- David Hort
Renault Kangoo ZE scoops major international award
Renault’s Kangoo Van ZE has been voted International Van of the Year 2012, beating off competition from the Volkswagen Caddy and the Fiat Ducato.
Mirroring the success of the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle (EV) that won the World Car of the Year in 2011, before it had gone on sale in the UK, the Kangoo ZE is the first EV to win the prize.
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According to the 22-strong panel of judges who decided the eventual winner, the Kangoo ZE didn’t just win for its environmental credentials, but its practicality and accessibility too.
“With the Kangoo Van Z.E. Renault brings the electric van within the reach of the normal European van user, thereby delivering a major contribution to environmental sustainability, one of the most important issues of the transport of goods by road nowadays," said Pieter Wieman, chairman of the jury.
To ensure the Kangoo ZE retains its practicality, the electric powertrain has been stored under the floor of the van, allowing for a flat load space at the rear of the car.
That means, with its front passenger seat folded flat, it shares an identical maximum load length of 2.5 metres to the internal combustion-engined version. It also has a maximum payload of 650kg, again the same as the standard version.
One of the major plus points for the Kangoo ZE is its affordability, while the majority of EVs on sale cost upwards of £20,000 – despite claiming a £5,000 government grant – the Kangoo ZE retails at £16,990, before VAT.
Like the Fluence ZE, which costs £17,850 after the government grant, the battery pack for the Kangoo ZE is hired out on a lease deal for a monthly fee, similar to standard car lease deals.
That drives the price of the EV down, before the stated economical advantages of refuelling are even considered.
Calculations on the potential savings of using electric cars and vans – as opposed to petrol or diesel models – indicated that the economic advantages can differ significantly according to lease agreements, annual mileages and driving styles.
The Renault Kangoo ZE launches in the UK on the 1 December.
Follow the link to see the results of MotorTorque’s experiment: How much does it cost to run the Fluence and Kangoo ZE?