commenting J. Stoll, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing & Light Commercial Vehicles said: "This success by Renault confirms the relevance of our electric vehicle offering – products and services alike – with business customers. The 19 large companies acquiring Kangoo Z.E. were attracted to its intrinsic qualities and by our original business model, based in particular on battery rental. I would like to warmly thank the customers in the call for bids that placed their trust in us and the Renault employees that made this possible."

*****

Companies taking part in the call for bids: ADP, Air France, Areva, Bouygues, EDF, ERDF, Eiffage, France Télécom Orange, GDF Suez, GRT Gaz, GrDF, La Poste, RATP, SAUR, SNCF, SPIE, Suez Environnement, UGAP, Vinci et Véolia.


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  • 38 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Link in French: http://www.moteurnature.com/actu/2011/renault-kangoo-ZE-electrique.php Renault have arranged a 25% discount with Avis and Europcar for the times the range is not enough for a Renault electric vehicle driver. Being French the site has a right go though at Renault about the battery leasing as they will only replace a leased battery FOC if it falls 25% below nominal charging capacity. It seems OK to me, as unless you are daft you will take out a 3 year lease rather than more as longer does not save you money, and the chances of the battery on a 15,000 miles per annum lease loosing anything like 25% of capacity in 45,000 miles seems to me very remote assuming the engineers have done anything like a decent job.
      Marco Polo
      • 3 Years Ago
      From it's inception the Kangoo EV was always going to be a fairly controversial little van. Why? Not because of the van itself, which is a well made, conventional little workhorse, but due to the vehicles unusually low pricing and radical battery leasing concept. There would appear to be a misconception about commercial motor vehicle lease plans. A motor vehicle lease, is not the same as 'hiring'. It's a 'tax deductible' method of purchase. The ownership of the vehicle is transfered to the purchaser, (along with all operating liabilities), but the proprietorship, remains with the financier. At the end of the lease term, the 'owner' must either pay the financier the agreed 'residual', or dispose of the vehicle and pay the balance of any losses to the financier. It's simply a finance agreement, just like hire purchase, chattel mortgage etc. The main advantage of a motor vehicle lease, is that the whole monthly lease payment is conveniently tax deductible in most countries. Renault's battery lease plan, seems to be very good value for Renault buyers, but uneconomic for Renault. But then, that's Renaults business! Why should the customer care if Renault lose money! As Ezee points out, what if the ownership of the van locks owners into purchasing or renting batteries from Renault?. This may clash with the consumer or trade practise laws of some countries. In Australia, the Batteries lease agreement would require the full retail price of the batteries to be displayed on the contract. I suppose Renault will cross those bridges when they arise. Other causes of controversy arise from the substantial covert subsidies and support provided by the French State (and State sponsored organisations) to Renault and other French EV makers. Again, so what? If the French taxpayer wishes to invest in the success of French industry, that's entirely a decision for the taxpayers of France.(Especially since Renault is partly owned by the Government of France.). David Martin is to be congratulated for his much appreciated, steadfast coverage and insightful analysis of developments within the French EV industry. (I still think they should give him a Fluence ZE in appreciation!).
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        Thanks, Marco. For some reason the name Fluence ZE always makes me think of toothpaste. I'll take the Zoe Gordini when it comes out, thanks! Without knowing the details of all the contract laws in every jurisdiction, I suspect that in most if you don't want to use a Renault battery that is fine, once the vehicle is owned by you and not on lease, but if you put another in that would of course void your vehicle warranty. You might also have fun trying to get the BMS to be compatible. If they continue to show the cost leadership they have then it seems doubtful that anyone will bother with trying to sell alternative battery packs. OTOH if competitiveness drops then presumably a lot of custom installers would jump in with alternative offers. All this is ideal, as either way the customer is covered. I assume it is a lot less challenging to put a different battery into an electric car than to convert an ICE, so we should be good. One last comment on how vehicle leasing works, at least in the UK. On many occasions the leasee simply gives the vehicle back to the dealer and gets a new lease vehicle. If he does want to keep the vehicle then he pays a previously agreed price. I suspect many early electric leasees will buy the vehicle. With extraordinarily low maintenance costs, why not? Later when people have experience of the longevity of electric vehicles then I suspect buying it at the end of the lease will be more costly, as they should have very low depreciation.
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          @DaveMart. "the leasee simply gives the vehicle back to the dealer and gets a new lease vehicle.If he does want to keep the vehicle then he pays a previously agreed price. I suspect many early electric leasees will buy the vehicle." David, the UK is no different than I described. The lease is not with the dealer, or even the manufacturer. The lease is, for all intents a purposes, a finance contract. It's an instrument that can be bought or sold between finance companies and banks without the knowledge of the vehicle owner. Equitable interest is retained, but beneficial ownership transfers (along with liability) to the owner. (lessee) This is not really understood by many private people who enter into a motor vehicle lease. The idea of simply returning the vehicle to dealer and getting a new car, is not very good business! You should always investigate the true used 'trade-in value of your vehicle. The balance left over at the end of the contract, is always stated as the 'residual' payment. If you return the vehicle, the dealer will sell the vehicle and if the amount is less than the residual figure, you are liable to pay the difference. If you opt to sell the vehicle privately, any surplus equity vests with you. When, shopping for a replacement vehicle at the end of your lease, hunt the best deal, not just from several dealers, but from the companies vying for your lease business. Remember, when the dealer arranges your lease he is receives a commission from the finance company. He may still offer the best deal, but it pays to get quotes and compare. Some manufacturers carry their own finance, Renault may well offer great deals to provide finance for the kangoo, due to the fact that it's battery leasing and unproven second-hand value would deter many financiers, preferring to lend the money to Renault and Renault sell the 'paper' with recourse.
          Marco Polo
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          @DaveMart Oh, Dave my comments were not aimed as a criticism of you, or at you personally. It's just that in many posts on ABG, the concept of Motor vehicle leasing seems to be very misunderstood. So, I thought I might just take the opportunity to contribute my 2 cents worth of advice!
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Thanks. I think I realised as I was typing my post on leasing that I was talking well outside my firm knowledge. My fingers seemed to carry on anyway. Perhaps a 'Dan moment?' :-)
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @DaveMart
          Fair enough Marco. If you check out the battery lease details on the links I have provided you will see that that is also arranged through a finance company, whether owned by Renault or not I have not bothered to check.
        Arun Murali
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Marco Polo
        So, what happens to the leased battery after 3 years. Since the whole car is not leased, the owner has a choice to take a new battery continuing the lease? If so Renault should sell their battery somewhere in the market. Since there is no existing market for used batteries, how do they base a business on it?. This makes the batteries to be available at about $160/KWh for 3 years. The current market price of EV batteries to cost about $400/Kwh, considering massive order quantities that they will get from this proposition, they should be getting the batteries at about $300-350/KWh. So at the end of lease the battery still has about $3200 residual value. The owner has to pay about $4000 to acquire the battery and can use if for 3-4 more years. My guess is that about 30% of the owners will just buy the residual value of the battery(since monthly prices fall to about $83 from $98). The rest of the 70% of the batteries might be offered again to public on a 3 year lease as a lower cost/lower range option for new buyers. Their real hope is that less than 2-3% of their sales will be electric and they are willing to take a few losses for a few years before the battery's price itself falls and turns the whole operation profitable before the share reaches 10%. They gain market share for the loss of some money is similar to marketing spending. In return, their brand value will go up significantly, in the future. Should we be bothered if the company is making profit? Yes, we should certainly be. Otherwise we end up with the same situation as the EV1. One day the company's profit plumbets for some reason and the company will first pull the plug on all the loss making sections. You dont want that to be your car, trust me. If your car happens to be pulled off the market, then you will never find a way to use it(no battery) or sell it. GM atleast didn't leave you with cars that you could never use cause a new battery from the market will cost you about $8000-10,000 to purchase. I will still rate the whole thing quite experimental and risky. I myself might have enjoyed it a little bit more if they sold me the battery on a 4 or 5 year loan than a lease. It might have costed me more monthly than they are offering on the lease but I can atleast choose to take the loan from a company from whom I trust and I own the battery. No pulling plugs, will stop me from using my car.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Arun Murali
          Since Renault are building capacity of around 250,000 + electric vehicles a year, they are hardly hoping that they will only constitute 2-3% of their sales. At the end of the lease period the lower mileage driver's batteries will be fine, and they can lease them out at a reduced rate. They also have plans to re-purpose batteries after they are down to 80% capacity as stationary storage where this will not matter.
      porosavuporo
      • 3 Years Ago
      In a postal fleet, a few cars with trunk-installed extended range battery packs would make sense.
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @porosavuporo
        They will have plenty of diesel vans for years for that.
      Dave
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kudos to France and its nuclear power industry. However, as always, the range is most probably optimistic: "With a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, the van is expected to get over 100 miles on a change"
        Dave
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave
        For comparison, the Leaf has an EPA range of 73 miles and a 24kwh battery pack - thats 3.04 miles per kwh. 100 miles from a 22 kwh battery pack is 4.55 miles per kwh. ~65 miles would be a more reasonable estimate of the Kangoo ZE's range.
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          No Dave, Nissan Leaf uses 21 kWh (total 24 kWh), Kangoo and Fluence 22 kWh (total 25,9 kWh).
          Dave
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          "Renault claims that that the electric Kangoo can cover, at best, 125 miles" Sounds about right. Nissan claims that, at best, the Leaf can cover 138 miles. http://green.autoblog.com/2010/06/14/nissan-pegs-leaf-range-between-47-and-138-miles-individual-resu/
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Dave
          'Renault claims that that the electric Kangoo can cover, at best, 125 miles. That range, however, could fall to 50 miles if you're driving aggressively or in poor conditions. An ‘Eco’ mode switch cuts torque and speed to further increase the range by up to 10%.' http://www.parkers.co.uk/vans/news-and-advice/2011/october/electric-renault-kangoo-ze-road-test/ How that would rate on the EPA is uncertain. However in practise in Europe these are going to be spending their day in city traffic, so how good the regen is will count even more than on the Leaf.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't agree with the lack of style comment. What is illustrated is the Kangoo ZE van, but how about the 5-seater Maxi crewvan, giving loads of space for 5 and lots of load space too?: http://www.renault-ze.com/en-gb/gamme-voitures-electriques-renault-z.e./kangoo-van-maxi-crew-van-z.e/presentation-60381.html NB there is no subsidy for commercial vehicles in the UK. French prices are ~5,000 Euros cheaper. I think a lot of EV enthusiasts would be very happy driving this.
      Автомобили Будущего
      Renault Kangoo и Master http://futurecars.com.ua/2011-03-05-08-44-01/312-renault-kangoo--master-
      EZEE
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lease on the batter $96? Does that mean the battery gets replaced for free if it gets old? $96 a month seems like a lot, considering how much that will add up to over the life of the vehicle. Of course, it might be nice if the article mentioned WHY they have a $96 a month lease on the battery. If you don't pay - will they come and take the battery but leave the vehicle?
        EZEE
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I did the math (I am an engineer after all) and that would be $5,760 over 5 years, which, if the batteries are $10K - that is not a bad deal (assuming heavy driving and such). Still, rather scary to think that one way or another, there is a BIG chunk of change built into the cost of the vehicle, assuming that something of that cost will certainly happen. I essentially have a 'disposable' boat - the boat is not worth the replacement cost of the engine - so I treat the engine very well and it is now 15 years old and still has the same compression as it did the day I bought it. With the batteries, one would expect that this is GOING to happen, then. What you state below - on fuel costs - will be a big factor (if current technology, and not the solid state batteries rule). Education of the buyer will certainly be an issue, as this will be a cost (and benefit) that few have ever had to address before. I am not saying it isn't a good trade off, but, the education factor will be an issue. I can also see the oily car salesman not mentioning the $96 monthly charge when selling the 'car.'
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          Sorry, my reply ended up above your comment ! :-( 'Anyone with any sense is going to lease over 3 years. If you are in trouble on falling capacity after then you sure would not want to actually own the battery as you would in the Leaf. After the 3 years, say from 2012 to 2015, you then can hand in the battery and get Renault's brand new, extra capacity NMC one for more range, whereas in the Nissan Leaf you would simply own a battery with ~50% of its rated capacity down to 80% spent. Would I lease the new battery, or try to buy it if offered the option? Probably buy it, actually. We will have a lot more experience with electric cars then, so the risks should be somewhat reduced. More importantly though NMC technology as opposed to the manganese spinel technology in present Renault batteries should approximately double the expected number of cycles down to 80%, and the likely increase in battery size from 22 kwh to around 30kwh would further lift battery life down to 80% for any given annual mileage, before considering that, in comparison to having bought a battery in 2012, presumably you would find less than 80% of the new battery adequate, perhaps down to around 60% At that stage you then have a car with a much longer likely life and low maintenance than even a new ICE, and a more powerful battery likely to last as long as the car does. So in 3 years time the buy/lease calculus may be very different, although of course it all depends on the new lease price. IMO though there is no question that at the moment it is a better move to lease the battery rather than buy.'
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @EZEE
          I should have added that at 5 years and 15k a year then you would have done 75,000 miles, and your battery would be distinctly worn, perhaps down to 80% or so. It is in fact clear that Renault's battery lease price is based on figures way less than you can buy them for, perhaps less than $400kwh, although how much of this is Renault pricing low and anticipating future price decreases is not clear. The lease only values the battery at around $6-8k at most, which is way less than a buying price. Get in!
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EZEE
        ?? Of course if you don't keep up on a lease they take the leased item back. It is all not really a big deal as in the UK at least businesses normally lease cars, as do many private individuals. So you just take out a separate 3 year lease on both. At the end of that you simply return the battery and could either lease a new one, or if it is still OK just extend the lease on the old, likely at a cheaper rate. It works out at $3456 for 3 years, and at 9,000 pa that is $0.13pm, for 15,000 mpa the cost at £87pm is $4860, so costs 40.11pm Electricity at off-peak rates would add another 3 US cents per mile, total costs for 45,000 $5850 Diesel for that sort of mileage in the city might come to around $12,000, so the economics are fine. If you bought the battery, then had 45,000 miles of use out of it, how much would you have depreciated it? If you are a business, you must also count the interest on the capital you employ buying a battery. This is a far better deal than paying ~$10,000 for a battery pack.
          DaveMart
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Anyone with any sense is going to lease over 3 years. If you are in trouble on falling capacity after then you sure would not want to actually own the battery as you would in the Leaf. After the 3 years, say from 2012 to 2015, you then can hand in the battery and get Renault's brand new, extra capacity NMC one for more range, whereas in the Nissan Leaf you would simply own a battery with ~50% of its rated capacity down to 80% spent. Would I lease the new battery, or try to buy it if offered the option? Probably buy it, actually. We will have a lot more experience with electric cars then, so the risks should be somewhat reduced. More importantly though NMC technology as opposed to the manganese spinel technology in present Renault batteries should approximately double the expected number of cycles down to 80%, and the likely increase in battery size from 22 kwh to around 30kwh would further lift battery life down to 80% for any given annual mileage, before considering that, in comparison to having bought a battery in 2012, presumably you would find less than 80% of the new battery adequate, perhaps down to around 60% At that stage you then have a car with a much longer likely life and low maintenance than even a new ICE, and a more powerful battery likely to last as long as the car does. So in 3 years time the buy/lease calculus may be very different, although of course it all depends on the new lease price. IMO though there is no question that at the moment it is a better move to lease the battery rather than buy.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought I would gather the info we have on the Renault Kangoo here. Most of it is given here: http://www.renault.co.uk/resources/PDF/brochures/ze_pg.pdf Battery prices for 36 months and over leases are: £60pm for 6,000 mpa £62pm for 9,000 mpa £74pm for 12,000 mpa £87pm for 15,000 mpa Insurance costs are given as 80% of the diesel price 'On the savings side, Renault EV buyers get a E5,000 ($6,650) bonus from the French government, insurance is said to be 20% cheaper and electricity will cost only about E1.08 ($1.44) per 62 miles (100 km) compared with diesel fuel at about E7.00 ($9.32) per 62 miles (100 km). Renault says that in total, an EV costs less to operate than an ICE-powered vehicle if driven about 12,400 miles (20,000 km) a year, or 50 miles (80 km) a day for 250 days. ' http://wardsauto.com/ar/renault_ev_marketing_111007/ Since they give maintenance costs as half that of a conventional car it would seem that Renault is being conservative, and here they simply say that total running costs are 20% less than an ICE : http://www.renault.com/en/capeco2/vehicule-electrique/pages/vehicule-electrique.aspx Service intervals 12,000 miles or 1 year and 25,000 miles or two years.
        DaveMart
        • 3 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        And here are their larger electric vans/tippers etc: http://www.renault-trucks.fr/renault-maxity-electrique/ The only serious omissions from their goods vehicle range at the moment are the Ford Transit size vehicles, the Traffic and so on. No doubt these will be with us shortly.
      Spec
      • 3 Years Ago
      The US should also replace their postal fleet with these.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Spec
        The USPS is currently examining several different prototypes of BEVs.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The Petrol prices are roughly similar . . . the taxes are much higher in Europe though. And since the postal service is a government organization, they are just paying themselves that money so it is a wash. One can break-even at current petrol prices . . . and since those prices are only going to rise, you are better off buying electric now instead of buying and being stuck with gas-guzzlers a few years down the road.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Its still an easier call in France. 100% of their oil is imported, so there is not the same resistance from oil companies and they save a lot on the import bill as they replace petrol with electric. They can also run about 7.5 million electric vehicles if they charge at night before they need to build any new nuclear stations, and they make money on the electricity that they can now use instead of standing the reactor down. This helps Government accounts both since they make tax on the electricity and because it improves the finances of the quasi-Government AREVA.
          Spec
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          Yeah, clearly the US needs to use a US supplier. But someone needs to step up to the plate and create a little light-weight deliver vehicle that can be charged up overnight and travel 70+ miles a day. I believe a typical USPS route is no more than 50 miles a day. And it is stop & go driving. A perfect application for EV technology. The gasoline savings will help prevent the USPS from going bankrupt, but that up-front cost hurts and needs to be minimized.
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          The trouble is that US petrol prices are much lower than in Europe. Sure, the Government looses tax money but the economics show up for the individual enterprise. The break-even point is probably with petrol at about $4-4.50 US gallon. Without more government support it is difficult for an organisation already in financial trouble like the US post to justify the extra. Other organisations are much stronger financially and can afford to take a longer term view on their delivery vehicle needs.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      Apparently the battery plant in Flins will be able to up capacity to 350,000 batteries/year. The French Government/quasi Government orders may approach 100,000 http://blogs.afii.fr/en/2010/05/electric-vehicles-in-france-change-up-a-gear/
        Marco Polo
        • 5 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        When done Renault and the French government. Perhaps EvnedGene should consider this sort of government support before he criticises the Obama administrations support of US business which must attempt to compete in the same market place .
          DaveMart
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          This is simply the way France works, from the construction of the Canal du Midi on.
      DaveMart
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had feared that this was a reduction in the initial French plans for Government and quasi Government organisations to order 50,000 EVs, but not a bit of it. In addition to the ~10,000 more EV's to come from Peugeot /Citroen, this order is for the Kangoo. Orders for other cars are to follow as they come into production: 'The bid tender was initiated a year and a half ago. (Earlier post.) La Poste chairman Jean-Paul Bailly was charged with forming a group of orders from large companies interested in acquiring electric vehicles. The invitation to tender was entrusted to the public procurement organization UGAP. UGAP estimates a total value for the project, which will lead to the acquisition of some 50,000 EVs, of about €1 billion (US$1.4 billion) over four years. In addition to the light electric vans, the UGAP tender is seeking a two-seater compact van with a load capacity of approximately 1 m3; and a passenger car with four or five seats.' http://www.greencarcongress.com/2011/10/ugap-20111028.html Expect a big order for the Twizy, which will work fine for La Poste for mail delivery, and also for the Zoe when it comes out next fall.
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