Renault’s electric large van, the Master Z.E., will go on sale in the last quarter of 2018 aimed at providing emission-free and congestion charge-free access to operators carrying out last-mile deliveries in city centres.
Renault said the more powerful 33kW battery introduced to the Kangoo Z.E. light van last year was also a suitable fit for the larger vehicle – giving it a real-world driving range of 74 miles.
Guillaume Berthier, Renault’s Electric Vehicle sales and marketing director, told What Van? that cost considerations combined with the need to get the Master Z.E. onto the market quickly had persuaded the manufacturer to use the same battery it has installed in the Kangoo Z.E.
Fitting a larger battery “would damage payload and increase price”, he said.
While Renault will not confirm Master Z.E. prices and specification for the UK until the second quarter of 2018, the model is likely to cost in excess of £50,000, excluding VAT but before the Plug-in Van Grant, for an outright purchase.
With a gross vehicle weight of 3.1t, the four-strong Master Z.E. panel line-up will have payloads ranging from 975 to 1,128kg and load volumes going from 8m3 to 13mn3. In the two platform cab versions, payloads are 1,355 and 1,377kg.
The panel van line-up has a loading height of 540 to 560mm and loading doors that swing through to 270 degrees.
The Master Z.E. can be fully charged in six hours, which Renault claimed was appropriate to the requirements of the fleet customers at which the van is targeted.
According to Berthier, these customers are parcel delivery firms and inner-city authorities that can charge the vehicles up overnight. With the Master Z.E. designed, therefore, for specific rather than multi-purpose usage, he claimed: “You simply don’t need a full charge in one hour.”
Although Renault said it supported the UK government’s decision to increase the legal weight for electric vans that can be driven on a normal licence from 3.5 to 4.25-tonnes, a move lobbied for by the likes of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and Iveco, it claimed its lighter Master Z.E. would meet the needs of the majority of inner-city operators in striking the best balance between load capacity and range.
The Master Z.E. comes with Renault’s fleet management telematics package, Easy Connect for Fleet. Through connecting the Renault Communication Adapter unit to the vehicles’ electronics it provides the fleet manager with real time information on mileage, range, location, fuel consumption, tyre pressure, technical alerts and miles to the next service.
Renault claimed Easy Connect would enable fleets to cut running costs, save fuel, reduce emissions, plan servicing schedules and improve driver behaviour.