Renault’s family of electric cars remains on target for UK showrooms. The French firm this week confirmed fresh details about its plan to become market-leaders in volume-selling electric cars, by launching a devoted battery-powered family saloon, supermini, city car and light commercial van in the UK over the next 18 months.
The production and sales plan
The cars will all be built in Europe for the European market: the Twizy supermini at Renault’s Valladolid plant in Spain, the Zoe supermini at Flins in France (home of the Clio), the Kangoo van at Villiers-Saint-Frederic in France, and the Fluence saloon in Bursa, Turkey. The Kangoo will launch in the UK first, in mid-2011, with the other three passenger models following in 2012.
Renault’s electric breed won’t be available at every UK Renault dealer. The firm will be offering the sales and service franchise business for its EVs “to those dealers that want it” over the coming months.
Sales estimates for the EVs are modest, but the cars are expected to account for 10 per cent of Renault’s global sales volume between them by 2020.
In the UK they will be priced at roughly the level of an equivalent diesel-powered car, once the government’s £5000 ‘low carbon incentive’ is factored in. That implies a UK retail tag of around £19k for the Fluence Z.E. and £14k for the Zoe Z.E.
The government’s EV discount won’t be offered on the Twizy Z.E. because it will be registered as a scooter-like ‘quadracycle’ rather than a car. It’s expected to cost about £6000 when it comes to market in 2012.