back to article Renault intros e-MPV

It's no secret that the Renault-Nissan Alliance has big plans for the leccy car and that Renault's first e-car will be something based on its Kangoo van-cum-MPV. The first draft of Renault's e-car vision saw the light of day last year in the form of the ZE Concept, but things are now firming up with the unveiling of the Kangoo …

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  1. michael

    looks ok

    wander how much it costs to have a 32A 400V three-phase supply fitted in my house?

  2. Albert Gonzalez
    Paris Hilton

    And the gearbox is for ?

    So for what do you need a gearbox in an electric car ?

    If it is real, there is a very bad electronic design here, if not, then the lever besides the steering wheel is superfluous.

    PH as she is also mostly for show.

  3. Jim Westrich

    The Title

    So the "fuel guage" is available for the public to view. This is obviously a boon to hitchhikers looking to go the extra mile but has anyone thought this through.

    People would have charge more often and not run down the battery as often if they were going to be publicly ridiculed for their limp charge. This would obviously be a problem with visiting worrying nags ("you only got a quarter tank why didn't you fill up before you came over?").

    How about the issues within relationships (you said you were going around the corner but I can see from your door that you went across town!)? It seems to me there would be security implications as well but I won't get into those.

  4. Johnny G
    Thumb Down

    Ugly

    Possibly the ugliest car I've ever seen. Why do electric cars have to look so crap?? Just make it look like a normal car FGS, even make it look like an existing model if you can't be arsed to design a new look!

  5. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Makes a great little delivery vehicle

    That range and relatively quick recharge should make this an ideal delivery vehicle for city centre businesses like caterers, florists and the like. Finding a good niche for 'leccies will be key to getting them accepted. Hoping to compete with the petrol family car is a non-starter (ahem) right now bearing in mind the limitations of the technology.

    Does anyone remember a Channel 4 series about 10 years ago called 'Better by Design' which got a couple of industrial designers, Richard Seymour & Dick Powell, to redesign the Norwegian Pivco electric car? They had the brilliant idea of turning it into a tiny delivery vehicle with interchangeable back sections that could be swapped as and when needed to carry different loads. Of course, as in all these things, the company saw the idea, loved it and then decided to stick with the original layout.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why oh why...

    ...do these people expect us to believe their BS? If they want to live in a fantasy world that's fine, but they shouldn't expect us to join them.

    A 99 mile range is real world? Who's real world? The battery car crowd like to tell us at every oportunity that the vast majority of journeys are short hops, that may well be true but how many people can afford a second car to do their occasional longer journeys? How much damage to the environment do they enviasage being caused by manufacturing all those extra cars?

    Kudos to them for getting the charge time down to something reasonable, but unfortunately 3P supplies aren't common in a domestic setting. Getting your street dug up to lay the necessary cable to your garage (if you have one, of course) won't be cheap. And how about the upgrade to your local substation to cope with all these houses drawing all that extra current? How about running a 13A charge to every car in the local multi-storey? How is that going to be supplied?

    As usually the pro-leccy crowd will respond by telling us that we need to change our lives to suit these cars, but again they are living in a fantasy world. In the real world consumers expect technology to adapt to their lifestyles, what sort of consumer is going to fork out huge amounts of money

    Long journeys by public transport? In the UK? Don't make me laugh. First you have to plan a journey involving at least two changes of train to get you from where you live to your destination, not to mention the taxi or bus at either end. Then you have to stump up the extortionate price of the fare.

  7. Albert Stienstra
    Thumb Down

    Renault Unpopular (not like the old Ford)

    15kWh battery for 100km range? It is not very likely that the 44kW motor gets you 100km/h using only a third of its power, with a normally loaded vehicle. So, to get that range with 15kWh, you probably have to creep along at 25 - 30 km/h average speed. Lovely, it will take 3 - 4 hours to cover 100 km.

    And, if you want to quickly charge your car with the 400V 32A socket, you had better not stay in the car but do be sure to hold your fire extinguisher ready. With 25 kW charge power going into the batteries and a charge efficiency of 90% you will have a 2.5 kW heater heating up the batteries. It will get hot under that dashboard, very hot.

    To put it very mildly, this will not be a very popular commute vehicle. More like an enclosed electric shopping vehicle for disabled people.

  8. Mark Dowling
    Alert

    Charging port?

    Shouldn't the flap angle up, as a moisture deflector when refuelling during rain/snow?

  9. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Re:And the gearbox is for ?

    Reverse...?

  10. K Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Hmm

    Fugly..

    That is all!

  11. Mick Stranahan
    Thumb Up

    @AC

    I seem to recall reading someplace that 30% of UK households run two cars and 6% of households run 3 or more and that those second, or third, or forth cars make up around 15% of the cars on the road, or between 4 and 5 million cars. I'd say there's plenty of scope for electric cars in that market - the wife's Clio seldom covers more than 20 miles even on a busy day and if she neeeded to travel more than 100 miles she could use my Focus - I only need to cover 8 miles to and from the railway station. Electric cars won't be for everyone but I'll certainly have a look at one when the time comes to get rid of the Clio, assuming the price is not too steep.

  12. Steven Knox Silver badge
    Boffin

    Re: the gearbox

    Some of us sometimes have need to go in reverse.

    I know, you don't need a gearbox to do that in an electric car, but that's no reason not to continue to use the familiar lever to provide that function -- even if it is actually just a giant switch.

  13. Andy
    Unhappy

    Fugly

    Why are all of the French leccy cars so plug ugly.

    Is it a prerequisite?

  14. Paul

    What next...

    Are they going to launch a car that is filled from the rear and call it Rok-Steady?

  15. Neil

    @Albert

    how about.....reverse?

  16. Mark Boothroyd Silver badge
    Flame

    Batteries under the dash!

    Lets hope they don't go the way of recent laptop batteries!

    At least if there in the boot and they go boom, or catch fire, you've still got a chance to stop the car and get out, but if there inside the dash, best of luck!

  17. Adam Williamson Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    @Albert, AC 15:37

    Albert: "So for what do you need a gearbox in an electric car ?"

    You may want to look into the concept of 'reverse'.

    AC: "The battery car crowd like to tell us at every oportunity that the vast majority of journeys are short hops, that may well be true but how many people can afford a second car to do their occasional longer journeys?"

    You may want to look into the concept of 'rental'.

  18. Pete Hampton
    Thumb Down

    You can't polish a turd

    Bad looking or otherwise, they are betting on the wrong tech. Battery cars are fundamentally flawed and are not what is going to move the green revolution in cars. For that we have to use Hydrogen. Honda and others have already proved the case for the vehicles themselves and Shell and others have already got the capability to produce the fuel.

    For governments around the world to take this problem seriously, they have to back a technology that will be readily accepted by the populous at large and for that I'm afraid, my garlic munching chums, is not 19th century battery cars.

    Hydrogen can in the words of a marketing suit, deliver throughout the whole of the supply chain. Dedicated "Green" electricity generation ( Wind, Solar, Wave etc etc ) could be used to create the Hydrogen from sea water. Oil companies already have the delivery infrastructure, they're called Petrol Stations and the vehicles take two to three minutes to re-fuel to provide a 250-mile plus range. It's almost a no-brainer, yet these clots still want to pursue a tech that will never gain popular support. The only way to move forward is to deliver to what we expect today.

  19. PunkTiger
    Coat

    Bebop, eh?

    Not bad, really, but it looks nothing like a warthog. I'll wait and see what their Rocksteady concept looks like before I have a final opinion.

    Mine's the one with the tortoise shell buttons.

  20. Peter Bond

    Gear stick

    I'd assume it's for selecting forward/reverse.

  21. christopher hinton
    Flame

    renault unpopular

    Whenever EVs like this are mentioned on this site someone always mentions the "daily commute" or the "shopping runs out of town",both of these activities can be carried out sans car if one really wishes so what is really stopping us is the convenience factor. Can't wait to explain that to future generations..."sorry it took us 20 years to take up EVs but we had a good reason to continue shipping oil around the world and driving 100 year old technology....Evs were a bit inconvenient". As to the 100 mile range problem,the majority of the British population have lived in urban areas since about 1850 and as a result very rarely make journeys of more than 20 miles each way. So lets be realistic shall we?Get an EV and use ther train for long hauls unless you like thelovely Saudis that much.

  22. John
    Stop

    I'll buy one...

    ...when an electric does what my current vehicle does. That is travels for 300 miles with a top speed of 130mph, 0-60 time of aprox 9 sec, with the radio, AC, and headlights burning, and I can spend £20 and 10 minutes to fill it back up.

    THAT is what the industry should be working towards (or better).

    Cheers,

    John

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    Extended range

    I saw something which looked very much like this at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2007. It was called the Kangoo Compact Concept. It had 2 pairs of matching in-line skates in the boot. Perhaps they'll market them as an extended range option.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Ghey

    Looks like something Bicentennial Man would drive.

  25. Swanny
    Flame

    Go the EV!

    Always at least one on the hydro (hydrogen) why use electricity to get hydrogen from sea water / fossil fuels/ Rainbows and Sunshine, when you can just charge a battery it has something to do with efficiency as your using electricty to crack water or a fossil fuel (since we seem to have a lack of non oxidised hydrogen) to just use the hydro as a storage mechanism to convert back to electricity to run an electric engine!

    Every conversion has a loss, minimise the losses is the name of the game!

    A chemical battery is the same thing a storage mechanism, not as easy from the consumer side due to charging time but far more efficient and please "Shell can make it let them save the day"ARRRGRGHHHH just go down to the servo, fill up with 10,000psi of hydrogen, just make sure you grab a packet of ciggies and smoke in your car on the way home LOL

    Maybe also take a look at those water engines that are all over the internet, I hear they work really well also HAHAHAHAHAHHA

    Me I'll put my money where my mouth is, I'll be buying electric and converting my old dato to electric also

    Looking forward to the flasher models may offer, bring on the in wheel motors.........EV EVO Lancer!

  26. Justin Clements

    range at night

    Wonder what the range is like on a cold wet night when you have the lights, heater and window wipers on?

  27. Chris O'Shea
    Thumb Up

    Getting there ...

    With the quoted figures for range and charging time then it would easily handle 90%+ of my driving ... 99 miles is my London->Cambridge run so that's far too close to the limit though ... but if they put a 20 minute recharging station in at the A1(M) services at the M25, then I could stop for a coffee and to check my emails :-)

    It will be interesting to see what the consumer price for car recharging at motorway services will end up being ... 20 minutes of 32A 400V 3-phase ... petrol is currently around £1/litre and an efficient small car can get around 45mpg so 10 miles per litre or 10p/mile ... any bets whether you'll be able to recharge your electric car for under a tenner?

    And using an MPV ... "a “real world” range of 160km (99m)" ... Real world MPV is a car full of screaming kids, groceries, and that exercise bike you picked up from Freecycle and haven't actually removed from the car yet as you've nowhere to put it ... or do their real world figures assume an MPV with one (light) person in it? How does the estimated range change if you go from one 10-stone person, to a real world family with bags and groceries? ... enquiring minds want to know!

    p.s. "Charged through the nose" - nice one!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Charge indicator on the side...

    Speedo under the floor.

    Indicators on the windscreen wipers.

    Steering wheel in the boot.

    Brake Pedal on the roof.

    Owner in the mad house...

    sounds great!

  29. Albert Stienstra

    @ Christopher Hinton

    As regards your remark concerning the Saudis: you don't really think that electric vehicles will be any more economical in use than current petrol/diesel cars do you? If so, check out the power generation efficiency and the losses in the transport-conversion-charging chain. What do you think will be used to stoke up the electric power stations? Wind power? Not very likely. That tecnology can supply 3% of our current energy need and won't be getting much better in the future. Coal? Gas? Also not very likely. So, with the majotity voting against nuclear power, most of the electricity of your electric vehicles will probably come from the Saudis.

  30. b
    Go

    really nice!

    now, hurry up and start bleedin' makin' 'em and selling 'em to us!

    GOGOGO!

  31. CypherDragon
    Joke

    @Justin Clements

    ---

    Wonder what the range is like on a cold wet night when you have the lights, heater and window wipers on?

    ---

    Just far enough to make sure you arrive home very cold, and soaked to the bone.

  32. Sean Timarco Baggaley
    Boffin

    Er, no.

    Battery-powered cars are a dead-end technology for Old World countries. Where do I plug my car in when I live in a basement flat in a converted 200-year-old Georgian house with neither off-street nor on-street parking? (I used to park my car in a nearby supermarket car park, but few residents in the area have even that option. Most UK housing was built by the Victorians and predates the rise of the automobile.)

    The solution isn't hydrogen -- that's a stopgap measure at best. Why do we insist on driving individual power stations around our roads at all? It's ridiculously inefficient. Trains have been running on electricity for over a century now and they don't use batteries. (Well, not for the actual moving anyway.) They get it distributed to them through overhead wires or live rails. Trams and other forms of light rail use similar power supplies.

    Granted, stringing wires along the roads isn't going to make them look any prettier -- though a glance at cities like San Francisco suggests nobody there would notice the difference -- but that's far from the only, or even the most practical, solution...

    Bombardier have built an induction-based system for their trams which sits entirely beneath the surface. (http://www.railwaygazette.com/news_view/article/2009/01/9282/primove_catenary_free_induction_tram.html.) This exact same technology would work just as well on *any* road-using vehicle. We're not allowed to drive off-road in London, so we're almost driving on rails anyway. Neither are most urban car journeys done at great speed. 30mph is a typical speed limit in most Old World cities -- often, it's lower. (Induction-based power would, incidentally, eliminate the need for speed traps / bumps and the like: just reduce the power to the induction grid in the relevant roads!)

    "But this would mean digging up all our roads!" I hear you moan.

    What do you think all those lovely, tarmac-slathered roads, coloured lines, floodlit signposts, traffic lights, zebra crossings, underpasses, bypasses, flyovers, motorways / freeways, roundabouts and the like were built for? The horse and cart? Not only have we already built brand new infrastructure for the car, but this infrastructure undergoes frequent maintenance and renewal: rolling out induction systems while performing routine resurfacing is perfectly viable and wouldn't add noticeable disruption. Batteries would get you through areas where the induction hasn't been fitted, but they wouldn't need to be optimised for long-distances: they'd be recharged while you're sitting at traffic lights over an induction-fitted road.

    Remove the need to cart power-plants around in your cars and you can also make smaller, lighter, more economical cars. Making cars *smaller* is how we'll solve the perennial congestion problems in Old World cities like London and Milan.

    Removing the emissions also makes certain civil engineering problems like road tunnels far easier to resolve as the ventilation requirements are drastically reduced. (Suddenly, the notion of tunnelling a replacement south circular A205 *beneath* south London's rat's-maze of a road network makes more financial sense!)

    And if you've read this far, you need to get out more.

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