Renault Fluence Z.E. targeting businesses who seek a green image

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 29, 2011

Renault's Fluence Z.E. compact sedan is aimed at businesses that are seeking to improve their green image, the company's marketing boss Stephen Norman disclosed. The vehicle is a battery-powered variant of the Fluence sedan that Renault manufactures in Turkey. The Fluence Z.E. has a range of around 185km, targeting businesses which drive less than 200km daily.

Norman further revealed that the total ownership costs will be even lower when compared to the combustion-engine variant of the Fluence when driven 12,000 to 15,000 km annually.

The key features of the Fluence Z.E. are simplicity, the cost of ownership and green credentials, says Autonews. Norman did not disclose specific sales targets. The sedan will be available in showrooms beginning in November.

The core markets targeted are Spain, France, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Israel, among other countries where governments give incentives to buyers of electric vehicles.

In these countries, the Fluence Z.E. will sell at prices similar to those of comparably powerful diesel variants. For example, prices will begin at 20,900 euros in France after a government 5,000-euro tax incentive is deducted.

At 4750mm, the Fluence Z.E. is 130mm longer than the internal combustion-engine variant in order to accommodate the 250kg lithium ion battery pack behind the rear seats. It has the same width as the internal combustion engine Fluence.

Moreover, it has a cabin space comparable with a sedan from the next segment up, Renault explains. The Fluence can be charged using a domestic electric outlet.

In Israel and Denmark, where Renault and Better Place have inked agreements, owners of the Fluence can swap the battery at battery exchange stations in less than five minutes.

In order for the Renault Fluence ZE to differentiate itself from models that use an internal combustion engine, it contains a number of the defining characteristics and unique features that are in the company’s electric vehicles. It is however the blue-tinted details that make this model immediately recognizable. This is not limited to the lights but also include the fog light surrounds, Fluence badge, and the Renault logos on the front and back.

Furthermore, the lights in the rear have a new design and now have a strip of diamond shapes that are tinted in blue as well. Then there is the more open and specific grille design. Similar to those seen in some coupes, framing the rear window are the lengthened quarter panels. For the Fluence ZE though, this has been extended through a smart gloss black strip. Since the lights also extend to the sides of its body, it helps with the vehicle’s overall visual balance.

Unlike the version that uses a combustion engine, this electric variant of the Fluence is longer by 13 centimeters with total length at 4.75 meters. This additional length meant that the batteries could now be placed at the back of its rear seats. Redesigned as well are the sides, which with the lights, ensure the visual balance that was in the previous generation.

By using the crisp and fluid lines, the Fluence ZE allows for longer quarter panels which complement the overhang in the rear, which has been made longer as well. Making sure that the Fluence ZE is able to stand out from the competition are the two charging flaps that are on the wheel arches at the front and the mirror housings in gloss black. Its bumpers have the same color as the body, which is standard on the Dynamique versions. All these features are also able to complement the vehicle’s already unique profile.

Meanwhile the boot lid has a chrome strip which comes embossed with the Fluence ZE monogram and tinted in blue. In addition, there is a black diffuser on the lower portion of its rear bumper which helps lower drag.

Not surprisingly, the wheel design is exclusive to the Fluence ZE and was created to ensure lower aerodynamic turbulence. For the body colors, seven choices will be offered, one of which is exclusive to the Fluence ZE known as Energie Blue.

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