Renault launches two all-electric vans to make bustling cities cleaner and quieter

Paris-based Renault has introduced an electric version of the Master, a full-size van that competes against the Euro-spec versions of the Ford Transit and the Ram ProMaster. The battery-powered van was introduced during the Brussels Auto Show.

Power for the Master Z.E. is provided by a relatively small, 33-kilowatt-hour battery pack that zaps a 57-kilowatt motor. The motor is located in the Master’s engine bay, while the pack is shoe-horned under the cabin in the space normally occupied by the fuel tank in order to retain the diesel-powered Master’s full cargo capacity.

Buyers can expect a charge to last for 124 miles, though the European testing cycle for electric vehicles is notoriously optimistic. The Master Z.E. is hardly a long-range electric vehicle, but Renault explains it was developed specifically for businesses that primarily operate in big cities, and local governments who only need to drive a few dozen miles a day. A full charge takes six hours.

The Master Z.E. is all but identical to the standard, diesel-powered model when it’s viewed from the outside. Three wheelbases and two roof heights are available.

Renault caters to customers who need a smaller van with an all-electric Kangoo, a Transit Connect-sized model. The Kangoo Z.E. isn’t new, but it has been updated with the same 33-kWh battery pack as the Master, and a faster on-board charger. A redesigned motor rounds out the upgrades.

The Kangoo is now certified to cover 168 miles on a charge, though the real-world figure is again expected to be lower. A newly standard heat pump ensures it maintains autonomy even in cold climates. Renault promises a full charge also takes just six hours when the van is plugged into a wall socket.

The updated Renault Kangoo Z.E. will go on sale across Europe this summer. Buyers looking to add the Master Z.E. to their fleet will need to wait until the end of the year. Pricing information will be published closer to each van’s on-sale date.

The Master will be the only electric full-size van available in Europe when it goes on sale. However, rival Volkswagen is expected to introduce a battery-powered Crafter before the end of the year.

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