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Published on October 16th, 2012 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Renault Fluence “Zero Emissions” In Malaysia – Pure Electric Car

Tan Chong is a name that almost everybody in Malaysia knows. It started as a family business selling Nissan/Datsun cars, to a Malaysian business conglomerate that stretches across Asia. Today Tan Chong is looking at changing the Malaysian automotive landscape with a strong push towards electric mobility. Yes, Tan Chong and its Malaysian Renault car business, TC Euro Cars is pushing for a quick introduction of full electric cars in Malaysia. First came the Nissan LEAF which is currently being tested by various lucky people over a few weeks and now comes the Renault Fluence Z.E. The Fluence concept was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and now in 2012 Renault is moving fast to introduce this car to the global market. The right hand drive version has just arrived in Malaysia for test and we took it for a short spin.

The Fluence Z.E. is manufactured at the OYAK-Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey, using the same production line as internal combustion engine-powered versions of Fluence. Production started in the first half of 2011 with the left hand drive version. Based on a petrol car’s design, this electric version does 0-62mph in 13secs and a top speed of 130km/h.

Inside, the five-seat interior feels and looks roomy. Front space is good and there is space in the back for a couple of large adults. But because the battery pack sits between the back seat and the boot, cargo room is lacking. Otherwise, the only real clue that you’re in a pure-electric car is the charge-level indicator where you’d normally find a rev counter. There is also a meter that shows how much energy you’re using at any given moment. The comfortable interior features a raft of useful technologies, including smart navigation with a Malaysian map installed and working fine, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic dual-zone climate control, and automatic headlamp and windscreen-wiper activation.

And driving the Fluence ZE couldn’t be easier. Turn the key and the word “Go” appears on the dash. Slot the automatic shifter into D and you take off in stealth mode. The only clue that this Renault is electric is the absence of noise and the rapid acceleration. The ride quality, while firm, is not uncomfortable. Biggest question answered, the cars range on one full charge. Renault says that the Fluence ZE can go about 150-160 kilometers on a charge in a moderate drive cycle. Push it hard and drive it aggressively with the climate control in full blast in mid day traffic and the range could be reduced by half. In theory, this Fluence ZE is a lot like its sibling, the Nissan LEAF which seems more stylish and individual in our eyes. No selling price has been announced yet but we are looking at a possible RM150,000.00 with a 3-year car warranty and a 7-year battery warranty. Pricing is pure speculation by us only at this time.

FLUENCE Z.E. TECHNICAL DATA

DIMENSIONS

Length (mm)

4 620

Width (mm)

1 809

Height (mm)

1 461

Wheelbase (mm)

2 702

Front/rear track (mm)

1 541 / 1 563

Front/rear overhang (mm)

908 / 1 010

Unladen weight (kg)

1453

Standard tyres

205/55R16

MOTOR

Type

Electric

Transmission type

Direct drive with reducer and forward/reverse inverter

Maximum power EEC (kW)

70

Maximum torque EEC (Nm)

226

BATTERY

Type de battery

Lithium-ion

Range (km)

160

STEERING

Power steering

Electric variable rate power steering


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