posted 5 years ago

New Renault Fluence Z.E.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. lacks one very important component – an engine.

The Renault Fluence Z.E. lacks one very important component – an engine. But never fear, there is no need to push this 'Megane Saloon' – it has an electric motor instead. What a relief. As such, motorists can travel up to 125 miles before charging its AA batteries. That, however, is on a good day. The vehicle's range might be significantly reduced under certain conditions. Long hills, heavy payloads, and hard acceleration play their part. When the vehicle runs-out of electricity it can be charged from a domestic plug. This requires a £400 cable. Alternatively, motorists can install a faster dedicated charging point at their homes. The cost of this wizardry is about £800 – which is equivalent to 600-litres of petrol.

The new Renault Fluence Z.E. stores its batteries behind the rear seats. These are not included in the purchase price, they are 'rented' from the manufacturer. This is a positive step forwards, as motorists often avoid electric cars due to concerns about battery life and the high cost of their replacement. Hiring these arguably 'unproven' components minimises this concern. But is it enough? In fifteen years electric vehicles will have evolved beyond recognition. I suspect today's offerings are merely the “Betamax” generation. Time will tell.