Kent County Council has taken delivery of 20 all-electric Renault Kangoo E-Tech and four Renault Zoe Vans for its new Kent Realising Electric Vans Scheme (REVS), through which local businesses can enjoy a a new ‘try before you buy’ scheme for up two months in partnership with Highways England.
Why are Kent doing this?
The scheme is operated by Commercial Services Kent Ltd (CSKL), with the ultimate aim of reducing carbon emissions and air pollution across the Kent road network and to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles throughout the region helping to highlight the impact of air pollution on the health of children. Their rationale is that more businesses will be more likely to convert their fleets to electric if they have an opportunity to try the vehicles for an extended period, before committing to a purchase or long-term lease.
Tony Hills, Cabinet Member for Environment at Kent County Council, said: “Making the transition to electric vehicles can seem a big step for businesses and Kent REVS provides a risk-free way for them to experience the many benefits over a significant period. The Renault Kangoo E-Tech and Renault Zoe Van were identified as the ideal electric vans to include in the launch of Kent REVS with their ease-of-use ensuring that all types of drivers can quickly get used to the driving and charging experience of an electric vehicle, whilst also being suitable for a wide range of businesses.”
Highways England has provided £1.5 million funding for the two-year initiative, with the eventual aim that Kent REVS will have a fleet of 48 EVs available for trial. As part of the funding CSKL has installed new charge points at its operating bases in New Hythe and Kings Hill, with a further 10 rapid chargers planned for other publicly accessible locations across the County.
Renault Electric Kangoo ZE Vans
The new Renault vans feature a bespoke Kent REVS livery that highlights their 100 per cent electric power, with Kent County Council complementing the standard Business specification of the Renault Kangoo E-Tech with the additions of satellite navigation and ply lining in the load area. The Renault Kangoo E-Tech can be specified in three body styles (Panel Van, Maxi Panel Van, and Crew Van) and two trim lines – Business and Business+. Standard features include electrically-operated door mirrors and front windows, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with Hill Start Assist, and DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Business+ specification adds extra equipment, such as electrically-operated and folding door mirrors, one-touch driver’s electric window, body-coloured bumpers, metallic paint and rear parking sensors. Depending on the model, it offers a load area of up to 4.6 cubic metres.
The Renault Kangoo E-Tech has a potential range of up to 143 miles (WLTP) and can be charged to 100 per cent in six hours when using a 7kW wallbox. It is priced from £23,000, excluding VAT, after the Plug-in Van Grant.
Renault Electric Zoe ZE Vans
The Zoe Van has a load volume of one cubic metre and a maximum payload of up to 457kg excluding the driver (Business specification), the Zoe Van is available in two generous trim levels – Business and Business+. It offers a WLTP combined range of up to 245 miles on a single charge on Business models and via the 50kW DC charging option can be charged from zero to 80 per cent in just one hour and ten minutes.
Reflecting on Kent County Council’s decision to choose Renault electric vans, Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Renault UK, commented: “It’s fantastic to see that Renault Kangoo E-Tech and Renault Zoe Van have been chosen as the electric vans to launch Kent REVS and that they will play a part in helping Kent County Council achieve a greener, cleaner transport infrastructure throughout the region. Their adoption by the scheme reinforces how easy they are to drive and how they epitomise all the benefits there are to switching from a van that is powered by a conventional diesel or petrol engine to one that is pure electric, all without having any impact on the operational effectiveness of a business.”