Home Latest News Could Renault’s Z.E. be the SHOCK electric cars have been waiting for?

Could Renault’s Z.E. be the SHOCK electric cars have been waiting for?


Electric cars have many a hurdle to jump before they can be considered an equal to their distant Petrol and Diesel cousins. There are several very good reasons why owning an electric car at this very moment in time isn’t your best option. To ensure good range of an electric car the vehicle its self shouldn’t drain the power unnecessarily and the easiest way of doing this to rid the car of as much weight as possible. The result is a rather poorly equipped car that appears to be made of the plastic inserts from boxes of chocolate. Also aerodynamics is key to ensure lower wind resistance, however the end product always appears to resemble a fish that has had an allergic reaction. Despite all this, Renault thinks they have developed the first “proper” all electric car named the Fluence Z.E.

This four door, Laguna sized family saloon appears to look not too far from Renault’s family resemblance, and so looks nothing like an all-electric car, good start. Inside there are five seats unlike the pathetic excuse for a mobility scooter that is the G-Wiz. The interior appears modest yet much more durable and user friendly than current electric cars. So as a car, the Fluence is scoring well, it even has a proper boot, but what about the figures?

With this Renault owners are really going to feel the buzz as the car will rev to 11,000RPM and produce 226NM of torque! To put that into contest, a Porsche Boxster only produces 40 more torques than the Renault. The car will take 6-8 hours to charge off of a household socket but as more and more businesses invest in electric pumps it could be as little as 30 minutes at a station, and that gets you 160KM further down the road. The top speed is capped to 135KM/H that translates to 85MPH, not the fastest thing on wheels we but still capable of breaking the speed limit on the motorway.

The best all-electric car yet? Well it’s looking that way, but we will have to wait until 2011 to find out.


  1. The current crop of electric cars does leave a lot to be desired, but what is just around the corner is very good indeed.

    Of the current cars, the G-Wiz certainly isn’t entirely without merit, especially the latest version with the Lotus tuned suspension, steering, braking and crash safety systems, but even its most ardent fan would admit it is a very niche product indeed. The Tesla is astounding: I drove one myself a few weeks ago on one of the best driving roads in Britain and it really is an amazing rocket ship with Ferrari beating performance and an impressive range (after my all-to-short test drive in the Midlands, the owners drove the car to Amsterdam). But with prices starting at around £90,000, it certainly isn’t cheap.

    Last September I went to Frankfurt and drove the new REVA NXR. Nobody has heard of REVA yet, but they will do. Along with Chinese firm BYD, they are building some very exciting new cars and NXR is an eye opener. It’s the size of a Ford Ka, but with more interior space and similar build quality. It will be the first electric car to compete head on with a petrol equivalent at a similar price. It drives well, it handles well, it rides well. I predict that within a couple of years, these cars will be sold like mobile phones – the car itself will be free, and you’ll pay a monthly tariff based on the number of miles you drive. This monthly tariff would be cheaper than the cost of putting petrol into a petrol powered car to do the same miles. That would make it a winner. Why buy an electric car? Why buy anything else.,,

    My current car is a Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car, which is being launched here in the UK at the end of this year. This is another small city car, but a very good one. The 0-60 dash takes somewhere around 13 seconds and the car will happily cruise at well over 80mph if you want to (when driving on an off-road circuit of course, officer) with four adults in the car. The motor sounds like a small jet engine when revved flat out, it sounds so much better than most four-pot petrol engines and it is so smooth it is unbelievable. Quite simply, the driving experience with this car is so much better than a petrol powered car. If you class yourself as a ‘petrol head’, you have to try out one of these babies for yourself just to see how good they are. Bring on the electric sports cars, because they really will be winners.

    So yes, I’m looking forward to getting my paws on a Renault Fluence ZE when they arrive next year. 0-60 is well under ten seconds and with hot-swap batteries, you can just keep on driving all day long. What is there not to like?

    Over the past few months, I have been doing a number of demonstrations in various electric cars to various interested parties. I’ve seen people turn from being very ‘anti’ electric car to ‘surprised’ to ‘impressed’ within just a few seconds of being behind the wheel. Most recently I gave demonstrations to members of the Institute of the Motor Industry. These are all people who are complete car enthusiast petrol heads (lets face it, they’ve dedicated their lives to it!) but once they’ve seen these cars for themselves, the vast majority of them can definitely see a bright future for the electric car.