Renault Kangoo ZE – Eco Electric Car

Renault launched into the odd-looking van-cum-people carrier sector at the turn of the century and it still remains one of the most practical small cars on the road today. It has acres of room inside, it's really tall and has Renault's ultra-reliable engines. The only downside is that it isn't a car for looking cool in. The new Renault Kangoo ZE Electric Car will be available from Autumn 2011 for as little as £16,990 excluding VAT. The battery lease is an extra £59 per month over 4 years with a limit of 9,000 miles a year.

Renault Kangoo Electric Car

Renault Kangoo ZE – First Commercial Electric Car

Despite having a fairly low CO2 exhaust gas rating and being frugal, the original Kangoo suffers from being in the car tax bracket F (and J for the petrol engine). This is mainly due to it being predominantly used as a commercial vehicle due to its excellent load carrying features, therefore the government taxes the Kangoo on the average amount of time this type of car will be on the road, bad news for families that buy it. The New Kangoo ZE Van is the first commercial vehicle available as an electric car. The electric Kangoo has Zero emissions. The electric Kangoo can do 100 miles on one charge and takes six to 8 hours to do a complete recharge.

Renault Kangoo ZE – C02 Rating

The existing Kangoo CO2 rating is 146g/km for the 1.5dCi diesel engine and 191g/km for the 1.6 petrol engine. While those figures aren't the highest in the world, they won't win any awards for being 'green'. The little 1.5dCi should really do better but the Kangoo is a fairly heavy car, tipping the scales at more than 1,200kg, which means the engine has to be worked hard to move it. The new Electric Kangoo ZE has been measured on a cycle regulated by the European NEDC to have 92 g/km of Co2. However this is for the entire production cycle. Once you are driving the car C02 Emissions will be Zero.

Renault Kangoo ZE – Safety

There is power steering, ABS (anti-lock brakes), side impact protection beams, pre-tensioner seat belts and driver and passenger airbags. The car has stability control, which stops it from sliding in wet or snowy conditions and works with the brakes to ensure the car can be brought back under control.

Renault Kangoo ZE – Insurance Group

The insurance group for both the diesel and the petrol engine is 9E, very good for this type of car. The petrol engine does 35.8mpg and the diesel 54mpg, meaning driving carefully will not harm your bank account too much. Insurance for the electric version shouldn’t differentiate too much.

Renault Kangoo ZE - Electric Car - Ec02

Renault Kangoo ZE – Comfort

As the Kangoo is based on a van, don't expect car-style luxuries. There are hard, flat seats which aren't very comfy and, with all those windows, it can feel a little like being in a goldfish bowl. The rear seats have plenty of room for adults and with the height of the roof you can get away with carrying large items with ease.

Its over 1200 litres of space when the rear seats are folded down is where the Kangoo excels. Also, they lie flat, meaning that they do not get in the way with large items, for example a washing machine, are carried. Due to the narrowness of the Kangoo, parking is easy and the reverse-facing rear doors mean items can be easily loaded.

As the Renault Kangoo is a van, it is sturdy, reliable and long-lasting. It might cost a lot to tax it, but running costs and the sale price are low, meaning it would be a good long-term investment. The quality of the parts and interior are good, but they won't win any style awards. . Car Tax for the Electric version should fall into bracket, A which is free. Running costs for the electric version will also be pretty minimal.

Renault Kangoo ZE – Performance

Both the petrol engine and the diesel engine reach 60mph in 13 seconds, which is very slow, especially if it is fully-laden. The non-turbo diesel is gutless and can be noisy when it is cold. Due to the over-tall roofline, driving at any sort of pace is not recommended due to the centre of gravity being way off that of a sports car. The electric Kangoo reaches 81 mph as a top speed.

A high centre of gravity does not give much confidence when driving the Kangoo, particularly with narrow tyres and the feeling it might tip over during cornering makes sure you drive slowly.

A full list of Electric Cars is available here: List of UK Electric Cars.

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