Renault UK has reached a major milestone in its history with the delivery of its first electric vehicle, a Kangoo Van Z.E.

Renault Kangoo

Accepting the keys recently at Milton Keynes dealership Marshall Renault, one of the first wave of Renault’s twenty-one-strong Z.E. Expert dealers, printer Patrick Chard, is now enjoying cruising around silently and with zero-emissions in road use in the first model from the French marque’s electric vehicle range to reach our shores.

Renault’s first electric vehicle to hit UK streets is the eagerly-anticipated Kangoo Van Z.E. Already the recipient of two high-profile awards within a matter of weeks, including International Van of the Year 2012 and What Van? magazine’s ‘Van of the Year’, it is the world’s first electric van produced by a mass market manufacturer. Unlike its rivals costing over twice as much, it’s also affordable, from just under £17,000, plus a separate monthly battery hire fee from around £60.

Ian Plummer, Director of Commercial Operations Renault UK, joined Marshall’s dealer principal and Z.E. sales specialist, in handing over the keys, together with a bottle of champagne and commemorative glass gift to mark the special occasion. He said, “Renault has always been committed to reducing the carbon emissions of its vehicles, so to produce a range of zero-emission electric vehicles is incredibly exciting.

“From a daring concept to a striking reality, we’re thrilled to see the fruition of years of work on our Z.E. range begin with Renault’s Kangoo Van Z.E. on sale at Marshall Milton Keynes and the other ground-breaking sites. Several well-known UK companies have already ordered Kangoo Van Z.E. for their fleet requirements, so we’re sure many private customers will join Mr Chard in reaping the rewards of lower-cost and greener electric motoring.”

Marshall Milton Keynes, in Barnsdale Drive, is the first dealership to sell the award-winning Kangoo Van Z.E. and there are currently 20 more showrooms that have invested in Z.E. facilities to allow them to showcase the award-winning Kangoo Van Z.E. and the forthcoming Fluence Z.E., Twizy and ZOE models in 2012.

Marshallsales executive David Barnett, who sold the first Kangoo Van Z.E., said: “We are very proud to be the first dealership to complete a Z.E. sale and I’m extremely passionate about Renault’s new electric range. Mr Chard had been anxiously waiting for the van to arrive and I was able to answer his questions on vehicle charging and the battery hire scheme, and give him the reassurance that the Kangoo Van Z.E. could not only do the job he required, but that it made sound business sense. It beats all the competition hands down and his running costs are now going to be considerably lower.”

Patrick Chard, Managing Director of Murrays the Printers, based in Alston Drive, Milton Keynes, was delighted to be the first Kangoo Van Z.E. customer. Collecting his van, he said: “It is fantastic, very exciting to be first. We made a conscious decision a couple of years ago to be as green as possible, from vehicles to printing presses and with everything we buy. The Kangoo Van Z.E. is the first electric van to market from a manufacturer and it ticks every box for us. It is great for our customers too, as they are also concerned about the environment. We can now deliver locally with zero emissions and make considerable savings on fuel costs over a period of time.

“Renault talked us through the whole electric process and have been really good, so we had no concerns or reservations about purchasing the van. Our charging point is installed at the office – we are all ready to go. It is the same size as the diesel version, with the same load capacity is exactly the same, and I’m just looking forward to getting out there now and being able to make cheaper deliveries with zero emissions. It is a win-win for us.”

Renault Kangoo 2012

The Kangoo Van Z.E. range starts from £16,990 excluding VAT, with monthly battery hire from £60 (6,000 miles per year, over three years). Contract hire is available from £424 per month over three years. Both include a five-year powertrain guarantee, three years roadside assistance and a three year/100,000 mile warranty.

The Kangoo Z.E. has a typical range of up to 106 miles on the New European Driving Cycle (this can vary between 50 and 125 miles depending on several criteria) and costs between £2.50 and £3 for a full charge, according to tariff and supplier, with overnight charging being up to half the cost. Renault’s preferred electric vehicle partner in the UK, British Gas, will also be launching green energy tariffs for EV owners in early 2012, making the savings both financially, as well as ecologically, greater compared to filling up at the pumps.