DHL Orders Zoe and Ambitious Nissan-Renault EV Target

Kangoo Z.E. in DHL Livery (Image: Renault)
Kangoo Z.E. in DHL Livery (Image: Renault)

Today Renault announced that it will supply DHL France with a fleet of electric vehicles by 2015. DHL has already confirmed an order of 50 vehicles, comprising both Kangoo Z.E. and ZOE, to be delivered between now and 2015.

François Guionnet, director of Renault Parc Entreprises, said:

“Renault is particularly proud to take part in this key stage of DHL’s GoGreen Program, which aims to reduce the carbon emissions of DHL by 30% by 2020.”

Meanwhile Hideaki Watanabe, Managing Director of Zero Emission Vehicles, Renault-Nissan BV, has been busy giving presentations at the Paris Motor Show. A week ago, while promoting the Zoe, he gave an upbeat interview where he stated the Alliance’s ambitious plans to have 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2016. This has been reported as a significant increase in the target.

A couple of days later, he was advocating the development of a large charging infrastructure, with particular emphasis on fast chargers:

“Owners of electric vehicles are very positive about the cars, saying the cars are changing their mobility habits. But they are expecting a greatly expanded infrastructure. Put simply, the more quick chargers you have, the more EV users there will be… and the lower the levels of CO2 there will be in the atmosphere.”

In parallel Béatrice Foucher called for a joint effort to install more chargers:

“There are currently 20,000 charging points across Europe… but this is insufficient. At this stage of EV development there needs to be at least 50,000 points in place. Increasing this number is a collaborative project. Everyone – car makers, local authorities, utility companies – must work together if Europe is to be truly EV ready.”

French Industry Minister Drives Renault Zoe

French Industry Minister Test Drives a Zoe (Image:
French Industry Minister Test Drives a Zoe (Image:

Yesterday My ELife Now reported on a BFMTV item where the French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg took a test drive in a Zoe:

“Probably one of the best commercial for Renault’s new main stream EV, ZOE!”

Under Zoe’s Bonnet (Image:
Under Zoe’s Bonnet (Image:

The same site has had good coverage recently of the Zoe, including:

Edit 8th October: More links (see Replies):

Edit 11th October: Another link:

Zoe in RAC Future Car Challenge

Renault Zoe (Image:
Renault Zoe (Image:

According to the Green Car Website yesterday Renault has confirmed that the Zoe will participate in this year’s RAC Future Car Challenge. It has sufficient range to comfortably manage the 63 mile route from Brighton to London without recharging. Renault’s Andy Heiron said:

“Our main aim is to demonstrate through a combination of the coverage the vehicles and the event get and the independently validated results that electric vehicles are a practical, viable alternative to the internal combustion engine for a significant proportion of car buyers. We would hope to generate coverage and interest in the ZOE and use the results to validate what sort of range figures can be achieved in ‘real world’ conditions when an EV is well driven.”

Renault Ultrafast Charging

Renault Charging System (Image: Renault)
Renault Charging System (Image: Renault)

There was an interesting article about Renault charging technology on Auto-Addict earlier this month. It gave details on the charging system that I haven’t seen elsewhere, covering both the current system as described by Renault and a new system that has not officially been announced, so far as I know. On the current charging system:

“The ZOE will also be able to charge quickly (one hour at 22 kW, half an hour at 43 kW) without costly infrastructure thanks to its Chameleon charger accepting three-phase power available throughout the EDF distribution network. To understand the patented trick used by Renault, you should know that the electric motor is supplied with three-phase current, while a battery works in DC. Therefore, the idea is to use the electronic motor to transform – as during regenerative braking – the three phase current available cheaply on the network to DC acceptable to the battery. From other manufacturers, this current recovery must be performed by an external quick recharge terminal costing about 20,000 euros against 3,000 to 5,000 for the three-phase accepted by Renault.”

On ultrafast charging:

“On the same principle, Renault’s engineers are already working on ultrafast charging which will benefit the next generation of Renault electric cars. Through a liquid cooling system to avoid overheating the battery deleteriously, it will be able to accept three-phase 86 kW power, representing a 80% charge in about 8 minutes, or if you prefer, an increase of 100 km in range, time to drink a coffee at the counter of the gas station…”

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