Battery shortage puts brakes on electric Kangoo sales, claims Renault

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2019   |   Author: Steve Banner

Renault Pro+ brand manager, Steve Wilson

A shortage of batteries has been hampering Renault's ability to maximise sales of its electric Kangoo Z.E 33, according to Renault Pro + brand manager, Steve Wilson.

He claims the factory has been unable to obtain enough batteries to meet demand, so production volumes have suffered.

"We sold 306 electric Kangoo Z.E 33s last year and we could have sold a lot more if we'd had better availability," he said. "The demand for Z.E 33 has rocketed."

Availability had yet to improve at the time of writing. "Order a Z.E 33 today and it could be six months before it is delivered," Wilson admitted.

The battery supply situation should hopefully ease over the next few months however, with Renault aiming to boost Z.E 33 registrations in all the countries it is sold in from 10,000 in 2018 to 15,000 this year.

"If we get the vehicles then we should be able to double UK sales by December," he said. "We already have a healthy order bank."

Demand for Kangoo Z.E 33 is being driven by the desire of businesses of all sizes to cut the emissions of their vehicles, often as a consequence of pressure from environmentally-aware customers. The arrival of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone plus the roll-out of Clean Air Zones across the UK is doubtless having an influence too, although Euro 6 diesels are not set to be penalised if they enter them.

Businesses are also beginning to appreciate that Kangoo Z.E 33 has an attractive cost-of-ownership story to tell, Wilson claimed.

Government subsidy has cut the front-end price, and the electricity needed to propel one for 120 miles only costs £3 to £4, he points out. Use a diesel van to make the same journey instead and the fuel will cost up to four times more.

Meanwhile, the first UK deliveries of the electric Master Z.E 3.1t van should occur in April or May.

It is appearing ahead of right-hand-drive electric versions of Volkswagen's Crafter and Mercedes-Benz's Sprinter. Both have yet to arrive in dealerships on this side of the Channel, with the battery Sprinter now unlikely to break cover until the first quarter of 2020.

The right-hand-drive e-Crafter won't appear until early 2021.

Will there be an electric Trafic? "There's nothing we can confirm at present," replied Wilson.

He can however confirm that facelifted versions of both Trafic and Master will arrive this summer.

Despite the takeover of Vauxhall by Peugeot and Citroen owner PSA, the new Master will be marketed by Vauxhall as the Movano in the same way the current model is, said Wilson. The Trafic-based Vauxhall Vivaro has already been replaced by a rebadged version of Peugeot's Expert and Citroen's Dispatch.

 

 



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