The Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van looks pretty much like the petrol model however; the main differences you notice immediately are when you get in and drive it; there is no noise. This is because there is no combustion engine which is what creates noise when driving vehicles built in the traditional way. This van is one of the quietest you will find on the market and the idea of being able to just jump in and pull away with ease is great. It almost has the feeling of being in an automatic; some of you may prefer a manual feel when driving however, when you are in the middle of a busy city it has its advantages. The Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van is really aimed at those of you that spend most of your time driving in urban areas and the battery will last you approximately 106 miles; at which point, it will need to be charged.
The braking system with the Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van can actually add around 20 miles to the life of the battery; this is because it has been designed to acquire energy whilst you are slowing down. Do bear in mind however, that if you need the air conditioning or like to whiz about at high speeds, then you can expect to reduce the life of the battery by about 50 miles. All in all, this van gives an efficient form of driving and the battery powers a 44kw motor which is electric. This will give you about 60bhp. When it comes up to the time when you need to re-charge your battery, bear in mind that this can take up to 8 hours, so overnight when you are not using your van is the best time to do it. It is possible to plug the battery into a normal 3 pin socket, however, Renault state that you should install a charging station; this comes at a price though, costing around US$1500.
Another thing to think about is the fact that your Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van gives out no noise. This can be a bit strange at first but you get used to it. Be aware however, that cyclists or pedestrians cannot hear you either, so be vigilant when you are driving the van.
Going back to the braking system, this can also be a little difficult to master at first, especially if you have never driven an electrically operated vehicle before. Basically when you take your foot of the accelerator, the van will start to slow down by itself. This means that you could end up going the whole day without actually having to use the brake pedal, unless of course, you are parking! Once you are used to how the braking system works, you can add more range to the life of the battery. If you are on a long journey the battery will be put under more strain however, speed is not sacrificed and the engine itself has plenty of acceleration when needed. The other plus is that you will not get all that noise and fumes that you often get when accelerating with a diesel engine.
Putting the whole electric information aside for a moment, one of the key selling points of the Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van is the pay load which is around 650kg; the battery is stored under the floor so it does not compromise on space within the van.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. Van is not going to suit everyone at the moment however, if you are in the business of offering services that require you to make many deliveries throughout the day it's definitely a van worth looking into. As long as you give the battery time to charge overnight, you will find that you do not miss having to go the filling station and watch all of those dollars disappear into the tank.