Kangoo be bop Z. E. is derived from the production Kangoo be bop and is instantly recognizable by its Energy Blue body colour, while the Renault logos on the grille and wheels are picked out in satin-finish blue-hued chrome. Inside, the satin-finish chrome and m etallic acidic green trim ensure a unique ambience which is further expressed by the specific grey velour upholstery and embroidered 'printed circuit' motifs.
Like the Z.E. Concept concept car which was unveiled at the 2008 Par is Motor Show, Kangoo be bop Z.E. is equipped with low-energy LED (light-emitting diodes) front and rear lighting with a view to optimizing energy use. Meanwhile, the car's aerodynamics have bee n s ignificantly reworked in order to reduce ener gy consum ption. Kangoo be bop Z.E. sits o n 18-inch full disc wheels, and its ground clearance has been lowered by 20mm compared with that of the production Kangoo be bop.
Linear displays on the outside of Kangoo be bop Z.E.'s doors show how much charge is left in the battery b y simply activating the rem ote central locking control. Inside, another gauge to the lef t of the ins trument panel pr ovides the driver with a perm anent indication of how much battery charge remains.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is an all-electric zero emission (in road use) vehicle. It is powered by a 44kW (60hp) electric motor which revs to 12,000rpm and which boasts greater efficiency (90 per cent) than an internal combustion engine. Kangoo be bop Z.E.'s electric motor is coupled to a reducer which replaces the gearbox traditionally mated to heat engines. This reducer has a single, constant output ratio. Electrical energy is transmitted to the motor by a power electronics unit which incorporates t he controller that delivers the required amount of energy to the rotor.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is equipped with compact, innovative lithium -ion batteries produced by AESC (Automotive Electric Supply Corporation), a Niss an-NEC joint venture which was founded in April 2007. The performance of these batteries compared with former-generation nickel metal hydride batteries is superior in every domain, including performance, reliability, safety and efficiency. Lithium-ion batteries do not suffer from the so-called memory effect which results from incomplete charge cycles, ultimately leading to a fall in capacity. The AESC battery is expected to deliver between 80 and 100 per cent of its original capac ity for a duration of six years.
The compact dimensions of lithium-ion batteries enable the vehicle's configuration to be optimized and a wide range of applications to be envisaged. In the case of Kangoo be bop Z.E., the batt ery is located underneath the dashboard. It cons equently doesn't encroach on either cabin space or boot capacity, making it possible to keep the sam e arrangement of four individual seats as that seen on the heat-engined Kangoo be bop.
The battery comprises 48 modules, each of which incorporates four elementary cells. It is inside these cells that th e electrochemical reactio ns take place, en abling electrical curre nt to be produced or energy to be stored. A year and a half ahead of the launch of Renault's production electric vehicles, the 15kWh battery of the Kangoo be bop Z.E. prototype delivers a range of approximately 100km.
When released, Renault electric vehicles will profit from an evolution to their battery technology which will take their real-world range to 160km. Last but not least, lithium-ion batteries are recyclable and the Renault-Nissan Alliance is actively working on establishing recycling processes and infrastructures adapted to automotive batteries.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is charged via a Marec hal TM-type socket located behind a flap at the front of the vehicle alongside the right-hand headlamp. The other end of the cable is fitted with a normal plug which connects to the mains supply.
This plug permits two different battery-charging modes:
- a conventional charge via a household mains supply ( 10A or 16A 220V) which can charge the vehicle in a timescale of between six to eight hours. This mode is suited to vehicles which are parked up overnight or during the day at the workplace.
- a so-called quick charge using a 32A 400V three phase socket, enabling up to 80 per cent of Kangoo be bop Z.E.'s capacity to be charged in approximately 30 minutes.
Twenty or so car manufacturers and energy groups have been work ing with the German group RWE with a view to developing a universal standard plug. This universal standard plug was shown at April's Hanover Messe technology fair and will be used to charge the batteries of future Renault electric vehicles. This three phase plug c an be used with a 400V supply and will enable a complete charge in approximately 20 minutes. This multi-partner agreement marks a significant step forward in the development of mass market electric vehicles.
Kangoo be bop Z.E. is also equipped with a brake energy recovery system which enables it to be charged while on the move.