The Renault Fluence Z.E.

Renault is currently taking reservations for the 2012 Renault Fluence Z.E., an all electric car designed to compete with the Nissan Leaf. Initially Renault is hoping to sell 100,000 units in Israel and Denmark, not sure why these two countries were chosen but we are assured that Renault is aiming to sell to the greater EU and North America before 2015. Pricing details of the Fluence are not yet public however Renault have made it clear that they will be adopting the same strategy as Nissan by selling the car to customers but maintaining ownership of the battery systems and leasing them to Fluence owners for a monthly fee.

The Fluence is a bit of a step away from the great looking original concept (pictured below), which is always a shame to see. Why car manufacturers insist on teasing people with magnificent looking concept vehicles and then turning out plain vanilla production units is lost on me. They’re letting us all know that they could create great looking cars if they wanted to. They just don’t want to. It’s like an automotive “meh”.

The Fluence Z.E. will have a range of 99 miles, not sure why Renault didn’t throw in a couple of extra AA lithium ion batteries to boost the range into 3 figures but I’m sure they have their reasons. The 22 kWh lithium ion battery system is compatible with Better Place’s quick-drop battery swap and if you’re recharging it’ll take 30 minutes from a 32A/400V station and 6-8 hours from a household 220 volt wall socket.

For further information or to pre-reserve one for yourself, head over to Renault-ZE.

Via Renault

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5 Comments

Isreal + Denmark because of Better Place (google this company)

net_worker

“..Initially Renault is hoping to sell 100,000 units in Israel and Denmark, not sure why these two countries were chosen ..”

These are the pioneer markets for Better Place and the Fluence is the first mass produced car that supports the Better Place battery switching approach. So Renault fulfill their commitment to support the build up of these two markets. The other countries will follow.
BTW I’m #5 on the reservation list for the EU.

Have a look at this video from Better Place:
http://www.betterplace.com/company/video-detail/renault-nissan-and-better-place-webcast-qa/

French engineer

“Why car manufacturers insist on teasing people with magnificent looking concept vehicles and then turning out plain vanilla production units is lost on me. They’re letting us all know that they could create great looking cars if they wanted to. They just don’t want to. It’s like an automotive “meh”.”

I can think of two reasons. The first is the cost of these concept cars. Using cameras as rear-view mirrors might be cool, but I doubt that Joe and Jane Average are ready to fork over another grand for it.

The second is that innovaiton is controversial. Look at the first generation Twingo. Its design was innovative, the car itself was both cheap and durable, with one of the largest cargo capacity for its category. However, it tanked outside of france due to its design not being “serious” enough for those that look for a substitute sexual organ in their car. It should have been marketed as a second car for the wife or the first car of the kid. I know it was my first car for college (got it used), and it served me well until after I graduated.

The “new generation” twingo on the other hand is a very classic little car, and it has lost much of its appeal.

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