The mileage range of Renault’s electric cars will double by 2020 thanks to battery improvements, and charging times will halve, say the company’s engineers.
Progress on reducing the fuel consumption and emissions of its mainstream range will also mean that average CO2 output of its new cars will fall by more than half, from 116g/km today to ‘under 50g/km by 2020.’
Renault says that a variety of technical developments will double the range of its Zoe electric car from the official 130 miles to 260 miles, and the car’s real-world range should increase from 90 miles to 160 miles. The time required to recharge Renault’s electric cars will also halve - engineers hinted at a time of two hours to fully recharge the battery pack of a Zoe, while a brief 10-15 minute charge would substantially renew its range.
The improvements will be achieved through a combination of increased battery efficiency and the re-engineering of systems that draw energy such as air conditioning, heating, lighting, infotainment systems and windscreen wipers.
The effect of regenerative braking, which recharges the batteries of hybrid models, will also become more significant. This will tie in with the company's ambitions to launch its first plug-in hybrids in 2015. There are also plans to harness the heat lost through exhaust systems, too.
The efficiency gains of these developments will be carried over to Renault’s mainstream models, to improve fuel economy across the range and reduce the average CO2 emissions to less than 50g/km by 2020.