Renault’s Z.E. Concept is your standard run of the mill concept electric vehicle that’s based on a production model with jazzed up styling so that it looks worthy to be called a concept. Instead of a petrol or diesel engine, the Renault Kangoo be bop that is the base for this concept is instead powered by a 94 horsepower electric motor with a peak torque of 226Nm, backed by lithium ion batteries. The press release does not state how this is charged so we can only assume it is a plug-in EV. All of this is pretty heavy though – the concept clocks in at 1,520kg unladen.
Perhaps more important than the run of the mill motor itself is how Renault plans to stretch the miles with a limited battery source.To help conserve battery power for the electric motor use, Renault has employed a few techniques to reduce power consumption by auxiliaries such as the lighting, heating and climate control.
Firstly, the Z.E. Concept’s bodywork functions like a Thermos flask. The body comprises of two insulating panels with a sandwich of air. This limits variations in temperature between the exterior and the interior. The internal temperature regulation system is powered by a solar panel on the roof.
As for heating, Renault plays on the psychological effect of generally feeling warmth if the face and hands are warm. So the heater system channels warmth to these key zones through means such as a heated steering wheel.
Aerodynamics have been improved by using low-energy cameras to replace wing mirrors and a special alloy wheel design that is low on drag. The headlamps use LEDs to reduce power consumption.
PHOTO GALLERY: Renault Z.E. Concept
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