Be Bop ZE is a showcase for electric tech, due on sale in 2011
6 May 2009

This is the next step in Renault’s plans to launch an electric car in the next two years. This prototype Renault Kangoo Be Bop ZE contains most of the technology that will go into production in 2011.

The electric Kangoo is powered by lithium ion batteries, mounted underneath the dashboard; putting them here means the Kangoo can retain all of its load capacity in the rear.

The car is charged via a socket in the front wing. The cable plugs into a domestic socket for a six to eight-hour charge, or can be fitted with a three-phase plug which will charge the battery to 80 per cent capacity in 30 minutes.

Energy-saving measures include regenerative braking and flat-surfaced wheels that improve airflow around the car. The ZE’s ride height is 20mm lower than a standard Kangoo.

Renault is also working with German energy firm RWE, along with 20 other car makers, on standardising a charging plug for use across Europe. Using this plug, the Kangoo could be fully charged in 20 minutes.

The motor is a 59bhp/140lb ft unit with a 12,000rpm limiter hooked up to a single-speed reducer. Renault says the Kangoo Be Bop ZE has a top speed of 80mph, and a range of 62 miles, but the first production electric Renaults will increase that figure to 100 miles.

Those cars will be a Kangoo van for Europe and an all-electric Megane saloon for the Israeli market. Renault will then launch an all-new standalone electric car based on the Clio platform in 2012.

Dan Stevens

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