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Renault Fluence Z.E:

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Mitrovic, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. Mitrovic

    Mitrovic Member

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    I have reserved my Renault Fluence. Reservation number: 66.
    First test drive should be in november and delivery should be spring 2012...

    Looking forward
     
  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    #2 here. Hopefully we are getting test drives in 10 days.
     
  3. Mitrovic

    Mitrovic Member

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    On pre reservation I was number 11, then on reservation I dropped to number 66.

    Please do report when you are able to actually drive it.

    It is front driven, isn't it?
     
  4. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Renault opened the order books in the UK today.

    The car will be £17,850 inc VAT (sales tax) which includes a £5000 plug-in rebate.

    On top of this there will be a £75 / month battery lease (which covers you for 6,000 miles per year) for a minimum of 3 years.


    So this is by far the lowest up-front cost for an EV and you have to lease for 8 years before it matches the Leaf cost. They haven't yet announced costs for higher mileage leases.


    I just put down my £20 reservation fee and am #3. I was thinking of using this car as a stop-gap, but they are now saying autumn (fall) 2012 deliveries, which is a one year slip. The spec still seams to be the same. Let's see if the £5000 rebate is still on offer then...


    ^ yes it is front wheel drive. I'm due to drive it this Saturday so will report back but others on here are there on Friday I think.
     
  5. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #5 TEG, Jun 28, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
    David, I can tell you that us Roadster fanatics are only slightly satiated by having some bland family EV in our price range, but it does "take the edge off".
    I keep telling myself that there are plenty of things to like about the Leaf that don't exist in the Roadster. Yes... This is good enough *cough* Yes, good enough...

    I got a chuckle the other day when my dentist remarked "oh I see you got Nissan's answer to the Tesla". (He is a car guy...)


    (Note, talking about the Leaf as if it is a rough equivalent to the Fluence. Also, I suppose the comparisons will shift to Model S once it is being delivered.)

     
  6. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    yeh, the ZCW team are driving them on Friday... it will be interesting to see what my colleagues (who don't currently drive EV) think of the cars.
     
  7. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    So I went along to the event on Saturday where the Renault team were on hand with 4 drivable Fluences and 4 Kangoo vans. There were about 20 of us in total attending (there was another similar session in the morning) and these 20 were divided into 4 groups.

    There was a session beforehand where we were introduced to EVs in general and Renault's in particular. In my group, the other two that had signed up interestingly had gone for Twizzys. Unfortunately there were a few errors in the presentation and I had to call out the UK EV Manager for describing their EVSE has having a Mennekes plug when it was obviously J1772!

    We also asked about battery leasing. Contrary to what I was previously told, you won't get the latest technology by default but they will guarantee that your range is what you sign up for, so you don't need to bother about Li-ion calendar life degrading. They are working with insurance companies to make sure that they understand the split ownership/battery lease concept and that the cars are in the equivalent group as a comparable diesel. They wouldn't be drawn on any prices for the leases above 6000 miles per year. Minimum lease term is 3 years with compulsory releasing at 6. You can upgrade your mileage level at any time and will be warned to do so if you exceed the agreed amount by 20%. Leases are transferable to second hand owners.

    Afterwards we were shown a static Fluence and Kangoo (which seemed to be getting plenty of attention from the public too). There was some consternation in our group that the EVSE was to be installed by British Gas (not the most liked of companies) and that the 16A fixed EVSE would be £950. I asked about a portable EVSE cable and was told that it would be a few hundred pounds and 10A. When I pointed out that people could just use that for overnight charging also, I was told that "you can't always guarantee that 10A can be safely supplied" and that by spending a grand people will have that reassurance. What rubbish. It was confusing the other punters - and surprisingly most there were complete novices who would otherwise know no better. I don't think I was too popular with this guy when I'd taken apart his sales patter (which he'd seemingly got from a powerpoint presentation earlier in the week as when asked a curve ball question he would go straight back to the script).

    The boot/trunk on the Fluence is surprisingly small. Probably about the same volume as the Roadster's. That battery box is very intrusive and I expect that the utility of the car will be lower than the Leaf in that respect. There is no way to carry a large load through to the back seats like you can with the hatch back, either.

    There is no thermal management on the battery, so I expect that the car will have the same cold weather issues as the current Leaf.

    Here's the really silly thing: Both the Fluence and Kangoo have J1772 on Model Year 1. Once Renault bring out the three phase fast charge (which I was previously told was Year 2) then this will change to Mennekes. Talk about market confusion. I suppose one could argue that J1772 gives more charging options while the car has a single phase charger. It will come with a Mennekes to J1772 cable (only).

    We drove the Kangoo first. It's fine for a commercial van and performance at city speeds is comparable to the old Citroen Berlingo EV. We only got up to 30 mph / 50 km/h in the London traffic.

    Then on to the Fluence. The performance is adequate for this type of car (medium size family saloon/sedan) but noticeably less so than the Leaf. Range is 100 miles NEDC so about 70 miles real world. I question if that is enough for the style of car, which would normally lend itself to longer trips. Combined with the 8 hour recharge on the first examples and the utility is severely limited. Anyway, the build of these prototypes was fine.

    The release date seems to have slipped to later next year, apparently still in line with the ZOE. No one had told some of the staff here, as they were quoting April for the Fluence, but my sign up email definitely says autumn/fall. I think I'd take the ZOE if they are released concurrently, but I suspect that might also slip. I'd hoped that the slip to the Fluence might allow them to include the improvements to year 2 versions from the start, but that is apparently not the case.

    So overall, not a bad effort - a solid B - but the Leaf is more accomplished. It's whether one can live with the compromises on the early Fluence to make the £8k up front saving worth having that will probably be the deciding factor.
     
  8. Mitrovic

    Mitrovic Member

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    Thank you for the report, very interesting.
    Yesterday I've got a phone call to reserve my test drive. It is scheduled 5th november.
    The nice lady said that the official launch in Switzerland will be january 2012 and deliveries spring 2012, for the Fluence, that is.
     
  9. Mitrovic

    Mitrovic Member

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    OK. So it was the big Renault day for me today. Renault ZE on tour in Cossonay, Switzerland.
    First we were offered some theory of Renault's view of the electric car industry, then we were invited to test drive the Fluence and the Kangoo and finally we were able to chat and ask questions.

    Both Kangoo and Fluence are ICE cars which have been adapted to be electric. And it shows. The cars are comfortable, for prototypes well made. There is plenty of room at the back seats in the Fluence, too. The Kangoo you can get with all the options as with the ICE cars. So you can have it with 5 seats and 5 doors two of them sliding doors at the back. So, really the ideal family car. The range is written down as 150 to 185 Km, but they openly said, if you drive more then 130 Km a day, you should consider another car.
    The batteries of the Fluence have a fan, the batteries of the Kangoo have no temperature control. Fluence can use the quick drop mechanism, Kangoo can not.
    The car is supplied with Mennekes plugs for charging, but you can also have a cable for T13 with 10A.
    The regeneration on the Fluence is weak, on the Kangoo a little bit more powerful, but still much weaker then on the Tesla roadster.
    Both cars have a classical on board 12 V battery for the lights and servos.
    The boot is small on the Fluence, but I would guess double the space of the roadster.

    Driving is adequate, nothing spectacular but comfortable and pretty much quiet.

    Zoe will be their real electric car. From scratch constructed as an electric car. The range should be a "surprise" as they told. Heating will be very interesting, too! Price will be even better then the Fluence!

    So from my point of view a good effort by Renault, worth being supported! They are still years behind Tesla, however! Fluence should be delivered January 2012 and Kangoo February 2012. Zoe Should be available in autumn 2012.

    So what am I going to do? I might lease a Fluence or a Kangoo for 2 years, and then change to the Model S!
     
  10. Mitrovic

    Mitrovic Member

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    So today finally I was told that the Fluence will have a 1 phase charger on board. The Zoe will have a 3 phase charger and later Fluence will gate a 3 phase charger, too. But it is not planed that the first Fluence could be upgraded to 3 phase charging.

    Why did Renault choose to have the first Fluence with a 1 phase charger?
     
  11. widodh

    widodh Model S R231 EU

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    I spotted a Fluence ZE today on the highway! I was driving in my M5 (Yes, I know.....) and saw the Fluence, so I started driving 'around' the Fluence a bit to check it out. The guy in the Fluence was looking a bit strange since he didn't understand why somebody in a M5 would be looking at a EV :)

    Nice car though, although I also don't understand why they are not equipping it with a 3-phase charger from the beginning.
     
  12. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    #12 Kevin Sharpe, Dec 14, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
    When we drove the Fluence and Kangoo in Portugal recently we were told by Renault that the Fluence didn't need 'fast' charge because it was developed for Better Place (battery swap), and the Kangoo because major customers such as Le Poste drive less than the battery range each day.

    When we met at Nissan HQ this week we were told that next gen Nissan and Renault cars would support 'fast' charge as applicable to each market (which we took to mean both DC and 3 Phase AC).
     
  13. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Perhaps for a similar reason that the Leaf launched with only a 3.3kW charger.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    A senior person at Nissan recent told me the 3.3kW in the LEAF was really done for cost reasons more than anything else. ( Same with smallish battery pack and only < 100 mile range. )
    I suppose they could justify it saying "we offer CHAdeMO too, so they can fast charge if they really need", but then CHAdeMO has been slower to deploy in USA than they intended.

    Based on slow CHAdeMO rollout, and in response to customer requests, they will offer 6.6kW in future USA LEAFs (probably starting with the 2013 model.)
     
  15. Kevin Sharpe

    Kevin Sharpe Active Member

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    All UK Leaf's include CHAdeMO as standard and the 6.6kW charger is confirmed for the 2013 model.
     
  16. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Dankeschön for the write up!

    2012 will be the electric year, not only for Renault Daimler with Smart ED, Fisker Karma (finally!), Volt/Ampera (after the stop is lifted), Toyota RAV4 EV, and Nissan LEAF in more markets. What did I forget?
     
  17. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Tesla Model S.
     
  18. EVNow

    EVNow Active Member

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    US (California in particular) will get a bunch of EVs
    - Toyota RAV4EV, iQ EV
    - Fiat 500 EV
    - Honda FIT EV
    - Chevy Beat EV
    - BMW Active-E
    - Focus EV
    - Tesla S
     
  19. Fernando M

    Fernando M Member

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