Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Renault previews electric car blitz at Frankfurt auto show

Renault is charging into the electric car game with four head-turning concepts.

They preview a quartet of production cars that will launch starting in 2011.

The Fluence Z.E. concept is an electric version of the five-seat Fluence sedan and has a range of 100 miles. It will be the first to make it into production in the first part of 2011, Renault says.

The Twizy Z.E. concept is an ultra-compact city car. It's slightly larger than a scooter and has a 1+1 layout.

The top speed is 47 mph with the acceleration equal to a 125cc motorbike. Power comes from a 15-kilowatt motor.

The Zoe Z.E. concept is a four-seat supermini for urban driving. It has scissor doors in front and butterfly doors in the rear. The motor is 70 kw, and it has a 100-mile range.

It rides on 21-inch alloy wheels, has a retractable rear spoiler and mood lighting.

The Kangoo Z.E. concept previews an electric van for fleet and commercial use. It has a 70-kw motor, solar roof panels and a heated steering wheel.

Renault also unveiled a “Quickdrop” system, which would allow batteries to be swapped out in three minutes at special stations. Otherwise, the vehicles take four to eight hours to charge via a socket, or can get a quick charge in 20 minutes.


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