Renault electric car here in 2012
23rd June, 2011
Renault will be amongst the first to offer Australian fleet
and family car buyers a practical, feasible and viable all-electric option when the Fluence Z.E. five-seat
sedan goes on sale here next year.
The Renault Fluence Z.E. (Zero Emission) is visually similar to the petrol-powered Fluence sedan
launched in Australia late last year, and shares an identical interior architecture, but under the bonnet
it is very different.
The Renault Fluence Z.E. is powered only by electricity stored on-board in a 48-module Lithium-ion
battery (mounted behind the rear seats), which can be recharged using a charge spot installed at home or
work (6-8 hours for a full charge) or at a Better Place battery switch station where a depleted battery is
exchanged for a fully charged one in less than four minutes.
The battery drives an advanced electric synchronous motor, which produces 70 kW at 11,000 rpm. Maximum
torque is 226 Nm. An energy recovery system enables the car to charge the battery under braking or
deceleration. As with all electric motors, maximum torque is available almost instantly, giving the car
excellent acceleration characteristics that are linear and satisfying. Top speed is electronically limited
to 135 km/h.
The electric motor is all but silent when running and, with an almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution;
the Renault Fluence Z.E. boasts neutral handling and exceptional ride comfort.
The Renault Fluence Z.E. runs on low rolling resistance Goodyear EfficientGrip tyres, which have special
casings and sidewalls to help extend the driving range. The tread pattern is identical to that of a
conventional tyre in order to ensure high-performance road holding and braking.
Compared with the petrol-powered Renault Fluence sedan, the 4,748 mm long Fluence Z.E. is 130 mm longer
to accommodate the battery, while the front and rear styling has been modified to provide enhanced cooling
and aerodynamic efficiency, as well as present some visual differentiation and Z.E. identity.
Behind the wheel, drivers will notice the rev-counter is replaced by a gauge showing remaining range and
battery charge, and a centre console display identifies the selected transmission mode: ‘forward’,
‘reverse’, ‘neutral’ and ‘parking’.
An ‘econo-meter’ uses a new colour-coded system to tell the driver how economically they are driving 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.
Standard equipment will include Bluetooth telephony and automatic dual-zone climate control, plus
automatic headlamp and windscreen wiper activation.
Also standard equipment is a smart Better Place designed navigation system, known as OSCAR, which not
only offers traditional route guidance but can also pinpoint the closest charge spots and Battery Switch
Stations. A range of 185 km is promised, measured according to the NEDC industry standard for fuel
efficiency, using the same methodology to measure consumption of internal combustion engine vehicles.
The Fluence Z.E. is a C segment vehicle that can comfortably accommodate a family and their luggage.
The first Renault Fluence Z.E. vehicles will arrive in Q2 2012, for select customers in Canberra.
Vehicles will be available for general sale in Q4 2012 from selected Renault dealers.
Pricing and local specification will be confirmed closer to that date.
“The Renault Fluence Z.E. will be the first family-sized all-electric powered sedan to enter the
Australian market,” said Justin Hocevar, Managing Director of Renault Australia.
“We are taking the lead in offering Australia’s fleet and family buyers access to a vehicle that we
are confident will meet their needs for an environmentally friendly vehicle that generates no emissions
“And thanks to our agreement with Better Place in Australia, energy used to charge the batteries for
Renault Fluence Z.E. vehicles will be drawn from renewable energy sources.”
“At Renault Australia, we see the Fluence Z.E. as being the first vehicle which ticks all the boxes
for a wide variety of car users. And we’re working towards pricing the Fluence Z.E. in a way that it will
be very attainable to these customers.”
“Our aim with the Fluence Z.E. is to take away as many of the remaining excuses as to why you can’t
switch to renewable energy zero emissions for your mobility needs,” he said.