With new regulations and an increasing range of needs, the electric light commercial vehicle has emerged as the best solution for deliveries in urban areas, and companies have taken note.
The explosion of e-commerce has revolutionised distribution needs. And while transportation by heavy goods vehicles has made it possible to connect large logistics hubs, last kilometre delivery raises more complex issues, given the number of addresses visited, the layout of areas being served and increasingly strict legislation.
By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. And it is estimated that the global volume of goods being transported will quadruple by 2050(1). To carry out their mission, transport companies will therefore need zero emission(2) vehicles that are modestly sized yet highly versatile.
Professionals also want electric utility vehicles that are as comfortable, as easy to drive and as technologically advanced as passenger vehicles. And while their design follows from their function, that design also needs to fit the brand image of any professional user’s company.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E. and Renault ZOE are perfect examples of such business vehicles, and are already in step with the future legislation governing urban centres.
Beyond the increase of ultra-low emission zones, which will gradually drive combustion-engine vehicles out of city centres, soon all utility vehicles will have to become more efficient, under a new European law that aims to lower their CO2 emissions by 31% by 2030.
In France, companies as well as local governments will also need to ensure that electric vehicles make up a portion of any fleet renewal or expansion. It’s a constraint that hardly feels constraining!
A study conducted by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance in February 2019 revealed that 93% of company directors and managers of fleets counting 50 or more vehicles consider the environmental issue to be “very important”. And two thirds of shipping SMEs are already convinced that their fleet will be 100% electric within the next 20 years.
These figures indicate that the process of electrification is already underway in the business world, and that mindsets are evolving with the times.
Along with energy transition and access to city centres, connectivity is another issue that has a big impact on the design of electric utility vehicles.
In fact, it is considered a key factor for success by 20% of respondents, and the rise of the zero-emission utility vehicle will only amplify the impact of connected services.
Among the highest performing is not only Renault EASY CONNECT for Fleet, a total ecosystem of services for fleet management, but also Z.E. Trip, My Z.E. Inter@ctive and My Z.E. Connect — many connected tools to optimise the use of your vehicle that highlight the added value of related services.
In Europe, sales of electric light commercial vehicles have almost doubled in the past two years, increasing from 12,581 new registrations in 2016 to 22,384 in 2018. At this moment, approximately 93,000 vehicles from this market sector are in circulation in Europe, compared to 47,000 in 2016.
In this context, Renault leads the way with a 46.2% market share in 2018, thanks notably to strong sales of the Renault Kangoo Z.E., of which 8,747 have been sold. Available with two or five seats, as well as in two different lengths, it provides the highest range of any electric van: 270 Km(3). Equipped with a 33 kWh battery, the Renault Kangoo Z.E. recharges fully in only 6 hours with a 7 kW Wallbox.
The other models in the Renault PRO+ electric line are equally popular with companies which, depending on their needs, choose either the Twizy Cargo or the Renault ZOE business vehicle. Food businesses in particular come to mind, as their home delivery needs require more compact vehicles.
With the Renault Master Z.E, which offers more load capacity, Renault PRO+ offers the widest selection of electric utility vehicles on the market.
Connected, environmentally friendly, easy to use, inexpensive to drive and maintain, the electric light commercial vehicle is undoubtedly the rising star of urban delivery.
(1) Sources: UN and Ernst & Young
(2) Zero CO2 emissions or regulated atmospheric pollutants during road use, excluding wear parts
(3) Delivery route: real route that corresponds to a professional user making deliveries during a journey of 107 Km in a peri-urban setting and on expressways in 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Copyrights : Yannick BROSSARD
Cities & planning