In the U.S. we more often hear of Nissan’s all-electric Leaf but this week Renault-Nissan announced the registration of the 10,000th Renault Kangoo Z.E.
The small electric van’s milestone sale was commemorated by having its keys handed over to Deutsche Bahn’s Gerhard Dech at the Frankfurt auto show Sept. 10.
Targeted at European fleet customers looking to minimize their carbon footprint and save on fuel costs, the vehicle was launched around a year after the Leaf at the end of 2011.
The Kangoo Z.E. is built at the MCA plant in Maubeuge, France, and marketed in around 20 European countries.
Its electric motor delivers 44-kw (60 horsepower) and 226 Nm (167 pounds-feet) torque and gets its juice from a 22-kwh Li-ion battery. Under the NEDC cycle, its range is 170 km (106 miles).
The vehicle’s sale terms are unique in that the vehicle is purchased or leased separately from the battery which is paid for by monthly subscription.
Monthly prices start at from €75 ($100) (excluding VAT, for a distance of 15,000 km over 48 months) and Renault guarantees the battery is in good condition, with minimal charge capacity of 75 percent or greater, and offers roadside help for those who run it out of power.
The business case for the vehicle is multi-pronged, not least of which is the average electricity cost per kilometer (or mile) is between five and ten times lower than petrol, says Renault.
Beyond this, maintenance costs are said to be 20-percent cheaper, and Renault offers a host of services and customizable options with the Kangoo Z.E.’s acquisition, noting it also is a safe vehicle
It won International Van of The Year in 2012 and Renault reports 95 percent of its customers say they are satisfied with the Kangoo Z.E. and they like its driving comfort, absence of noise and load capacity.
Ten thousand sales total in the past year and three-quarters may sound modest, and it is, but this is a new market for which Renault is plowing the ground.
The automaker says its efforts have led to the Kangoo Z.E. being Europe’s best-selling small electric van and accounts for almost 10 percent of Kangoo van sales.
In France Renault says it is the “best-selling electric vehicle” and 6,000 business customers – 60 percent of the total – have gone for it there.