Renault Unveils the Kangoo Maxi Z.E., the LWB Version of its Small Electric Van

French car manufacturer Renault will use the Geneva Show to unveil the Kangoo Maxi Z.E., the newest member of its EV family that will go on sale in autumn 2011. Available in two or five-seat configurations, the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. has a maximum carrying capacity of 4.6 cubic meters (162.4 cubic feet), thanks to the 40 cm longer wheelbase (1.3 ft) than the Kangoo Z.E., while the load length is 2.9 meters (9.5 ft).

The five-seat version comes with a 60/40-split folding rear bench, which disappears into the floor to release a completely flat deck and free up almost 3.4 cubic meters (120 cubic feet) of carrying space.

The van is powered by a 60-horsepower electric motor, which has an instant peak torque of 226 Nm (166 lb-ft) and is “fuelled” by a 22kWh lithium-ion battery located under the floor. Charging time varies between 6 and 8 hours, with each full charge costing EUR1.5 ($2.05) and the average driving range being around 170 km (105 miles).

As with its other electric models, Renault will offer clients the possibility of either buying or leasing the car, with an additional monthly subscription to be paid for the battery (from EUR72/$99). Renault’s calculations indicate the annual maintenance cost for the Kangoo Maxi Z.E. will be similar to the conventional model if the distance traveled is less than 15,000 km (9,320 miles), and become more competitive as the mileage grows.

Pre-tax pricing in Europe starts from €21,200 ($29,100), with prices in France after a €5,000 state subsidy beginning from €16,200 ($22,250), which is very close to the price of a diesel-engined Kangoo Maxi.

By Dan Mihalascu

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