EVLN: Renault Kangoo ZE Coming to a postie.au near you

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EVLN: Renault Kangoo ZE Coming to a postie.au near you

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Renault Kangoo ZE: Coming to a postie near you
David Morley October 23, 2014

Renault has loaned Australia Post four electric Kangoo vans as part of a local trial

Okay, electric cars aren't new by any means but there are a handful of new ones on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne right now that you'll be seeing if you live in the right postcode.

Renault has imported a small batch of electrically-powered Kangoo parcel vans and loaned four of them to Australia Post for evaluation.

Two have been doing the rounds in Melbourne and two in Sydney and according to Renault Australia's electric vehicle specialist Elena Woods, they make perfect sense in that role.

"Because postal deliveries are a back-to-base operation, the users know exactly how far they need to travel. If that figure is less than the range on the Kangoo, there's no need for range-anxiety," she told Drive.

The Kangoo ZE is, to put it as simply as possible, a Kangoo van with the petrol or diesel driveline removed and a 44kW, 226Nm electric motor replacing it.

There's no gearbox and the ZE is limited to 130km/h and has a range of between 80 and 125km/h, more than enough for most parcel runs.

The Kangoo then takes six to nine hours to recharge at a cost of roughly $5.

If the transformation from conventional to electric power seems simple, so is operating the Kangoo ZE. You simply get in and drive it like a normal van, with the same controls and a similar level of performance. There's just less noise. None, in fact.

The lithium-ion battery weighs about 260kg, so the ZE is a little heavier than other Kangoos at 1505kg, but beyond the slightly firmer suspension to cope with that, there's no apparent dynamic trade-off.

Ms Woods says the French Postal Service already uses 4000 Kangoo ZEs.

"We'll use this Australian trial to see if the business model is viable here."

But don't hold your breath: With Australia Post crying poor right now, it's difficult to see how a Kangoo ZE at around $50,000 (compared with about $25,000 for a conventional Kangoo) would get the stamp of approval.
[© 2014 Fairfax Media]
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