Hands-on with the new Renault Master ZE
Renault vans have announced the full specifications of the fully electric Renault Master ZE van, Today Vansdirect gets hands-on with one!
Renault Master ZE
Introduction to the Renault Master ZE
The latest addition to the Renault vans range is designed with last mile zero-emissions urban deliveries in mind and arrives at a time where many large cities in Europe are beginning to roll out zones where diesel vehicles are a no go. The Renault Master ZE offers a payload in excess of one tonne (1,128kg) and every model comes with a three year/ 100,000 mile standard vehicle warranty and a five year/ 60,000 mile battery warranty.
Selection of different Renault Master ZE models available
Renault vans offer the Master ZE in a choice of three wheelbases: Short (SWB), Medium (MWB) and Long (LWB) and two different roof heights: low (LR) and medium (MR). All models are based on the base level Business spec from the standard Renault Master panel van and come equipped with standard features including: DAB radio, USB, electric front windows and bluetooth.
Electric van specific kit
In addition to all of the standard features above, the Renault Master ZE gets kit specific for the electric van such as a function that pre-heats the van and the 'ZE voice' sound generator which is designed to warn pedestrians when travelling at low speeds. The Master ZE represents the largest van in the Renault electric vans range, where it sits above the Renault Kangoo ZE and much smaller Renault Twizy cargo. In conjunction with the emissions free driving guaranteed by the Master ZE, Renault vans have also introduced numerous connectivity and telematics options to allow van fleet managers to keep up to date with the status of their vans.
Powering the Renault Master ZE
The new large van features the latest lithium ion-battery technology, with a 33kWh battery pack developed for improved energy density. The battery takes up the spot usually occupied by the gearbox in diesel powered Master vans, forwards and below the load floor. The way that the battery is packaged means that the Master ZE gets the same access height as the standard Renault Master panel van, whilst load volume is also unchanged.
Power comes courtesy of the R75 motor from Renault vans, the 75ps unit is offered in the Renault ZOE electric car in some European markets, so will be reliable for van fleet users. The motor gives the Renault Master ZE a top speed of 62mph, supporting the vision of Renault vans that this is a delivery van for city use and not long distances. There's a special Eco mode which limits the top speed to 50mph to help conserve energy and help owners deliver the real-world driving range of 74 miles, this will however be dependent on driving style, payload and weather, with a range of approximately 50 miles quoted for winter driving conditions.
Renault vans were quick to point out that the figures quoted were based on real world driving conditions with the van fully loaded with cargo and hence will be more realistic than figures previously quoted on the NEDC cycle.
What was it like to drive?
We were lucky enough to drive the large electric van and we were incredibly impressed. Something Renault vans were quite to point out about their Renault electric vehicle range is the enjoyable drive which they see as par for the course. Those sat in the passenger's seats didn't even notice the van was running, due to the refined nature of the electric motor. This was also the same out on the road, with a smooth drive and very little cabin noise, driving the van was also not a difficult task and functions very similar to a standard automatic van.
Based on the standard Business spec from the Renault Master diesel vans range, the cabin is comfortable and functional, without over-complicating the area with unnecessary buttons and functions that may not be required, the main adaptation from diesel models is the automatic transmission and addition of Eco mode which helps to conserve energy.
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