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Renault electric vans are providing Kent and Medway businesses with an insight into making the transition to an all-electric vehicle via a new ‘try... Kent launches ‘try before you buy’ Electric Van initiative

Renault electric vans are providing Kent and Medway businesses with an insight into making the transition to an all-electric vehicle via a new ‘try before you buy’ scheme by Kent County Council in partnership with Highways England.

Kent County Council has taken delivery of 20 all-electric Renault Kangoo E-Tech for its new Kent Realising Electric Vans Scheme (REVS), through which local businesses can enjoy a free trial of one of the light commercial vehicles for up two months.

Kent REVS is being operated by Commercial Services Kent Ltd (CSKL), with the ultimate aim of reducing carbon emissions and air pollution across the Kent road network and to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles throughout the region

The rationale of Kent REVS is that more businesses will be more likely to convert their fleets to electric if they have an opportunity to try the vehicles for an extended period, before committing to a purchase or long-term lease.

The zero-emissions-in-use Renault vans are the first vehicles available via the project, with Kent County Council choosing them due to their range and usability.

Highways England has provided £1.5 million funding for the two-year initiative, with the eventual aim that Kent REVS will have a fleet of 48 EVs available for trial. As part of the funding, and to aid with the efficient charging of the new Renault vans, CSKL has installed new charge points at its operating bases in New Hythe and Kings Hill, with a further 10 rapid chargers planned for other publicly accessible locations across the county.

The new Renault vans feature a bespoke Kent REVS livery that highlights their 100 per cent electric power, with Kent County Council complementing the standard Business specification of the Renault Kangoo E-Tech with the additions of satellite navigation and ply lining in the load area. With fully automatic transmission the vans are ideal for use in Kent’s busy urban areas.

Tony Hills, Cabinet Member for Environment at Kent County Council, said: “Making the transition to electric vehicles can seem a big step for businesses and Kent REVS provides a risk-free way for them to experience the many benefits over a significant period. The Renault Kangoo E-Tech were identified as the ideal electric vans to include in the launch of Kent REVS with their ease-of-use ensuring that all types of drivers can quickly get used to the driving and charging experience of an electric vehicle, whilst also being suitable for a wide range of businesses.”

The Renault Kangoo E-Tech can be specified in three body styles (Panel Van, Maxi Panel Van, and Crew Van) and two trim lines – Business and Business+. Standard features include electrically-operated door mirrors and front windows, ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with Hill Start Assist, and DAB radio with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Business+ specification adds extra equipment, such as electrically-operated and folding door mirrors, one-touch driver’s electric window, body-coloured bumpers, metallic paint and rear parking sensors. Depending on the model, it offers a load area of up to 4.6 cubic metres.

The Renault Kangoo E-Tech has a potential range of up to 143 miles (WLTP) and can be charged to 100 per cent in six hours when using a 7kW wallbox. It is priced from £23,000, excluding VAT, after the Plug-in Van Grant.