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by Daniel DeGasperi

Renault Australia will import the Renault Kangoo ZE all-electric small van next year, but on a trial-only basis.

Speaking at the national launch of the facelifted Renault Megane range, managing director Justin Hocevar, confirmed that there has been interest in the Renault Kangoo ZE from “a business” and that the company is working with them to bring a small batch of the small vans to Australia.

“With Kangoo ZE we’re only working on a small trial with one partner that has shown some interest,” he told.

“It will be a small number of vehicles [but] it won’t be this year. It will be next year some time.”

Renault Kangoo ZE 2

Asked how much the Kangoo ZE would cost, Hocevar explained that “given that it’s a small volume trial, the vehicle price is not an issue.

“The vehicles will be put into a trial on a buy-back basis.

“We’d be selling the vehicle or leasing the vehicle to the partner, then buying it back after the lease period.”

He did, however, hint that Renault Australia would not make money from the program, but would instead use it as learning model.

Renault Kangoo ZE 3

“The trial would be one that we could do a few things: collectively learn how to operate a back to base zero emissions electric vehicle; and, secondly use it as a test case that … the emissions benefit is worthy of some [government] support”.

That support is required, argues Hocevar, for the Renault Zoe, the company’s other production electric vehicle offering, to be sold locally (read more here).

The Renault Kangoo uses an electric motor with 44kW of power and 226Nm of torque, fed by 22kWh lithium-ion batteries that take up to eight hours to recharge via a household power outlet to provide a 170km total driving range.