New Renault Kangoo E-Tech electric van with 164-mile driving range

  • All-new version of the Renault Kangoo ZE electric van
  • More powerful motor, more battery capacity, more driving range
  • Standard and long body sizes, large load area for a small van

Renault has announced the first details of the new Kangoo electric van. Based on the brand-spanking 2021 Renault Kangoo (set to go on sale in the UK in 2022), the updated electric Kangoo promises a 164-mile driving range and will apparently be called the Kangoo E-Tech rather than the Kangoo ZE this time around.

It doesn’t launch in Europe until late 2021 – which probably means we won’t see it here until mid-2022 – but Renault has released quite a bit of technical info already.

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Renault has a strong history with the electric Kangoo

The current Kangoo ZE was the first electric van to go into full production, with sales starting in 2012. So Renault has a great deal of experience to draw on here.

The new Kangoo E-Tech’s 164-mile WLTP driving range (pending official approval) is actually only a modest increase over the outgoing version’s 143 miles. And this despite an increase in size of the lithium ion battery pack from 33kWh to 44kWh and a lot of design details on the new van to improve aerodynamics and efficiency.

While you (and your drivers) may not care much about drag-reducing ‘air curtains’ and under-body ‘air tunnels’, some of these efficiency improvements come from enhancing useful creature comforts.

This time the clever battery-saving heat-pump ventilation system is now joined by a heated seat for the driver, a heated steering wheel and a heated windscreen, all more efficient means of warming the cabin and defrosting the van on cold days.

As with most electric vans you will be able to pre-condition the cab to warm or cool it while it’s still plugged into the mains in order to maximise the actual driving range.

Motor power and driving modes

As with the rest of the new Kangoo range, the E-Tech electric model is front-wheel drive.

Powering those front wheels is a 75kW (102hp) electric motor that also punches out 245Nm of instant torque via a single-speed transmission. That’s a nice upgrade over the 60hp / 225Nm the old Kangoo ZE musters.

Confusing matters – potentially at least – Renault says the Kangoo E-Tech comes with six driving modes, though so far it’s only named Eco and Normal.

Eco cuts power back to 55kW (75hp – still more than the old one) so helps extend the driving range of the battery pack. Normal gets the full 75kW and a higher top speed.

How long will it take to charge?

Renault has gone a bit info-crazy here – this is the full list variables for charging the new Kangoo E-Tech.

 Charging type  Charging time
 75kW rapid charger  80% in 42 minutes 
 22kW Chameleon charger   80% in 2 hours
 11kW (three-phase 16A charger)   100% in 4.5 hours
 7.4kW (single-phase wallbox)  100% in 7 hours
 'Reinforced' domestic socket  100% in 19 hours
 Regular domestic socket  100% in 26 hours

 

That 80% in 42 minutes is fair enough – it translates into 93 miles extra driving range in 30 minutes – but be warned that fast public chargers of that power level are often expensive.

Electric vans can be extremely cheap to run, but only if you’re able to take advantage of the correct electricity tariffs and charge at sensible times; planning for a driving distance each day that’s within the battery’s capability from a single charge remains the most practical way to use them.

What about practicality, load space and payload?

Renault is remaining tight-lipped about the payload rating at this stage but has confirmed the electric Kangoo E-Tech will come in standard and long bodysizes – the latter likely to be called the Maxi, though that isn’t official yet.

The load area will exactly match the size of the petrol and diesel Kangoo models, and we’ve detailed what we know about that and the new Kangoo’s most innovative features in our main story about the regular van.

The most interesting of all the 2021 Kangoo’s innovations is the Open Sesame pillar-less side access system; this will be available to Kangoo E-Tech buyers, but not in the UK, as it’s not compatible with right-hand drive. You will be able to spec the Easy Inside Rack, however, a fold-up interior roof rack.

How does it compare to rivals?

The Kangoo E-Tech will be entering a very different world to the one the Kangoo ZE initiated – there will be a lot more electric vans around by the time it reaches the UK.

Most interesting of these are the Stellantis models – the Citroen e-Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner and Vauxhall Combo-e, which should be on sale in 2021 and promise 171 miles of driving range and an 800kg payload.

Then there’s the Maxus e Deliver 3, which reckons on a 150-mile range and payload capacity of over 1,000kg.

Making life more complicated still, Renault will also build Nissan and Mercedes versions of this very electric van.

How much is the new Kangoo E-Tech and when does it go on sale?

We’re not expecting to see the new electric Kangoo in the UK until mid-2022 at the earliest, so pricing is anyone’s guess at this stage.

Expect to pay a premium over the petrol and diesel models, but perhaps not a huge amount. It will be eligible for the UK government plug-in van grant (assuming it still exists by then), which will help. What’s more, electric vans are cheaper to run and increasingly hold their value well, so you may find monthly costs very attractive indeed.

More on the new Renault Kangoo E-Tech as soon as we have it.

Also read:

>> New Renault Kangoo – on sale in 2022

>> Our current Renault Kangoo ZE review (old model)

>> Best electric vans

>> The Parkers electric van guide

>> Electric vans coming soon

>> What is the plug-in van grant?