And perhaps what’s an even bigger achievement is that the Renault Kangoo Z.E. is the first electric car in history to win this award, finishing in front of all the rest of vans powered by internal combustion engines. Available on sale in Europe starting with October 2011, the Renault Kangoo Z.E. has already won several awards in Europe, including the 2012 International Van of the Year and two other awards given by the press in Ireland and Denmark.
With 104 points out of a maximum of 168, the Kangoo Z.E. won the disputed 2012 Van of the Year after, overcoming extremely popular models like the Iveco Daily, Fiat Ducato or the Volkswagen Caddy. The extremely well rated trophy was received by Jean-Marie Hurtiger, the director of Renault’s Light Commercial Vehicles division during a ceremony that took place in the opening day of the “Trailer” international commercial vehicles show in Belgium.
Pieter Wieman, the president of the jury made of 22 journalists across Europe, specialized in commercial vehicles, that decides the results each year said that “with the Kangoo Van Z.E. Renault brings the electric van within the reach of the normal European van user thereby delivering a major contribution to environmental sustainability, one of the most important issues of the transport of goods by road nowadays.”
In return, Jean-Marie Hurtiger said: “This prize rewards the work of the people at Renault who have worked for several years on the Kangoo Van Z.E., one of Renault’s four electric vehicles to be launched in the next 10 months. All of the company’s functions were involved in the adventure, including the design office, the Maubeuge plant and sales. They met the challenge in a remarkable manner, showing determination, creativity and, above all, an excellent team spirit that has now produced results.”
Renault has been the number one selling light commercial vehicles carmaker in Europe since 1998 and this autumn their range has received the Kangoo Z.E., their first electric vehicle in this range and also the first 100 percent electric van in the world that is mass produced by a carmaker. Thanks to a great position of the battery (under the car’s floor), the car is basically similar to the internal combustion engine powered version, being available in two sizes (Kangoo Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E. Maxi) and three versions. The vehicle is even built at the same assembly facility as the “traditional” models, at the MCA Maubeuge plant in France.