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Electric cars in SA

The debate on whether or not Electric Vehicles (EV) are viable in South Africa rages on.

Renault zaps electric Fluence

2010-04-16 09:51
Renault has released the final designs of its Fluence Z.E. electric vehicle which goes on sale in global markets, from 2011.

First revealed at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Fluence electric vehicle is distinguished from its internal combustion-powered version by a few details.

The Renault logo, foglamp housing and parts of the headlamp, along with the air intakes are finished with blue accents.

Exterior mirror housings finished in a gloss black and battery charge flaps on both sides of the car are two of the distinguishing features.

At 4.75 m, the electric Fluence is 13 cm longer to accommodate the battery pack housed behind its rear seats. It will also have an operational range of 160 km.

Inside the cabin, the electric Fluence’s interior is near-identical to the “regular” model’s with the biggest change being the replacement of the rev-counter with a counter displaying range and battery charge.



The fully electric Fluence is powered by a electric motor with peak power of 70 kW at 11 000 r/min and maximum torque of 226 Nm. This is linked to a lithium-ion battery with an energy recovering system that allows the battery to charged when the car decelerates.

The battery can also be charged from a household mains supply, at 30-minute “fast-charge stations” and with a three-minute battery switch.

The Z.E. has a softer front suspension and runs on low rolling resistance tyres. ABS and other electronic driver aids have been recalibrated too, to allow for the electric Fluence’s lighter and longer body.

In a statement, Renault said it estimates the global car park will comprise up to 10% electric vehicles by 2020. The Renault-Nissan alliance is investing €4 billion in its zero emissions programme and already has 2 000 people on its electric vehicle team.

The Fluence range will be offered in South Africa.



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