EVs for the Trades

One of the limitations of most electric vehicles (EVs) is that of range: for the typical driver who is used to having at least 200 miles of range thanks to the efficiency of gasoline as a fuel being faced with about 100 miles of range is unsatisfactory, especially given (1) long recharge times compared with the amount of time it takes to put a few gallons in the tank and (2) the idea that it may be necessary to drive >200 miles at a moment’s notice.

One of the limitations of most electric vehicles (EVs) is that of range: for the typical driver who is used to having at least 200 miles of range thanks to the efficiency of gasoline as a fuel being faced with about 100 miles of range is unsatisfactory, especially given (1) long recharge times compared with the amount of time it takes to put a few gallons in the tank and (2) the idea that it may be necessary to drive >200 miles at a moment’s notice.

One area where these problems are not so much of a problem is in commercial fleet applications, at least those where there is a more or less deterministic amount of travel on any given day.

One OEM that recognizes this and so has developed EVs to meet commercial requirements is Renault.

RenaultEV

The French company, through its Renault Pro+ commercial channel, is now offering four electric light commercial vehicles.

There are the Twizy Cargo and the New Commercial ZOE. Added to that quadracycle and compact car are the New Kangoo Z.E. and the Master Z.E., both of which are commercial vans.

The New Kangoo Z.E. has a 33-kWh battery. While the NEDC range is 270 km, Renault suggests that in a real-use delivery cycle, the range is more along the lines of 200 km.

Recharging to full change is about six hours through a 7-kW charger. About 35 km-worth of charge can be attained in an hour.

The Master Z.E. is engineered to meet the requirements of fleets that are running urban last-mile distribution services. It features the same battery and recharge requirements as the New Kangoo Z.E.

Given that commercial vehicles tend to have either prescribed routes or limited service areas, it seems that electric vehicles would be ideal in these applications.

At least the French think so.