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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Renault offers electric driving lessons

Renault is preparing to set up unique training courses to help buyers of its electric vehicles get the most from them.

While the all electric cars will produce no tail-pipe emissions, Renault believes it is important to teach eco-driving methods to owners so that they can cover as many miles as possible on a single charge.

Alleged range anxiety is one of the major barriers to overcome if people are to be persuaded to drive electric vehicles, Renault believes.

The economy driving schools will be an extension of those Renault already runs in France and the Benelux countries for business users of its petrol and diesel models. They will soon be extended to Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Spain, with the UK and Portugal probable in 2011.

Renault's first electric cars will come to the UK next year. There will be a battery powered version of the Kangoo light delivery van and a four-wheeled covered scooter-cum-city-car vehicle called the Twizy.

The real electric breakthrough will come in 2012, when Renault launches a mid-sized saloon called the Fluence and its first designed-from-scratch EV, a supermini to be badged Zoe.

Electrification is just one arm of Renault's plan to be best-in-class for CO2 across its range. New petrol and diesel engines and transmissions will play an important role, as will greener factories and greater end-of-life recycling.

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