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back to article Renault pledges Fluence ZE will be UK's cheapest e-car

Renault has price up its Fluence ZE to claim the EV will be the cheapest e-car in the UK when it arrives next year. Its cost to you: £17,850 on-the-road after the government's £5,000 e-car grant, a price that "undercuts every other electric car in the UK". Renault Fluence ZE True, that is rather more than the £6690 Renault is …

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Not again

Any chance someone will make an e-car that can go a reasonable distance on a charge?

300 miles would be sufficient for most of my journeys, I was rather hoping that bigger vehicles would start arriving with bigger ranges, but they all seem to be stuck at 110-120 for some reason.

You can just about get away with the "95% of car journeys are under 12 miles" argument for a little hatchback, but bigger saloons like this are more likely to be for longer journeys.

I guess I'll have to keep waiting for the future to get here.

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Flame

Stick a honda generator in the boot

You can run them off red diesel.

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Came to say the same thing

Best part of 20 grand on a car with a range of 57 miles if your planning on getting back home again.

Well it's probably more like 50 miles if you've got your mates in the back and a boot full of stuff. Or 45 if your being sensible about it, because it's not like you can walk down to the petrol station and buy a gallon of electricity when you run out.

So basically you're trying to sell me a car that I can barely take out the city, thanks but no thanks.

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JC_
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Makes Sense to Me

Nope, even for big cars your 95% rule applies. After all, it's about the driver not the car. My mum used a Holden SS (5.7l V8) as a town runabout, so one never can tell.

The 100 mile or so range comes down to the compromise between battery size, cost and range. I'm guessing the manufacturers studied driving patterns pretty closely to decide what they did. They can't make everyone happy, but this seems worth a shot.

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Get a hybrid

That's the only chance you have of getting that range any time soon. The Chevy Volt is austensibly electric but the motor kicks in when the battery runs flat. I expect that when / if micro turbines appear that electric vehicles will only bother to hold 20 miles battery charge before kicking over to the turbine to provide current.

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Too early to buy

This is the whole problem with electric cars at present. You may pay for a car now that becomes technologically obsolete shortly after when a better battery is developed, potentially leaving you with a car with no resale market or upgrade potential.

The range is not the problem so much as the recharge time. If you had a really small fuel tank in a conventional car you would just have to stop more often for fuel. But with electric cars you have to factor in an overnight stay.

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FAIL

Any chance someone will make an e-car that can go a reasonable distance on a charge?

Nope. Greater range needs more power, which means more batteries, which means more weight, which means more power needed, etc, etc.

It's all a scam based around government subsidies anyway, like wind power.

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@nyelvmark

"It's all a scam based around government subsidies anyway, like wind power."

No, it's an attempt by government to encourage people to buy more energy efficient vehicles. To that end they offset the price of the new technology with a grant to put it on a more competitive footing with the established technology. The intent is over time as the balance tips to the new tech (economies of scale, infrastructure etc.) they can lower and then abolish the grant. Just as happened many times in the past.

As for more range it does not imply more batteries. Hybrids are the obvious way to extend range, first with combustion engines but perhaps later with microturbines.

One way to extend battery-only range is to simply swap the batteries out at the charge station. A company called Better Place is building such a network already in some countries and the Renault Fluence is one vehicle explicitly mentioned as supporting it's "Quick Drop" battery replacement tech. That's just one example, it's clear that the problem is being worked from many angles.

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@DrXym

>>No, it's an attempt by government to encourage people to buy more energy efficient vehicles.

OK, I'm for that. There's just one small problem. There is no existing or envisaged battery technology that is "energy efficient" by any reasonable interpretation of the words.

Storing energy is one of the biggest problems faced by the energy sector. France generates 80% of its electricity in nuclear power stations. Why not 100%? Because electricity demand varies considerably over the course of a day, and there's no way to quickly bring a nuclear reactor online or take it offline. The obvious solution would be to store terrawatts of power in batteries during low-demand periods and make it available during demand peaks.

Why doesn't this happen? Why do we spend millions building (also highly inefficient) hydroelectric pumped-storage?

Go figure.

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i want the EF version

That way the badge will read EFFluence, more aprapo for a Citroen piece of crap.

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Leased batteries

The article fails to mention that the purchase price does not include the batteries. Those have to be leased at £75 per month for three years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. So that's £2,700 for three years - not an unreasonable cost, but if this is used as a runabout on short journeys it would cost considerably more then the electricity used on a per mile basis. At an average of 12,000 miles per year, the battery cost is about 7.5p per mile.

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Not sure about an "unprecedented surge"

Last thing you want in an electric car.

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Coat

"bracing itself for an unprecedented surge"

Given Renault's history with electrics, I'd guess that they're talking about their warranty repair shops?

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Joke

They forgot the 'e'

Surely as it is an e-car the should call it the eFluence!

Oh never mind, I will close the door on my way out.

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Not really!

It's a five seat four door, true, but it is only Megane sized so the argument is still valid, when moving up into the Laguna, rep car area I could see your point, not here!

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MrT
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At least....

... it's got five seats though - GM take note, with your four-seat-only stuff for the Ampera and the bigger one to follow it. I was beginning to think that only the Prius was built for proper families who want all that green eco-glow feeling, like you'd get from organically grown Ready-Brek.

"Unprecedented surge" - that'll look good on the insurance claim form...

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Anonymous Coward

How about a gas guzzling Range Rover...

..or maybe not.

200 miles on a charge?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/7879096/Electric-Range-Rover-to-go-into-production.html

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Don't bother, please

Unless you can make it for this cost and a REAL 300 mile MOTORWAY range (that is to say 70mph constant), then give up, or put a small battery in it and a small range extender. That's the only way that a car like this is usable unless you live in a city, and the idea of being screwed by a rental company every time you want to venture out absolutely delights you.

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