Renault is ready to party at its Z.E. (zero emission) Center in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, near Paris. While it's being called a birthday celebration, the Z.E. Center actually opened up almost a year and a half ago, in January 2012. Renault says that it's the first electric vehicle test center in Europe.

So far, the Center has organized over 21,000 electric vehicle test drives for professional, institutional and individual customers and guests. These visitors have driven the family of Renault EVs - Zoe, Twizy, Kangoo Z.E. and Fluence Z.E. - more than 50,000 kilometers (31,000 miles). Visitor who go for a drive are accompanied by EV experts around a two-kilometer (about one and a quarter mile) track. Along the way, they learn more about the services, benefits and charging infrastructure details that come with EV ownership. Through April 2013, Renault has only sold 24,688 EVs throughout Europe, or roughly the same number as it's had test drives at the Z.E. Center.

Visitors have included race car drivers Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel, photographer/journalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand and a few French government officials. It's got to help Renault to gain such exposure, but the trick will be expanding the sales figures way beyond the number of visitors.
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The Renault Z.E. center in Boulogne-Billancourt celebrates its first birthday May 14, 2013

The Renault Z.E. Center is a unique venue in Europe. Free and open to all, it is dedicated to helping people find out more about the brand's electric vehicles.
Some 17,000 individual and professional visitors have taken part in the electric revolution since January 2012.
A number of high-profile figures have visited the center to find out more about Renault electric vehicles, including Alain Prost, Sebastian Vettel and Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
The Renault Z.E. Center helps to boost Renault's environmental image and improve the sales performance of the Renault Z.E. range, which accounts for over 75% of electric vehicle sales in France.

Since January 2012, the Renault Z.E. Center in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris has organized over 21,000 electric vehicle test drives for professional, institutional and individual customers and brand guests. More than 50,000 zero-emission kilometers have been driven over the last 18 months.

Located on Île Seguin in Boulogne-Billancourt, the Renault Z.E. Center is the first electric vehicle test center in Europe. Visitors to this renowned venue get to find out more about the four vehicles in the current Renault Z.E. range – ZOE, Twizy, Kangoo Z.E. and Fluence Z.E. Accompanied by electric-vehicle experts, they can test drive the cars on a 2 km track and learn more about the corresponding services and charging infrastructure. A team dedicated 100% to zero-emission mobility is on hand to answer all the visitors' questions. The Center is free and open to all.

Visitors to the Center have included Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel. A number of institutional guests have also come to live the electric experience, including the French Finance Ministry, the officials in charge of the French government's car fleet, and numerous representatives from local government.

Commenting, Renault Z.E. Center director Benoît Treilhou, said: "The aim with the Renault Z.E. range was to create an original and welcoming venue combining an educational approach with on-track test drives. In the ideal setting of Île Seguin, we bring our visitors a unique experience, with Z.E. advisors on hand at each step to answer questions and give detailed explanations on all the new facets of electric vehicle use. Visitors leave the Center feeling convinced and enthusiastic."

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