Renault has pulled the covers off the EZ-Flex – an experimental electric compact van it says can help it better understand the needs of last-mile urban delivery firms.
The firm says 12 examples will be lent to various professionals in Europe to allow it to collect data on daily deliveries, in a trial expected to last around two years.
The EZ-Flex is less than four metres long, with a 3m3 load capacity and a 4.5m turning circle.
Renault says the vehicle has been designed to meet the requirements of delivery drivers, with wide access to the cockpit, a smartphone-inspired user interface and a 760mm loading height.
A wide variety of configurations is possible for the cargo bay.
The EZ-Flex is said to have a range of 100km (62 miles), which Renault says is fine for the needs of urban delivery drivers, who cover 50km a day on average.
To help with Renault’s data-gathering, the vehicle is equipped with sensors, which will track factors including location, mileage, range, use of cargo opening, speed and delivery stops.
This data will then be transferred back to Renault via the vehicle’s connectivity function, either daily or in real time.
The firm says the data, combined with users’ feedback, will allow it to design vehicles better adapted to urban logistical needs.