Renault Fluence Z.E.

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Renault Fluence Z.E.
Renault Fluence Z.E. – Frontansicht, 25. Februar 2012, Düsseldorf.jpg
Renault Fluence Z.E. (Germany)
Also calledRenault Samsung SM3 Z.E. Dongfeng Fengnuo E300 EV
Production2011–2014 (Turkey)
2013–present (South Korea)[1]
AssemblyBursa, Turkey (Oyak-Renault)
Busan, South Korea (Renault Samsung Motors)
Body and chassis
ClassCompact car
Body style4-door sedan
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel drive
Electric motor70 kW (94 hp) synchronous motor, 226 N·m (167 lb·ft)
Battery22 kWh lithium-ion battery
Range185 km (115 mi) (NEDC)
Plug-in charging3.5 kW on-board charger (230 V 15 A), optional upgrade to Zoe's Chameleon charger (43 kW)
Wheelbase2,701 mm (106.3 in)
Length4,748 mm (186.9 in)
Width1,813 mm (71.4 in)
Height1,458 mm (57.4 in)
Curb weight1,543 kg (3,402 lb)

The Renault Fluence Z.E. is an electric version of the Renault Fluence compact sedan, part of the Renault Z.E. program of battery electric vehicles. It was unveiled by Renault at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.[2] The Fluence Z.E. is outfitted with a 22 kWh lithium-ion battery which allows a total all-electric range of 185 km (115 mi) measured on the NEDC combined cycle, with speeds up to 135 km/h (84 mph).[3]

The Fluence Z.E. was the first electric car enabled with battery swapping technology and deployed within the Better Place network in Israel and Denmark in 2012. A total of 948 Fluence Z.E. cars were deployed in Israel and around 400 units sold in Denmark through May 2013, when Better Place filed for bankruptcy.[4][5] Since 2011 a total of 3,935 units have been sold worldwide through October 2014.[6]

The Fluence Z.E., called SM3 ZE in South Korea, is the most numerous electric car of the South Korean car parc,[7] with 1,604 SM3 ZE sold till December 2015. Approximately 6,000 Renault Fluence Z.E. have been sold between 2011 and 2015.[8]


Fluence Z.E frontal view
Fluence Z.E. rear view

The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 22 kWh and weighs 250 kg (551 lb).

The Fluence Z.E. is 13 cm (5.1 in) longer than the internal combustion model to accommodate the battery behind the rear seats.[3][9] The planned Renault battery plant near Paris that will supply batteries for the vehicle was delayed due to technical constraints. Construction will start in the second quarter of 2012 and production of batteries is expected to be delayed to 2014 or 2015. Instead, Renault will have to buy batteries from a joint venture between Nissan Motor and NEC, and from LG Chem of South Korea.[10]

There are several ways to charge the battery:

  • using 10 A 220-240 V household mains power from a standard electrical outlet in 10–12 hours
  • using 16 A with a 3 kW public charge spot or specifically installed home charging spot in 6–9 hours
  • the battery uses a "QuickDrop" system that allows it to be quickly switched for a charged battery at a dedicated battery exchange facility.

The Fluence Z.E. uses a synchronous electric motor with rotor coil, weighing 160 kg (350 lb). Its peak power is 70 kW (94 hp) at 11,000rpm, while maximum torque is 226 N⋅m (167 lbf⋅ft).[3][9]

The Fluences uses a PRND gate selector as well as providing a small amount of creep in 'D' to emulate the behaviour of traditional internal combustion engine equipped automatic transmission cars.


This test drive of the Renault Fluence Z.E. demonstrates its quietness.
Euro NCAP test results
Renault Fluence ZE (2011)[11]
Test Points %
Overall: 4 /5 stars
Adult occupant: 26 72%
Child occupant: 41 83%
Pedestrian: 13 37%
Safety assist: 6 84%

Better Place battery swap[edit]

Parade of Renault Fluence Z.E. electric cars enabled with battery swapping technology to commemorate the first deliveries to Better Place employees in Israel in January 2012.

Better Place and Renault announced the Fluence Z.E. was the first modern electric car with a swappable battery available on the Better Place electric vehicle network [12] with (QuickDrop) battery swapping technology. Battery switching or swapping is a technology that enables the driver to swap a depleted battery with a fully charged one by going through a battery switch station. In a demonstration with electric taxi cabs run in Tokyo until the end of 2010, the trial battery switch station allowed drivers to exchange their car's depleted battery pack for a 100 miles (160 km) fully recharged one in 59.1 seconds on average.[13] In August 2010 Better Place announced a non-binding order of 100,000 Renault Fluence ZE[14] and four months later Better Place claimed to have sold 70,000 cars from that order, a year away from the public launch of the Better Place network.[15]

Better Place's battery switching Station in Israel

Better Place customers needed only to drive up to the entrance of a battery switch station to start the switch process. The Oscar in-car navigation system uses a WiFi connection to communicate with the station's computers and an RFID tag on the windscreen of the subscriber's car identifies it. The barrier opens and the customer drives up to a mark. The dashboard screen and external monitors then give instructions to select Neutral and turn off the ignition. The remaining process is fully automated, similar to going through a car wash, so the driver never has to leave the car. In just a few minutes, a robot beneath the car removes the depleted battery and replaces it with a full one. Once complete, instruction is given to restart the car and an exit barrier lifts.[16]

After implementing the first modern commercial deployment of the battery swapping model in Israel and Denmark, Better Place filed for bankruptcy in Israel in May 2013. The company's financial difficulties were caused by the high investment required to develop the charging and swapping infrastructure, about US$850 million in private capital, and a market penetration significantly lower than originally predicted by Shai Agassi.Less than 1,000 Fluence Z.E.s were deployed in Israel and around 400 units in Denmark through May 2013.[4][5]


Fluence Z.E. Concept unveiled in the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Fluence Z.E. is available in several European countries and also was sold in Israel through the Better Place network. Since retail sales began in 2011, a total of 3,935 units have been sold worldwide through October 2014.[6] of which, 2,384 units were registered in Europe through October 2014.[17] and around 1,000 units were sold in Israel through May 2013.[4][5]


Unveiled at the 2011 Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne, the Fluence Z.E. was scheduled to be sold by mid-2012, once the roll out of Better Place's battery swap network had begun, initiating in Canberra. In 2011 GE pledged to purchase at least 1,000 of the vehicles in Australia, which would contribute to their goal of purchasing 25,000 electric vehicles globally by 2015.[18] In December 2012, Renault announced that the launch of the Fluence Z.E. was postponed indefinitely following delays with the roll out of Australia’s electric vehicle infrastructure. The electric car was scheduled to go on sale to the public from a number of dealers across the country in the fourth quarter of 2012. Better Place explained that delays in the deployments in Israel and Denmark reflected in the Australian roll out, which would take place between 12 and 18 months behind the other markets.[19] However, Better Place filed for bankruptcy in May 2013.[4]


The Fluence Z.E. was sold in Denmark at a price of 205,000 DKK (€27,496 or US$38,378) including VAT plus the monthly fee for the switchable-battery. Consumers also paid a one-time fee of 9,995 DKK (€1,341) for a private charging station and Better Place offered a choice of five fixed-price switchable-battery packages based on kilometers driven per year. For more than 40,000 km (25,000 mi) a year the monthly fee was 2,995 DKK (€399) per month.[20][21]

The first Better Place battery switch station in Denmark, out of 20 planned to be deployed across the country until March 2012, was unveiled in June 2011 at Gladsaxe, near Copenhagen.[16] As of December 2012 there were 17 battery switch stations fully operational in the country.[22] Sales through Better Place began in late 2011, and 198 units were sold in Denmark through December 2012. Cumulative sales through April 2013 reached 234 units.[23] However, Better Place reported between 400 and 500 customers by the time the company filed for bankruptcy in May 2013.[5][24] Renault announced it will continue to provide service for the Fluence Z.E. in Denmark.[25][26]


In Estonia, Fluence Z.E was originally part of the ELMO program, but has been removed, no reason was given, but it may relate to the lack of availability of the car in Estonia.[citation needed]


In France prices start from €26,300 before the applicable €5,000 government incentive that is available for purchases through 2012.[27][28] The monthly fee for the switchable-battery service start from €82 including VAT.[27] Since 2010, a total of 727 Fluence Z.E.s have been registered in France through October 2014.[29]


Renault Fluence Z.E. sold through Better Place in Israel.

Orders for the Renault Fluence ZE began in July 2011 starting at NIS 123,000 (€24.580, US$35,114), a price slightly higher than gasoline-powered car of similar size. Better Place offered five service packages in Israel. The service plans were priced according to annual mileage and also include installation and maintenance of a home recharging station, free access to Better Place’s battery replacement stations, battery availability, a computerized driver support system, navigation aids, and roadside service. The cheapest monthly package was NIS 1,090 (€218, US$311) for up to 20,000 km (12,000 mi) a year, and the more expensive was NIS 1,599 (€320 /US$456) for less than 30,000 km (19,000 mi) a year. These prices included VAT. There was also a special plan that includes the cost of the Fluence Z.E. and a 3-year unlimited-mileage package (up to 25,000 km (16,000 mi) a year) for a total of NIS 157,500 (€31,775, US$45,000).[30][31]

The first Fluence Z.E. production models were delivered in Israel in January 2012, and nearly 100 units allocated among the Better Place employees. Retail customer deliveries began in the second quarter of 2012.[32][33] As of December 2012, a total of 518 cars were sold in the country. Sales during the first months of 2013 improved with a total 422 units were sold, bringing the total to 940 units.[34][35] After Better Place filed for bankruptcy in May 2013, the court liquidator will have to decide what to do with customers who do not have ownership of the battery and risk being left with a useless car. Under Better Place's business model, the company owns the Fluence Z.E. batteries.[36] Shortly thereafter, Renault announced it will continue to provide service for the Fluence Z.E. in Israel.[24] The liquidator will also have to decide about the future of the swap stations.[24]

South Korea[edit]

Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. at the 2013 Seoul Motor Show.

The Fluence Z.E. is sold in South Korea as the SM3 Z.E. under the Renault Samsung Motors badge.[37] The SM3 Z.E. was unveiled at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show, and entered into series production at the Busan factory during October 2013. The company set a production target of about 4,000 units per year and it is partly financed by the South Korean Government.[1][38] In 2013, its second year in the market and the first of South Korean assembly, the SM3 Z.E. led electric vehicle sales in the country, capturing a 58% market share of the segment and 453 cars sold that year. The company attributed this to its AC-3 charger, its greater autonomy compared to rivals and a better warranty for the battery.[39]

United Kingdom[edit]

The Fluence Z.E. was released in the United Kingdom in the Spring of 2012 though was withdrawn from sale in 2014. The batteries required a mandatory lease which according to Renault, was the UK's most affordable electric car. By not having to purchase the battery - a value in excess of GB£7,000 - any issues with the battery over dead cells or depleted range issues are dealt with by an immediate exchange at no additional cost to the owner.[40]


Renault Fluence Z.E is released in Turkey at the end of 2011. The first users will be major municipalities and some other governmental institutions such as Ministry of Industry. Public release is expected to take place on May 2012. All the dealers are recently under infrastructure upgrade that is being held by energy partners of Renault in Turkey.[citation needed]


Worldwide Sales Year
762 2011
2086 2012
796 2013 (until August)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Renault Samsung Starts Mass-production of Electric Vehicle SM3 Z.E." Korea Economic Daily. 2013-07-10. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  2. ^ Thami Masemola (2009-09-14). "Renault Fluence Zero Emission Concept First Look". World Car Fans. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  3. ^ a b c "Renault Unveils Finalized Designs of Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Express Z.E.; Opens Pre-Reservations". Green Car Congress. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  4. ^ a b c d Isabel Kershner (2013-05-26). "Israeli Venture Meant to Serve Electric Cars Is Ending Its Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  5. ^ a b c d Niv Elis (2013-05-26). "Death of Better Place: Electric car co. to dissolve". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  6. ^ a b Mark Kane (2014-11-22). "Renault Electric Car Sales Quietly Surpass 50,000". Retrieved 2014-11-28.
  7. ^ "La SM3 ZE de Renault Samsung, la voiture électrique la plus vendue sur le marché local". YONHAP. 2015-12-21. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  8. ^ "Renault entrega 30 Kangoo Z.E. adicionais no Uruguai". YONHAP. 2015-12-18. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  9. ^ a b "RENAULT FLUENCE Z.E. AND KANGOO EXPRESS Z.E.: FINALIZED DESIGNS REVEALED AND PRE-RESERVATIONS OPEN" (PDF) (Press release). Renault. 2010-04-15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
  10. ^ Helen Beresford (2011-06-15). "Renault says battery plant project delayed". Reuters.
  11. ^ "Euro NCAP results for Renault Fluence ZE" (PDF). 2011.
  12. ^ "The Renault Fluence ZE Concept - the 1st electric vehicle available on the Better Place network". 2010-10-20. Archived from the original on 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2011-02-27. SUNDAY, 27 FEB 2011 This video provides a preview of Renault’s Fluence ZE Concept car, the first electric car with a switchable battery available on the Better Place electric vehicle network. The Fluence ZE Concept EV was unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
  13. ^ "Better Place expands Tokyo battery swap trials; taxis have changed packs 2,122 times already". AutoblogGreen. 2010-08-27.
  14. ^ "Better Place Moves Ahead with 100,000 Electric Cars". 2010-08-18. Archived from the original on 2011-02-17. Retrieved 2011-02-27. Better Place CEO states that he has placed an order for 100,000 electric cars from Renault
  15. ^ "Better Place CEO: Biggest obstacle to electric cars is auto industry 'scepticism'". 2010-12-10. Retrieved 2011-02-27. Shai: ..we're a year away from the public launch of the network, but we've already sold almost 70,000 cars, which is about 1/3 of one year's worth of (new car) sales in Israel.
  16. ^ a b "Better Place unveils Europe's first battery switch station in Denmark". Green Car Congress. 2011-06-28. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  17. ^ Groupe Renault (November 2014). "Ventes Mensuelles" [Monthly Sales] (in French). Retrieved 2014-11-29. Click on "Ventes mensuelles du groupe (décembre 2011) (xls, 183 Ko)" "Ventes mensuelles (décembre 2012) (xls, 289 Ko)" - Ventes mensuelles (décembre 2013) (xlsx, 227 Ko)" - "Ventes mensuelles (octobre 2014) (XLSX - 219 Ko)" to download the files for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 sales, and open the tab "Sales by Model".
  18. ^ Davis, Brett (2011-07-04). "Renault Fluence Z.E. at Australian International Motor Show 2011". Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  19. ^ Tim Beissmann (2012-12-13). "Renault Fluence Z.E. launch delayed due to infrastructure hold-ups". Car Advice. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  20. ^ Eric Loveday (2011-03-03). "Renault, Better Place launch "unlimited mileage" electric car in Copenhagen for $38,000-plus". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-05-06.
  21. ^ "Better Place and Renault launch in Copenhagen the first "unlimited mileage" electric car". Renault Press release. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2011-05-06.
  22. ^ "Better Place Delivers For Demanding Amsterdam Taxi Drivers". Better Place. Archived from the original on 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
  23. ^ De Danske Bilimportører (May 2013). "Statistik - Nyregistreringstal -Personbiler - Pr.model: 2012 -Hele året & Pr.model: januar - april 2013" [Statistics -Passenger cars: by model 2012 - All year by model/January-April 2013] (in Danish). Bilimp. Retrieved 2013-05-29.Select year and click on Pr. model for details of sales by brand and model. 198 units were sold in 2012 and 36 through March 2013.
  24. ^ a b c Jim Motavalli (2013-05-31). "Fallout From Failure of Battery Swap Plan". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-01.
  25. ^ Jyllands-Posten (2013-05-27). "Better Place pulls the plug". Retrieved 2013-05-30.
  26. ^ Better Place Denmark (2013-05-26). "BETTER PLACE DANMARK A/S INDGIVER KONKURSBEGÆRING 26. MAJ 2013" [Better Place A/S Files for Bankruptcy 26 May 2013] (in Danish). Better Place Press Release. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
  27. ^ a b "RENAULT FLUENCE Z.E." Renault. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
  28. ^ "50,000 Electric Vehicles: France Commits to Infrastructure & Production". ABC Carbon. 2010-04-13. Retrieved 2011-05-07.
  29. ^ "Chiffres de vente & immatriculations de voitures électriques en France" [Sales figures & electric car registrations in France] (in French). Automobile Propre. Retrieved 2013-06-01. See "Ventes de voitures électriques en 2014/2013/2012/2011." A total of 13 units were registered in 2010, 396 in 2011, 295 units in 2012, 18 in 2013 and 5 in 2014 through October.
  30. ^ Daniel Schmil (2011-05-16). "Electric car to go on sale in Israel in July". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  31. ^ Eric Loveday (2011-05-16). "Better Place announces pricing for Renault Fluence Z.E. in Israel". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  32. ^ Elad Benari and Yoni Kempinski (2012-01-23). "Better Place's Electric Cars Hit the Roads". Retrieved 2012-03-21.
  33. ^ Sharon Udasin (2012-01-22). "First series of Better Place cars hit roads". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2012-01-22.
  34. ^ "How's Better Place Doing In Israel These Days?". Green Car Reports. 2013-05-13. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  35. ^ Globes (2013-04-04). "Better Place sales improve in first quarter". Globes. Retrieved 2013-04-21. A total of 518 units were sold in 2012 and 297 cars during the first quarter of 2013
  36. ^ Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu (2013-05-26). "Better Place CEO: A missed opportunity". Globes. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  37. ^ Tony Lewis (2014-11-26). "Renault-Nissan sell 200,000 EVs in four years". Just Auto. Retrieved 2014-11-29.
  38. ^ "2011 SEOUL MOTOR SHOW". Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  39. ^ "Renault Samsung aims to raise EV market share to 60 pct in 2014". Yonhapnews. Yonhap News. 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  40. ^ Loveday, Eric. "Renault Fluence Z.E. priced as low as £17,850* in UK". Autoblog Green. Retrieved 2011-07-05.

External links[edit]