Piloting an electric van during the winter gives you a good idea of how really cold conditions can affect its performance and comfort.
The first thing to be aware of is how chilly weather may affect the vehicle’s potential range.
Unless you have a fondness for Arctic temperatures or for wrapping yourself up in all your winter woollies before getting behind the wheel, then you are going to need to whack the heater up to the max.
Even then it takes a good while for the interior in our Kangoo Maxi Z.E. to warm up because much of the heat is lost to the loading bay, from which the double-cab is protected by an otherwise impressively versatile mesh bulkhead.
But more importantly, Renault admits that the Z.E.’s fully-charged range drops from an estimated real-world 124 miles in temperate conditions to as low as 75 miles in the winter, so you need to plan journeys carefully.
Selecting Eco mode will ensure you eke the most mileage out of the battery, but this is offset by a significant loss of grunt, so doesn’t really work if you want to make use of the 539kg payload.
Although I regularly made trips with five occupants in the cabin over the winter period, I carried bulky rather than heavy materials, for which the Maxi Z.E.’s load box proved ideal. A simple but worthwhile feature is the ply-lining that protects the floor and walls of the cargo area from any scrapes or scratches its contents may incur.
Report Card: Versatility = 3/5
Cold temperatures can expose the Z.E.’s limitations – but it can still work well as an urban run-around.
Renault Kangoo Maxi Z.E. 33 Crew Van
Official range 170 miles (NEDC)
Our average consumption 3.2mi/kWh
Price Range (ex VAT, inc. PiVG) £14,194-£16,778*
Price (ex VAT) (inc PiVG) £15,334*
Service intervals 2yrs/36,000mls
Load length 1,361mm
Load width (min/max) 1,145/1,219mm
Load bay height 1,129mm
Load volume 2.4m3
Gross payload 539kg
Engine power 60hp
Gearbox 1-spd auto
* Plus battery rent from £49 pcm
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