Renault Kangoo ZE electric concept at 2009 Frankfurt motor show | CAR Magazine

Renault Kangoo ZE electric concept at 2009 Frankfurt motor show

Published: 15 September 2009 Updated: 26 January 2015

This is the Renault Kangoo ZE, just unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show. It’s a preview of the Kangoo-based electric commercial vehicle that Renault will sell from 2011.

Talk about white van man – tell me about this Renault Kangoo ZE

That white paint is practical – it’s heat-reflective and helps to prevent temperature fluctuations, as does the Thermos-style double-layer bodywork. And there’s specially treated glass, all of which helps reduce the load required of the air-con system. Roof-mounted solar panels provide power for the climate control, and regulate the temperature when the van is parked.

There are also polyurethane gel bumpers, which soak up minor urban impacts, plus cameras that replace the door mirrors, and LED lights which use less energy than conventional bulbs.

Inside there’s a mobile phone which relays information to the driver regarding the remaining charge. A mobile is better than an on-board computer, Renault says, because it consumes less energy.

The lithium-ion battery charges the 70kW (95hp) electric motor, which offers a limited top speed of 81mph, and 100-mile range – it’s mechanically similar to the Be Bop ZE CAR drove earlier this year. The remaining charge of the battery is also displayed on the exterior door panels.

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By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large