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The Fluence

  • Three models on way by 2012
  • Car/scooter, supermini and family saloon
  • All driven in concept model form
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The closest of the three models to what you'll find in a showroom not surprisingly because it's just 18 months away from going on sale. Israel, Denmark and Portugal get it first, so it's likely to be late 2011 before we see it here in the UK.

The Fluence is based on the latest Megane and is effectively an electric version of a saloon that's been made for eastern Mediterranean markets.

The Fluence is more than just a city car. It's longer than a Laguna, has space for a family of four and the 70kW (95bhp) electric motor developing 167lb ft of torque delivers acceptable A-road performance.

Best of all, the lithium-ion battery pack, housed where the fuel tank would normally be, can be swapped in three minutes at one of the 'Quickdrop' stations Renault promises to set up, allowing you to drive for a further 100 miles.

It feels the most resolved of the three concept cars for driveline smoothness and refinement, although there's still room for improvement.

Renault says the concept car is an 'exaggerated version' of the model that will go on sale. The 'photovoltaic' roof cells that power electrical ancillaries and the two touchscreen phones that control the entertainment system probably won't make it into production.

Electric Renaults driven
Electric Renaults on video