The What Van? Road Test: Renault Kangoo Z.E. 33

Date: Monday, May 14, 2018   |   Author: Steve Banner


Rear 3-4 - Crop


The charging socket is mounted behind the big Renault logo on the front of the vehicle. One 6m 32A charging cable is included in the price and our demonstrator was additionally provided with optional 6m 16A and EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) cables.

The latter is fitted with a three-pin plug and can be plugged into a standard domestic socket, but if you do so it may take up to 30 hours to charge up your vehicle.

Other charging options are available, however, which can drive the recharge time down to no more than six hours.

So far as the Kangoo Z.E. 33 is concerned a home charging unit that can charge at 7kW is the best bet says Renault.

It costs £354, assuming you are eligible for a grant from the Office of Low Emission Vehicles.

Renault is busy rolling out a variety of connected services. They include Z.E. Trip, to help the driver locate public charging points, and Z.E. Pass, which can be used to pay for the power used to recharge the battery.

You have the choice of buying the van with or without the battery pack.

Choose the latter course and the front-end price comes down, but your regular outgoings rise, and battery rental starts at £49 a month.

If you rent the battery then its performance is guaranteed to retain at least 75% of its original charge capacity. If it falls below that figure Renault will repair or replace it.

Buy the van with the battery and it will cost  £23,343 compared with £18,677, but the battery is guaranteed to retain at least 70% of its original capacity for five years/60,000 miles.

Bear in mind that the government’s Plug-In Van Grant brings these prices down to a more palatable £17,741 and £14,194 respectively.

A four-year/100,000-mile warranty protects the rest of the vehicle. That looks a pretty safe bet on Renault’s part given the modest annual mileages clocked up by electric vans.

Emergency roadside assistance is included for the first three years. Service intervals are set at one year/12,000 miles.

Electric vans are not subject to VED or the London congestion charge, and the electricity cost per mile is measured in pennies – typically less than 3p a mile reckons Renault – rather than pounds.

The Kangoo Van Z.E. 33’s insurance group is 30, however, which strikes us as quite high. Finally, it’s good to see Renault has not decided to stretch the van’s range by a few feet by deleting the spare wheel and its extra weight. One is provided.

Renault Kangoo Van Business Z.E. 33

Price (ex VAT)     £23,343
Price range (ex VAT)     £23,343-£26,743
Load volume     3.0m3
Gross payload     625kg
Load length      1,476mm
Load width (min/max)    1,218/1,464mm
Load bay height    1,251mm
Loading height    609mm
Rear door aperture     1,194x1,194mm
Side door aperture     762x1,041mm
Gross vehicle weight     2,130kg
Braked trailer towing weight     374kg
Residual value     TBA
Cost per mile     TBA
Engine size/power    R60 electric motor/60hp
Torque    225Nm
Range    168 miles (NEDC)
Battery    33kWh
Warranty    4yrs/100,000mls
Service intervals    1yr/12,000mls
Insurance group    30
Price as tested    £26,272

* after 4yrs/80,000mls; source: KwikCarcost

Options fitted

Air-conditioning and pollen filter with heat pump    £965
R-Link multimedia system    £675
EVSE cable    £414
Tech Pack    £350
Swivelling bulkhead with folding passenger seat    £225
Leather-trimmed steering wheel    £100
Rubber load bed cover    £75
6m charging cable 16A    £75
Central storage with armrest    £50



Citroen Berlingo Electric

Price (ex VAT) £22,550-£23,150
Load volume     3.3-3.7m3
Gross payload     552-636kg
Engines    Electric motor (67hp)

Verdict: This electric vehicle has all of the Citroen Berlingo’s virtues but its claimed range is shorter than the Renault Kangoo Z.E’s, and that has to be viewed as a drawback. Citroen’s parent company, PSA Group, will have to upgrade the battery pack soon if it is to remain competitive.

Nissan e-NV200

Price (ex VAT) £10,095-£13,045
Load volume     4.2m3
Gross payload      678-703kg
Engines    Electric motor (107hp)

Verdict: One of the most appealing electric vans we’ve ever come across, the Nissan e-NV200 was being revamped at the time of writing with an upgraded 40kWh battery, which delivers 174 miles between recharges according to official figures. It’s a model that’s definitely worth a look.

Peugeot Partner Electric

Price (ex VAT) £22,550-£23,150
Load volume     3.3-3.7m3
Gross payload      552-636kg
Engines    Electric motor (67hp)

Verdict: A close cousin of the Citroen’s Berlingo but styled a little differently, the Partner Electric suffers the same range limitation when compared with the competition as its stablemate. The 106-mile NEDC figure quoted probably translates to closer to 70 miles in the real world.


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