A bit of a brain dump here, but you good folk may be interested in the following Renault Kango.
We were loaned a kango earlier this year, and in the week I had the vehicle it was a mixed bag - expecially when compared to the B'lingos which are getting a little long in the tooth, and so are looking for a viable replacement. For comparasion purposes I made extensive notes of power used, charging times, range attained etc. over the week of using the Kango as we do the Berlingos, but can't locate the notes
So appologies, but any figures mentioned here are from memory.
Acceleration, power and top speed was, excellent, good and I'd guess about 81mph
I can highly recommend the expereince of trying the extremetries of its performance to any berlingo drivers, if you aren't worried about range....
It has an eco switch that reduces power, until you put your foot flat on the floor and then it delivers full power. I'd equate the eco mode as giving similar performance power, acceleration, and hill climbing ability broadly similar to Berlingos, but as I was unfortunately unable to run them in convoy as I'd hoped, its all a bit subjective.
Charging - appears to currently only be via 240V (@10 amp via BSI domestic socket), and from memory on one occasion still wasn't 100% charged after 12 hours ! It became apparent to us over the week that we would not be able to directly replace the use of a Berlingo with a Kango, as the time taken to charge simply wouldn't give us the range as and when we currently need it, unlike the Berlingos.
I've tried Renaults charging bays which are only 240V, and I plugged the fully liveried Renault van in at one point into an elektrabay (@ Mitsubishi Manchester
), some rough calculations revealed that it was pulling no more than 13a. One thing woth mentioning is that the lead locks into both the Renault charging station (needing an RFID, OR key to release), and into the front of the Kango - However I'd guess that a determined 10yr old would be able to remove the cable from the van if they were determined - it didn't feel a very robust solution.
Range stated as around 80miles, which in our experience was a rapidly disappearing pipe dream as the week went on, and would not realistically be attainable in anything but flat / unloaded conditions on the open road. Something tacitly acknowledged when talking to one of the sales people when I returned the van - I stated that the regen wan't as good as I'd expected, alluded to the (current) batteries, the need to be able to cope with hills, and expecially when I stated we had hoped one of the Kangos to be the LWB crewbus variants, with the rear seats, all round glass etc.
So after talking to two Renault dealerships I've concluded that with regards the current models batteries / regen:-
a) the first batch of Kangos shipped to dealers have a dfferent power mapping regards regen, as it's apparently much less "severe" on the later vehicles... your guess why is as good as mine!
b) until the later batteries (due appear first in the Zoe later this year so I understand), you can't use quick(er) charging. Reading between the lines, they will probably swap to the better batteries at some point, but if you get a van with the current variants, I'd guess they will be swapped out by Renault, but only if they were to degraded to 75%?
I strongly suspect that the regen for the kango is not putting all the claimed energy back into the batteries (Energy as stated by the onboard computer, which btw after you get use to it is an intesting distraction, (and allows you to check your maths!) if also limited by the requirement to toggle between different displays throughout the journey)
On the subject of the "trip" computer, apparently the expected range is calculated utilising the previous driving "style". Dont quote me on the exactfigures but I was told it bses its expected range over the previous 100 (or was it 200?) miles. The point being it would take time to re-adjust to my driving style and the topology of my routes. All i can say is in the end I wouldn't trust the trip /power used /power available as far as it said I could drive it! I would suggest that if you used the vehicle on a regular multidrop type delivery route, or trips to regular work etc it may settle down, but it seemed to loose the plot with my different routes and the extremes I took it to regards usage, charging cycles and at one point taking it down to c 1% charge left and not fully recharging it before taking it back out again.... I got a fire call! It seemed to not be able to cope as well as the Berlingos with what I threw at it, and as such I don't trust the telematcs / onboard system / data it feeds to you.
As an example, on our trips in the Berlingos to Manchster, we can use as little as 25% for the c30 mile trip "down hill", using regen to maximum effect (affect?). In the Kango we ended up with around 50% left, on a vehicle with a claimed 33% greater maximum range (80 vs 60 miles)...!
I then had to continue on to return the van to Bradford but first left it on charge for 2-3 hours in South Manchester before continuing on to Bradford which should have left it with plenty enough for the jouney or so I had caclulated. Now, its a long time since I've had range anxiety in an EV, and by the time I'd made it into Manchester significantly less than 10 miles later the reported range and power left was well short of what was needed to get to Bradford,and was deteriorating rapidly... I stoppe in at the science museum, hoping to blag some power, fter all I was sure they ere all for EV's when the BVS had a confernce and dispaly ther....
A panicked call into Bradford and I was directed to Renault Manchester where I was able to recharge to make up the shortfall in reported range. I restarted the journey more than a little apprehensive on actually reaching my destination. However once on the M62, several recalculations and checks of power used over distance, and low, the power usage had miraculouly dropped significantly, despite speeds between 55 and 70 in traffic...... From memory, [EDIT - its late, too many typos and these figures look wrong...) the power usage per mile dropped from c3.5kw/m on NON-motorway roads, to c 2kw/m according to the onboard, and using c2kw/M you can see how they get the c 80mile range, but the relatively high power usage in stop/start driving I can't help but feel is in some way down to the regen setup?
We live in the peak district and have sone very severe hills and we'd ordinarily expect to get 45-50 miles range in the berlingos up here unless on a mission to annoy every other road user around. In the course of the week with the Kango, travelling our usual routes we reluctantly concluded that we would realistically only get 10-15% more range from a Kango than our Berlingos, which for us was VERY disappointing. However, I could hear the Telematics device on this truck, I hope you got lots of useful data to help in your development
Snow - we were "fortunate" enough to get a bit of snow over night, and spent some five hours digging and swearing until we finally go the van to the road. I'd not recommend it to the feint hearted, especially the late night visit to the A&E...
In trying to get to the road we had to try to take an aternative route trying "plough on through" only 4inchs of snow accross a field, the wide tyres meant it didn;t get bogged down, but I experienced such severe torque steer to the right that it quickly got stuck after travelling in a wide arc back towards the three and four foot drifts. Trying to use the technique of "rocking" the vehicle forwards and backwards on the accelerator to make progress as you can with say the Berlingo's once stopped was impossible. The controller appears to be programmed to cut out the second the wheels start to slip, and doesn't allow power to be reapplied to the wheel until way after you need it (c 0.5 seconds?). Trying to move away on fresh snow with ANY uphill incline no matter how slight failed without also being pushed....
As mentioned we were looking to evaluate the Kangos as direct replacements for a couple of our Berlingos....
Oh well looks like we will be looking at replacing the Ni-cads for the forseeable after all.