My thoughts on all things motoring, press releases, reviews & techie stuff, from around the world.
Please note that the pictures of vehicles within this blog are used as examples of the specific press releases, on occasions, due to the lack of available official pictures, examples are re-produced.
ANY AND ALL PROFANITIES WILL BE REMOVED AND THE PERSON/S RESPONSIBLE WILL BE BANNED, NO EXCEPTIONS.
I will try my best to provide detailed info on various cars and what is like to live with them, I have already produced a few for Jaguar-car-forums, I will do my best to be unbiased, but it will be hard for some cars. I will re-produce press releases and copy from other motoring news.
Global debuts at the Brussels Motor Show for New Kangoo Van Z.E. and Master Z.E.
New Kangoo Van Z.E. now has 168 mile range (NEDC) – up over 50% & longest of any electric LCV
New Kangoo Van Z.E. allows for faster charging times with a new 7kW 32A charger making it more practical for business users. Full charge now takes only six hours.
New Kangoo Van Z.E. has gained a new Z.E.33 (33kWh) battery, a new R60 (44kW) motor and is the first electric LCV to be equipped with a heat pump, allowing it to maintain autonomy in cold weather
Kangoo Van Z.E. has been Europe’s best-selling small electric van for the past six years
Master Z.E. has been created to primarily satisfy last-mile urban distribution & municipal needs
Master Z.E. will bring the expertise of Renault, European leader in EVs, to the large van segment
Master Z.E. is equipped with a Z.E.33 (33kWh) battery mated to the R75 (57kW) motor enabling a range of 124 miles (NEDC). A full charge from a 7kW Wall Box takes six hours.
Master Z.E. will be available in four versions – three lengths and two heights
New interactive apps available such as My Z.E. Connect Pro – a specialised service for businesses
New Kangoo Van Z.E. will go on sale in Europe from mid-2017
Master Z.E. will arrive in the European market at the end of 2017
Renault Pro+ has premiered two new electric commercial vehicles – the Master Z.E. and New Kangoo Van Z.E. The company has also expanded its range of connected services for commercial customers as well as its specialist network. With three electric light commercial vehicles (LCV) – Twizy Cargo, New Kangoo Van Z.E. and Master Z.E. – this range is unique in the world.
“Renault Pro+ is market leader in electric LCV sales in Europe. With New Kangoo Van Z.E. and Master Z.E., Renault Pro+ is continuing to expand its tailor made offering dedicated to professional customers, while developing connected services for business users. We are confident that our professional customers will experience our Zero Emission1 connected vans which will significantly contribute to better business as well as driving experience.”
Kangoo Z.E. has been Europe’s best-selling small electric van for six years, with more than 25,000 units sold
since its launch in October 2011. New Kangoo Van Z.E. gains a new battery and a new motor. New Kangoo
Van Z.E. now delivers a range of 168 miles (NEDC) compared with 106 miles previously. New Kangoo Van Z.E.
is built in France and will be marketed in Europe from mid-2017.
In the heavy van segment, the electric vehicle offering is currently limited. With Master Z.E., Renault Pro+ is
building on its expertise and position as European leader in electric vehicles to bring customers a solution in
electric mobility. Master Z.E. is built in France and will arrive on the European market towards the end of 2017.
Kangoo Z.E. is a pioneer and leader in the small electric van segment in Europe and Renault’s small electric
van has won an array of awards including International Van of the Year 2012. Professional environmentally
aware users have expressed their full satisfaction with Kangoo Z.E., praising its driveability, load capacity and
New Kangoo Van Z.E. is available in the same range of versions as Kangoo Z.E. The same range of body styles,
equipment levels and options are available (two lengths: 4.28m and 4.66m, two or five seats, a crew cab, four
versions). New Kangoo Van Z.E. still has a load volume of between 3 and 4.6 m3 with a payload of 650 kg.
can still be converted to meet the needs of business users (refrigerated vehicle, ambulance or pick-up, for
example). It combines the smooth driveability of an electric vehicle with the simplicity of an automatic
New Kangoo Van Z.E. features major innovations: a new battery, new motor and a new more powerful
charger, a heat pump in the air conditioning system and new connected services.
New Kangoo Van Z.E.
has a greater available range than any other electric LCV.
A new battery allied with a new motor, to go even further
- New Kangoo Van Z.E. is increasing its range with its new ‘Z.E.33’ battery (33 kWh)
- New Kangoo Van Z.E. has a range of 168 miles (NEDC) versus 106 miles for the previous Kangoo Z.E.
- Renault estimates that in real world use, on a delivery cycle2
, the vehicle would have a range of 124 miles
with a single load.
This new battery, developed through the expertise of Renault and LG Chem, features a major innovation:
greater energy density.
This innovation involves increasing the storage capacity of the battery, without
changing its dimensions or the effective volume of the vehicle.
Battery performance is optimised not by adding
more modules but by improving the chemistry of the battery cells to increase energy density. This major
upgrade was obtained with no trade-offs in reliability or safety in use.
New Kangoo Van Z.E. also gains a new motor of advanced energy efficiency and an optimised
electronic battery management system.
This limits the electricity consumed by the vehicle on the road,
while maintaining power. This R60 (44 kW) motor is 100% Renault. Developing 60hp, it is based on
the ZOE R75/90 motor. It is built in France at the Renault Cléon site, the Group’s flagship facility for
manufacturing motors and gearboxes of high added value.
A new more powerful charger
New Kangoo Van Z.E. is equipped with a new-generation 7kW AC charger (32A, single-phase, 230V
New Kangoo Van Z.E. cuts charging time. A full charge now takes around six hours from a 7kW Wall
Box, i.e. less than one night – and for a longer range, compared to eight hours for a shorter range on
the previous model.
New Kangoo Van Z.E. adds a range of 22 miles in just one hour of charging (in a temperate climate),
i.e. the time taken to have lunch or to load goods into a vehicle before going out on another round. As
a result, New Kangoo Van Z.E. can drive all day and even make two delivery rounds (morning and
New Kangoo Van Z.E. comes as standard with a cable for charging from a Wall Box or public access
charge point. It also has a cable for charging from a domestic or secure socket (optional or standard
depending on the country).
The heat pump: a first for increasing vehicle range in use
New Kangoo Van Z.E. features a real innovation in the world of electric LCVs: a heat pump linked to
the air conditioning, maintaining autonomy in cold weather.
The heat pump improves vehicle range in cold weather since it limits the use of electrical resistors that
consume both power and range.
New Kangoo Van Z.E. is the first electric LCV to be equipped with this feature.
With the pre-conditioning system (using a smartphone or steering wheel controls to set the starting
time), the vehicle can be heated or cooled in advance when it is plugged in.
For extremely cold countries, New Kangoo Van Z.E. is equipped with an additional independent fuelpowered
mini boiler that ensures user comfort in extreme conditions and maintains range in cold
New connected services: Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass
Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass are two services designed to make it easier to charge electric vehicles from public
charge points in Europe, during the course of a journey, if necessary. Europe has some 80,000 charge points
available to the general public.
These connected services will be rolled out gradually across Europe in 2017.
Z.E. Trip: to locate all charge points, from the vehicle’s R-LINK navigation system.
The Z.E. Trip app lets the driver locate all accessible public charge points across the main European countries.
Z.E. Trip is accessible via the Renault R-LINK navigation system.
The Z.E. Trip app shows the availability of each charge point in real time, to guide the driver to a point that is
free. It also specifies the power of the charge point and its compatibility with the vehicle. To prepare the
journey in advance, drivers can also consult the charge point network on Renault’s website.
Z.E. Pass: to access and pay for charge points, from a smartphone or tablet.
The Z.E. Pass app will make it easier to charge an electric vehicle from most public charge points in Europe,
regardless of which charging network they are on. Drivers identify accessible points and their compatibility
with the vehicle. They can also use a smartphone or tablet to compare charging prices for the nearest points.
Drivers can access a large number of charge points without subscribing to each individual network. They pay
for the charge using the dedicated smartphone app (iOS or Androïd) or badge (RFID technology). The exact
networks that are compatible with Z.E. Pass will be announced by individual countries during 2017.
At the same time, New Kangoo Van Z.E. maintains a range of services to make life easier for users of electric
My Z.E. Connect: Lets users access vehicle data from a smartphone or computer: charge status,
vehicle range with the current charge, charging log, scheduling of warning messages and tips.
My Z.E. Connect Pro: A web service providing raw data on the batteries used by an electric vehicle
fleet. The service uploads data on battery charge levels in real time, processes it and restores it to a
This device contributes to easier day-to-day running of the fleet, remote range management,
integration of data to the company’s own tools and intelligent navigation.
My Z.E. Inter@ctive: Allows the driver interact with the car from a smartphone or computer: preconditioning
of the vehicle (for heating or cooling, via the air conditioning or heat pump at a set time),
charge scheduling (to select the time, take advantage of the best energy prices, the power available or
in accordance with the cost and carbon footprint of the electricity used).
Key characteristics of Renault Maubeuge (MCA, Maubeuge Construction Automobile):
A bodywork and assembly site with a full production process: press shop, body assembly, paintwork
and final assembly. Vehicles leaving the assembly line undergo track tests before delivery to the
A flexible production line meeting the standards of the Renault-Nissan Alliance;
Vehicles built: Kangoo passenger vehicle and LCV since 2007, Kangoo Z.E. (electric version) since
2011, Mercedes-Benz Citan since 2012 (as part of the partnership between Renault-Nissan and
Daimler since 2010);
Production in 2015: 151,064 vehicles;
60 per cent of production exported to around thirty countries; 2,220 employees;
Almost 84 ha, of which 23 ha of covered buildings;
ISO 9001 label (quality), ISO 14001 label (environment), HPR label (highly protected risk).
Managing diversity for a made-to-measure offering
The plant manages considerable diversity in production with a wide range of four different vehicle families, all
built on the same line. Kangoo Z.E. is available in two lengths (4.28m for Kangoo Z.E. and 4.66m for Kangoo
Mercedes-Benz Citan, based on a Kangoo platform, is also built on the same line.
A Renault Tech satellite workshop is present on site in order to customise vehicles and undertake personalised
adaptations for fleets or self-employed workers.
Objective: zero defects
In order to maintain customer satisfaction over the long term, the Renault-Nissan Alliance has put in place a
strategy targeting zero defects at its production sites. This strategy is based on the Alliance Production Way,
a joint Renault-Nissan Alliance production system based on the best criteria in terms of production
performance identified by both Renault and Nissan. This quality policy is based on a number of points,
including compliance and speed of response.
To reduce the number of defects at industrial sites, compliance
implements an approach comprising three strands: a well organised workstation, implementation of
operating processes and well trained personnel. Speed of response means blocking any problem identified
before it spreads to the assembly line, and finding a solution to correct it. By implementing these measures
and actions, the Maubeuge site has achieved a 30 per cent reduction in the number of defects perceived by
the Quality team or observed by customers.
These high quality standards were further reinforced by the
partnership with Daimler for building the Mercedes-Benz Citan. All vehicles built at Maubeuge undergo static
and dynamic checks to ensure total customer satisfaction.
Founded in 1971 by Société des Usines Chausson (SUC), the Maubeuge site originally had two production
units (press shop and body assembly). It became a fully owned Renault subsidiary in 1978. In 1993, the Group
decided to build Kangoo exclusively at this site. With a workforce of 2,220, MCA is the largest private employer
in the Sambre-Avesnois region.
Master Z.E. gains the Z.E. expertise of Renault, European leader in electric vehicles, while maintaining all the
qualities that have made Master a benchmark in the heavy van sector.
Master is a heavy van of robust, expressive design, praised for its dynamic road manners and recognised as a
benchmark in its segment (top 3 in Europe).
It combines easy loading with generous useful dimensions,
excellent ergonomics and a high level of active and passive safety. A true office on wheels, Master is an
efficient, secure workhorse adopted by more than 475,000 customers since its launch at end-2010.
The electric version of Master is aimed primarily at fleets running last-mile distribution services in the city, as
well as large municipalities and local government.
Master Z.E. is packed with Renault’s technical and technological expertise: the best know-how in LCVs
combined with the skills of the European leader in electric vehicles. Master Z.E. reaps the benefits of the latest
technical breakthroughs in electric vehicles at Renault. It combines an advanced motor of high energy
efficiency with a state-of-the-art battery and optimised electronic battery management. The result: a heavy
van whose load characteristics, range and charge time are tailored to the needs of business customers in and
Master Z.E. is equipped with the Z.E. 33 battery (33kWh).
This new battery was co-developed by Renault and LG Chem.
It features a major innovation: increased
energy density obtained by improving the chemistry of the battery cells.
Master Z.E. is fitted with the R75, a motor of advanced energy efficiency, with an output of
57kW/76hp, inherited from ZOE. Built at the Cléon site in France, this tried-and-tested motor makes
Master Z.E. ideal for use in and around the city. Master Z.E. has a top speed of 71mph that can be
limited depending on customer needs.
Master Z.E. has a range of 124 miles (NEDC3
), making it suitable for daily last-mile deliveries in the
Master Z.E. takes less than one night to charge: a full charge takes six hours with the 7kW Wall Box.
Following launch, a number of features specific to Master Z.E. will be available: R-Link with connected
services, pre-conditioning, a speed limiter function for fleets, and Z.E. Voice (pedestrian warning
The speed limiter function will make it possible for fleet owners to limit the top speed of the
vehicles provided to users while maintaining range.
Master Z.E. maintains the qualities of Master, a benchmark in the heavy van segment
Master Z.E. is not a version: it is a range of vehicles meeting the diverse needs of business users. Master Z.E.
is available in four versions, three lengths and two heights.
The Master Z.E. van is available in three versions: L1H1, L2H2 and L3H2.
Master Z.E. is also available in an L3 flatbed cab version.
Fitting a battery and electric motor on a heavy van is no easy task from a technical standpoint. Renault drew
upon all its expertise in order to develop an electric version of Master that maintains the original vehicle’s
genetic qualities, particularly in terms of load capacity. The objective was simple: to satisfy last-mile delivery
objectives in the city.
The load area is identical to that of the LCV version since the new Z.E. 33 KWh battery is sized to fit
under the body. Master Z.E. has a useful volume of between 8 and 22 m3 depending on the
- The van variants of Master Z.E. have an effective volume of between 8 and 13m3.
With a payload of 1,400 kg (without conversion), the L3 platform cab version lends itself to a
wide range of conversions.
- The main options include the adaptation of a high-volume body for a load volume of up to 22m3
The Master Z.E. van range maintains a payload of between 1,000 and 1,100kg (depending on
versions). This meets the needs of most business customers for their last-mile urban delivery services.
The load sill is among the lowest in the segment (55.7cm) and the doors open to 270 degrees, for
easier loading and unloading.
With the optional Wide View mirror to eliminate blind spots, a reversing camera (with a screen built
into the interior door mirror) and reversing radar, Master Z.E. is the ideal partner for urban deliveries.
No need to sacrifice ergonomics, comfort or ride comfort. The cabin of Master Z.E. continues to provide
maximum comfort for both the driver and front passengers as an office on wheels with a range of
ergonomic storage compartments. Master Z.E. also maintains the excellent ride and handling of the
vehicle on which it is based.
Looking beyond its range of electric LCVs, Renault Pro+ is continuing to build its range of services dedicated
to business customers:
Connected services will become more widespread, with services such as Fleet Management or
A specialist network of increased presence, with 650 dealerships in 41 countries.
Made-to-measure conversions are increasingly diversified, based on a network of 400 approved
converters in 29 countries.
Connected services set to become widely available
Renault’s electric LCV range already includes a wide range of connected services, the most recent of which
are Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass (see Chapter 01).
In 2017, Renault Pro+ will also be rolling out a number of other connected services dedicated to business
users, starting with two new service families, Fleet Management and Predictive Maintenance.
Fleet Management is a telematic service providing an automatic flow of data for fleet managers.
No need to request information from the driver or vehicle. The service automatically uploads information that
is useful to the fleet manager, such as mileage, range, tyre pressure or the number of kilometres before the
next scheduled servicing.
This connected service makes it possible to:
Cut fleet running costs: lower consumption, manage and plan servicing.
Simplify fleet management: good fleet visibility based on reliable, precise and diversified data.
Deploy eco-responsible driving, cut costs, reduce CO2 emissions and increase safety by improving
behaviour at the wheel.
Predictive Maintenance involves issuing real-time information on the vehicle’s condition and, based on the
predictive data analysis system, to predict when failure might occur and carry out maintenance operations.
Analysing data from the vehicle makes it possible to predict incidents linked to a lack of maintenance, and to
plan ahead for operations.
As a result, fleet managers avoid unplanned vehicle downtime for maximum operational performance.
This connected service makes it possible to:
Plan ahead for maintenance and thus optimise servicing costs. Maximise vehicle availability to increase
Ensure driver safety
The Renault Pro+ specialist network meets the specific requirements of business customers. It is therefore
also available to electric LCV customers.
The key benefits of this specialist network include:
Specialist sales and after-sales advisors, specially trained in LCVs.
An easier choice: the entire LCV range is on show, including converted vans, test drives without an
appointment, and fast, detailed sales proposals.
Reinforced mobility solutions: servicing without an appointment, workshops with extended opening
hours, courtesy vehicles.
At end-2016, the Renault Pro+ specialist network had 650 dealerships in 41 countries.
Increasingly diversified conversions
Renault Pro+ also has a network of 400 approved converters in 29 countries, able to convert LCVs to meet
the specific needs of each business customer.
As a result, Renault Pro+ is able to bring customers a wide range of converted vehicles based on the range of
electric LCVs such as refrigerated and medicine delivery vehicles. These vehicles can also be personalised, with
special options available at the factory (special colours, layout, signage, etc.).
Renault was the first car maker to introduce an approval process for converters.
This contributes to a faster
response, while also improving relations with converters and enhancing the quality of services. Approved
converters are able to access technical information and drawings on the Renault Conversion website and
submit any questions to the technical assistance department.
Renault’s Conversion and Quality departments support the global network of converters and organise regular
field missions to select new converters or renew existing contracts.
Drawing upon its expertise, Renault also identifies benchmark vehicle converters in other countries in order
to take part in international tenders.
Renault, European leader in electric vehicles
More than 100,000 Renault electric vehicles are already on the road in Europe, of which more than
50,000 in France.
Since 2010, Renault has sold more electric vehicles in Europe than any other manufacturer. In Europe,
more than one electric vehicle sold in every four is a Renault.
In September 2016, the Renault ZOE was unveiled at Paris Motor Show with a 250 mile range (NEDC
Combined) – the longest of any mainstream electric vehicle
In France – Europe’s biggest market for electric vehicles in terms of volume – more than one electric
vehicle in every two sold is a Renault.
Renault ZOE is Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle. Renault Kangoo Z.E. is Europe’s best-selling LCV.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance is a global leader on the electric vehicle market, with over half of
worldwide electric vehicle sales
Renault Pro+, a key player in LCVs
At end-2015, Renault launched Renault Pro+, an expert brand set up to support business customers all over
the world, by identifying dedicated products and services.
The objective of Renault Pro+ is to make life easier
for business customers with solutions to improve their business efficiency.
A wide range of LCVs, from small vans to heavy vans
- Kangoo, available in 65 versions.
- Trafic, available in 270 versions.
- Master, available in 350 versions.
A successful offensive on the pick-up market, with the Latin American launch in 2015 of Duster Oroch,
a half-tonne pick-up that already ranks among the leaders in its segment, and the launch in 2016 of
Alaskan, a one-tonne pick-up of global ambitions.
A unique electric LCV range with Twizy Cargo, New Kangoo Van Z.E. and Master Z.E.
A specialist network (sales and after-sales) of 650 Renault Pro+ centres at end-2016, in 41 countries,
dedicated to business customers and meeting high standards.
A network of 400 approved converters in 29 countries to convert vehicles to meet the specific
requirements of each customer.
An engineering centre dedicated to LCVs, based in Villiers-Saint-Frédéric, France.
Production sites on three continents: Europe (three sites in France), Latin America (Argentina and
Brazil) and Africa (Morocco).
LCVs sold in over 110 countries, with key markets in Europe, Brazil, Argentina,Turkey, Australia and
- 387,000 registrations in 2015, a rise of 12.4% in a global market that fell by 6.3%.
- 386,000 registrations at end-November 2016, a rise of +13.5% vs end-November 2015.
European leader in LCVs for 18 consecutive years, as at end-2015:
- No. 1 in France, Portugal, Belgium.
- No. 2 in Spain, Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Latvia, Croatia, Iceland.
- No. 3 in Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Hungary, Lithuania, Estonia.
Strong positions in many markets, particularly in Latin America (No. 2 in Argentina, No. 3 in Colombia)
- Kangoo, leader in its segment in Argentina, No. 2 in Brazil and in Australia.
- Trafic, leader in Colombia.
- Master, leader in Brazil, No. 2 in Colombia, No. 3 in Argentina and Australia.
- Duster Oroch, leader in Argentina and Colombia, No. 3 in Brazil.
The judges at the What Car? Awards, one of the most important measures of success in the automotive calendar have once again declared Ghost the best super luxury car in the world, competing a hat-trick of victories for Ghost family motor cars in its most prestigious category, luxury cars over £100,000.
In awarding Ghost Extended Wheelbase with ‘Best Buy’ status in the What Car? judges praised the car for its perfect marriage of driving dynamics and supremacy as the consummate entrepreneurs limousine:
“Designed as the Rolls-Royce for the owner who’d prefer to spend some time in the driver’s seat, the Ghost offers the class and attention to detail the brand is famous for.
Under its bonnet is a 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 that’s as discreet as it is potent. The ride is very forgiving, and the light but precise steering makes this massive car surprisingly easy to place and manoeuvre.
If you’d rather employ someone else to do the driving, the Ghost will perform well as a chauffeur-driven limousine – this Extended Wheelbase model gets reclining rear seats and an extra 17cm of leg room over the already spacious standard Ghost.”
Since its launch in 2011 Ghost Extended Wheelbase has perfectly combined Ghost’s hallmark effortless simplicity, cutting-edge technology and contemporary interpretation of Rolls-Royce design language with the more indulgent proportions of an Extended Wheelbase chauffeur-driven motor car.
This unique blend, married to a peerless scope for Bespoke personalisation has endeared a new generation of successful entrepreneurs to the marque – taking its place as the ultimate symbol of attainment for the influential men and women that drive our economies and create wealth.
Indeed, in 2016 Ghost was presented in a new guise with the introduction of the Black Badge series.
This authentic design and engineering statement serves as a truly Bespoke response, befitting the world’s most celebrated luxury house, to the desires of a highly creative, dynamic new breed of entrepreneur.
“Accolades like this reaffirm Ghost’s standing as the ultimate statement of attainment for the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.
“Since its introduction in 2009, Ghost has stood alone in conveying patrons of true luxury in a highly contemporary interpretation of true luxury.
This continuing success and critical acclaim from one of the industry’s landmark Awards is highly gratifying for everyone concerned with crafting the ‘Best Cars in the World.”
This critical acclaim is echoed in sustained customer demand. Indeed Ghost also played a major role in contributing to the second highest sales results in the marque’s history in 2016 – emphatically affirming its status as the business limousine of choice for the world’s most discerning patrons of luxury. Indeed, Ghost totally dominates the super-luxury class (€200,000+)
This honour follows success in the UK Car of the Year Awards for Dawn and adds to the numerous global accolades Ghost has enjoyed since its first introduction in 2009 followed by a sensitive evolution in 2014 with the launch of Ghost Series II.