Paris, France – Renault has unveiled a new prototype vehicle, the Kangoo be bop Z.E. (Zero Emission), at a shareholder meeting in Paris. The Renault-Nissan Alliance aims to be the leader in zero emission vehicles and plans mass marketing of affordable electric vehicles beginning in 2011.

The automaker said that the Kangoo Z.E., which has a range of 100 km on lithium-ion batteries, features technology that is very close to that of the brand’s upcoming production electric vehicles, which are currently under development.

An electric version of the production Kangoo be bop sold in Europe, the Z.E. is equipped with low-energy LED front and rear lighting, improved aerodynamics, 18-inch full disc wheels, lower ground clearance, and a unique “Energy Blue” body colour. Linear displays on the outside of its doors show how much charge is left in the battery when the remote central locking is activated, along with a gauge in the instrument panel.

The Kangoo be bop Z.E. used a 60-horsepower electric motor, which revs to 1,200 r.p.m. The company said it boasts 90 per cent greater efficiency than an internal combustion engine. It is coupled to a reducer, which replaces the traditional transmission, and uses a power electronic unit which incorporates the controller that delivers energy to the rotor.

Its compact lithium-ion batteries are produced by Automotive Electric Supply Corporation (AESC), a Nissan-NEC joint venture founded in April 2007. The AESC battery is expected to deliver between 80 and 100 per cent of its original capacity for six years. Renault said that battery technology evolution will increase the Z.E. prototype’s 100 km to a real-world range of 160 km when the vehicles are ready for production. The batteries recharge in six to eight hours with normal household current, or can quick-charge 80 per cent of capacity in approximately 30 minutes using a special 400-volt socket.

The company is also working on establishing a battery recycling process and infrastructures adapted to automotive batteries.

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