Renault has launched a new longer-range version of its Kangoo Van Z.E. and an all-new electric Master Z.E. at the Brussels Motor Show.
The new Kangoo Van Z.E. boasts a theoretical range of 168 miles, which is 50% more than the outgoing model and — says the firm — the longest of any electric van.
Both vans are available with new, faster charging technology which promises to improve the usability and appeal of electric vehicles.
Kangoo Van Z.E. update
The latest update features a new Z.E.33 33kWh battery pack and a new R60 44kW motor. Combined, these help to increase the range of the electric Kangoo to a specified maximum of 168 miles. Faster charging will also be possible. A new 7kW 32A charger will be available that can fully charge the Kangoo in just six hours.
The new Kangoo Van Z.E. will go on sale in Europe from the middle of 2017.
New Master Z.E.
Large electric vans are thin on the ground at the moment. So urban operators interested in reducing their carbon footprints and avoiding the cost and hassle of running diesel vans that are essentially unsuited to such operations may be interested in the new all-electric Master.
It uses a larger R75 57kW motor but will be powered by the same Z.E.33 33kWH battery pack as the Kangoo. This inevitably reduces range somewhat, but Renault says the new Master Z.E. will be capable of up to 124 miles between charges. That’s pretty respectable.
As with the Kangoo, a full charge from Renault’s 7kW Wall Box charger will take six hours. I guess 13A charging will also be possible, albeit at a much slower pace.
The Master Z.E. will go on sale in the European market at the end of 2017.
What’s next for electric vans
It’s interesting to see how rapidly electric vehicle ranges are starting to increase. The Renault ZOE is now available with a Z.E.40 battery that gives this small car a range in the region of 200 miles.
Longer ranges were always inevitable as the technology matured — I suspect faster charging is the next logical step. I’m sure we’ll start to see this over the next couple of years.