Paris Motor Show: Renault Presents The Today And Tomorrow Of Electric Vehicles

Renault begins to explore the future design language of its electric cars.

Renault is getting ready to begin selling electric vehicles and used the 2010 Paris Motor Show to present what they plan to offer as well as a vision of the future. The first two electric vehicle models will appear in showrooms late next year. The ZOE Preview is a glimpse at what one of the cars will look like. The ZOE Preview is intended to be a mass-market, zero-emission, everyday car. It will be powered by a 60kW (80hp) motor with electricity from a lithium-ion battery. The battery can be charged in one of three ways. The ZOE Preview can be plugged into a household or public charging point and attain a full charge in 6-8 hours. A network of ‘Fast Charge’ stations will also be established for emergency situations. These will provide 37 miles range in less than 10 minutes or 80% battery capacity in 30 minutes. The third is a a battery swap via a Quickdrop battery exchange station. A depleted battery can be exchanged for a fully charged one in three minutes. Renault is working with Better Place to expand the Quickdrop network.

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Renault designers aimed to offer a new experience for passengers in the ZOE Preview and created a ‘car spa’. The intention is to provide features that benefit the well-being of the occupants. There is a skin hydration system integrated into the air conditioner to optimise the interior humidity levels. A toxicity sensor will automatically close the air vents if it detects poor air quality outside. A scent diffuser actively provides interior aromatherapy for relaxation after a stressful day or to invigorate on a late night drive. Renault worked with Philips on a light therapy screen located on the dashboard which further enhances the impression of well-being.

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The Renault DeZir Concept is the first of a series of concept cars that will preview Renault’s new styling direction. The DeZir was created based on three brand keywords simple, sensuous, and warm. The sport-coupe’s exterior design uses a balance of fluid shapes and unique material accents to create contrast. Particularly interesting is the scooped out back of the vehicle composed of black slats. The DeZir is powered by a 110kW (150hp) electric motor from a vertically-mounted 24kWh lithium-ion battery located behind the seats. By keeping the overall weight low, the Renault says the DeZir could accelerate from zero to 60mph in around four seconds, pretty quick.

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The interior is driver focused reinforced with an illuminated quilted pattern cut into the white seats. Most all of the interior controls are accessed via a center mounted touch screen. The driver and passenger doors each open uniquely. They both feature ‘gullwing’ style hinges with driver’s door pivoting from the front and the passengers from the back.

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