Renault Z.E. Concept

Renault will be unveiling a new all-electric car at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show scheduled for September this year. The concept has been developed to go into production in less than 3 years, so we could see it on the road as early as 2011. This new electric car will have a 5-door hatchback body, and will join other Renault EV concepts based on existing models – the Megane EV and the Kangoo EV.

The new electric 5-door hatchback production-destined concept car is said to be built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance B platform, which also underpins cars such as the Renault Clio and the Nissan March. A smaller car such as this would make more sense for now as battery technology isn’t all that mature yet and decent EV range is easier to be achieved with a lighter (and smaller) body.

Renault will also be exhibiting a new system they’ve devised called the Quick Drop system. You essentially cycle between multiple batteries with your electric car ownership. Drive it into a garage, and the system swaps your car’s depleted battery and puts in a new fully charged one in just 3 minutes.

No further details but we can probably assume the system then proceeds to charge the depleted battery to swap back into the car the next night. Initial implementations will most likely be in public areas (due to high cost of implementing a Quick Drop station?), with Quick Drop points functioning the same as petrol stations.

Full details on all of Renault’s forays into the electric vehicle arena to be revealed closer to the Frankfurt show date.