With the Kangoo ZE, Renault is targeting a new target group for electric cars. It is a simply constructed 2-seater; Can be used as a small transporter for tradespeople in local transport. After our last test in 2016, technical innovations have increased the range to up to 270 km under optimal conditions thanks to the new 33 kWh battery. This promises to double the range compared to the previous model. In principle, this results in a larger radius of action. In everyday life he surprises us in a few details.
According to Renault, the range is the best value of all e-commercial vehicles. The actual range in short-haul service with a high proportion of stop-and-go is around 200 kilometers at summer temperatures. In the harsh winter, according to our experience, it should be around 100 to 125 km. For the mobility needs in the city area, this distance is sufficient for the daily requirement.
Functionality is the focus of the delivery van. The main function is simply to transport packages and other loads over short distances. Behind the two simply furnished front seats, the loading area is separated from the driving area by a grid. The loading area can be used in a variety of ways in everyday life, for example for transporting various professional groups from cleaning companies to craft businesses.
The city supplier
The electric Kangoo is currently available in two different versions. We use the short version of the two-seater in test operation. With the Kangoo ZE, the cargo compartment has a capacity of 3,0 to 3,5 cubic meters, depending on the version, with a payload of 650 kilograms. The two-seater version of the Kangoo Maxi ZE has 4,6 cubic meters of cargo space and 605 kilograms of payload. In the five-seat version, the storage compartment holds up to 3,4 cubic meters. The payload is 640 kilograms. This means that the car is set up for everyday work in almost all commercial fields of use. After entering, the eye falls on a tidy dashboard with clearly arranged analog displays. Battery charge status, speedometer and temperature display: all essential information is summarized without frills.
This time we are testing outside temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius in summer. The new separately excited synchronous motor of the Kangoo ZE and Kangoo Maxi ZE has an output of 44 kW / 60 PS like its predecessor, but according to Renault it is more energy efficient and has an optimized battery control. Thanks to the use of more compact components, the drive based on the electric motor of the ZOE compact sedan requires less installation space than its predecessor. The unit is a completely in-house development by Renault. It mobilizes a maximum torque of 225 Nm, which is already available when starting off. The acceleration is quick, in the higher speed ranges it is more sluggish.
The car is primarily to be used in city traffic and on short journeys, where the car swims quickly with the flow of traffic. We have to cut back on the range in the European driving cycle in the practical test. The batteries have to be recharged after 200 kilometers.
Driving tests and single-phase charging
After all, the new version of the Kangoo ZE has a new charging system that allows a slightly faster "recharge": This still means the delivery van needs around six on a wall box with a charging power of 7,4 kW (single-phase 32 A) Hours to get to the full charging capacity. In practice, you should therefore consider whether the daily range is sufficient, especially at low temperatures, because full charging is more likely to be achieved with a single charge overnight. After all, Renault equips the Kangoo ZE with a charging cable as standard, which is equally suitable for the wall box and public charging points.
In exceptional cases, a cable is available with which the electric vehicle can be connected to regular 230-volt household sockets, for which Renault charges a surcharge of 476 euros. As with braking and coasting, kinetic energy is clearly recovered through recuperation and fed into the battery. As soon as you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, the feed-in processes are clearly perceptible.
As with the current ZOE, Renault connects the Kangoo ZE's air conditioning system with a heat pump, which also increases the range. In contrast to conventional heating systems, the system draws a large part of the energy for heating or cooling not from the battery, but from the ambient air and thus requires significantly less energy.
Equipment and prices
In order to save energy, the air conditioning system also has an upstream function. As long as the vehicle is connected to the charging station, only electricity from the grid is used to cool or heat the interior. With this function, pleasant temperatures can be achieved when boarding. The car including the battery currently costs 37.032,80 euros according to the price list in the very simple basic configuration. Those who prefer the variant with battery rental are at 26.203,80 according to the price list. All comfort features such as a package with air conditioning, navigation system or electric exterior mirrors are subject to a surcharge.
The multimedia display including radio, hands-free kit and navigation device is still a bit cumbersome to use and a long way away from the driver for direct operation via touch, but there is again an additional control in the center console. All functions in the test were fully developed and lead you safely to your destination or to the next registered charging station. The controls on the steering wheel and the steering wheel column are easy to reach. The automatic is easy to operate. Some driving assistants are included in the test version. In addition to the usual electronic stability and brake assistants, a parking aid is integrated into our test vehicle as a radar warning: a useful accessory due to the limited view due to the lack of rear side windows.
Compared to the previous model, the new version has achieved significant improvements in the areas of recuperation, energy savings and increased range. Charging the battery is only interesting for overnight charging. The interior, equipment and controls are kept simple and functional. The new version has become more interesting for short-distance and city traffic.
There are more practical tests from the 2019 model year in the current issue.
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