2012 Renault Fluence Z.E. – Click above for high-res image gallery
Renault has just revealed the final production designs for its first two electric vehicles, the Fluence Z.E. sedan and the Kangoo Express Z.E. van. Both of these battery-powered vehicles will go on sale in Israel and Europe during 2011 and Renault is now taking pre-reservations for both. Currently, the reservation process does not provide any indication of pricing for either vehicle.
Interestingly, the press release confirms that Renault will be moving forward with its plan to charge separately for the vehicle and the battery pack. Customers can either buy or lease the sedan or van just as Americans will do with the Nissan Leaf. The battery, however, will remain the property of Renault and will be leased to customers for a monthly fee. The plan is to price the car and battery so that the total cost of ownership and operation is similar to what you would pay for a comparable diesel-powered car and fuel.
Renault will supply the first two markets in Israel and Denmark with at least 100,000 vehicles over the first five years. Better Place will handle distribution in Israel while Renault dealers in Denmark will handle sales and service.
The production Fluence gets battery charger connectors on both front fenders while the Kangoo gets a single port on the front of the vehicle. Both vehicles have a nominal range of about 100 miles. The Fluence's 22 kilowatt-hour battery charges in 6-8 hours from a 220 volt outlet or 30 minutes from a 32A/400V station. The Fluence is the first production EV to also feature Better Place's quick-drop battery swap capability.