Feeds

Renault Fluence ZE

The first affordable, practical electric car

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

Convincing ride

Though the battery pack is mounted higher in the Fluence than it is in the Leaf, the Renault still feels sharper and more agile, a result of the Leaf being tuned for Californian highways rather than European A-roads.

Despite having a slightly less powerful motor than the Nissan - 70kW vs 80kW - and a leisurely 0-62 time of 13.7 seconds, the Fluence also feels the more sprightly car and reacts urgently and silently to throttle inputs all the way to the electronically-limited 84mph top speed.

Renault Fluence ZE e-car

Do the arithmetic and the battery powered Fluence works out at around 160kg heavier than a fully fueled diesel car, but the weight is easily overcome by the 226Nm of torque that’s available from the off.

When it comes to range, Renault quotes New European Driving Cycle test results of 185km (115 miles) but is also being quite honest about that figure dropping to as low as 100km (60 miles) if you drive it like a lead-footed loon up a very long and steep hill with the air-con set to Arctic.

Renault Fluence ZE e-car

During the Portuguese test sessions, the assembled journalists were encouraged to aim for the maximum and win a camera. The team from Norway stole the honours returning an average power use that would equate to 230km (143 miles). The best I managed was a projected maximum of 170km (105 miles).

At this point, it’s usually necessary to say that a good idea though the (insert name of e-car) is, it costs the same as a BMW 5 Series so why on earth would you buy one? Not here. The Fluence will only set you back £17,850 after the UK’s £5000 e-car rebate and that’s not a million miles away from an automatic Megane diesel with matching kit.

Renault Fluence ZE e-car

Renault has achieved this fiscal sleight of hand by leasing rather than selling the battery. Lease rates start at £69.60 a month over 60 months and 6000 miles a year, and increase to £120.60 on a 12-month, 15,000-mile scheme with numerous permutations in between.

How much fiscal sense those numbers make to the end user will depend on their mileage and, more importantly, the price of a gallon of fuel. Let's be honest, you need to be very optimistic not to be thinking in terms of £7.50 or more a gallon by the end 2013 unless the global economy continues to flat-line.

Outside of the Better Place scheme, Renault expects to sell 70 per cent of Fluence production to commercial fleet operators so I doubt we'll be seeing a huge number of them on private drives in 2012, but it’s still fair to say that the Fluence ZE heralds the dawn of the affordable and practical electric car. ®

More Car Reviews

Toyota
Yaris
VW Scirocco
BlueMotion
Tech TDI 140
Peugeot
iOn
Smart
Fortwo
Fiat 500
TwinAir

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.