Story by: Team CV

Compact and manoeuvrable, the Renault EZ-FLEX was created and designed for city deliveries. An experimental electric LCV that is connected, the EZ-FLEX reflects the French auto major’s imagniation of the future of urban deliveries. Engineered to move seamlessly through cities, the e-panel van is quite agile. Supporting its ability to be agile are its dimensions. Measuring 3.86 m in length, 1.65 m in width and 1.88 m in height, the electric vehicle is designed and developed to carve out an optimal footprint in relation to its load space. Capable of accessing car parks and providing its operators with a good ability to earn with three-cubic meter loading capacity, the LCV is exceptional for its dimensions. Made possible by a compact cockpit that offers the full range of assets that a LCV is expected to package, the EZ-FLEX scores high on the ability to maneouvre, courtesy the 4.5 m turning circle. 

Modern and contemporary in appearance, the front of the e-panel van boasts of a fairly steep rake angle. It hints at an optimal use of space. A short bonnet and the arrangement of lamps provide the front with a bit of curious appeal. A culmination of all that has been designed to meet the needs of ‘deliverers’. Featuring large doors that provide excellent access to the driver’s seat, and facilitate easy ingress and egress, the vehicle profits from ample glass area. The ample glass area, not limited to the front windshield, makes for high visibility. The highly visible central dashboard provides quick and easy access to driving information inside. Combining pedestrian and urban environment visibility with simple and efficient driving controls, the EZ-FLEX is built to offer a progressive human-machine interface, which is modern and fully integrated into the world of smartphones, and offers services and applications linked to the vehicle. Capable of integrating applications linked to various professionals’ activities, the progressive human-machine interface makes an interesting highlight. Designed and developed to score high on easthetics and ergonomics, the EZ-FLEX, according to sources close to Renault, is more than a vehicle. It is an LCV that is the most optimal.

The optimal loading at the rear is supported by an ergonomic loading height of 760 mm above ground. The openings enable easy access to the entire loading surface. Aimed at supporting wide variety of configurations, the EZ-FLEX could be termed as modular in its approach. Offering adaptable rear space configurations to meet the different needs of the professionals by whom the vehicle will be used, the e-panel van has a range of 150 km. Providing an ability to access city centers, the experimental electric panel van borrows from Renault’s long standing experience in manufacturing some of the world’s best panel vans ever. The existing range of panel vans that Renault offers, include the Kangoo, Kangoo Z.E., Trafic, Master, and Master Z.E. An interesting example of how Renault has been thinking about the future could be had with the Twizy and ZOE. The Twizy is an eye-catchy electric quadricycle, and seats up to two people. It is fitted with a lithium-ion battery that offers great performance. An interesting part of the Twizy, and which seems to have influenced the EZ-FLEX are the large doors that offer easy ingress and egress to the driver. Also interesting is the doors that offer access to the loading area. If the e-panel van’s doors open wide and low to facilitate easy loading and unloading, the Twizy’s rear door opens 90-degree to reveal a large boot that can hold all sorts of packages.

Collaborative and innovative

Equipped with sensors to better understand its use and application, the EZ-FLEX will witness two years of seeding according to sources close to the company. A dozen Renault EZ-FLEX vehicles will be lent to various professionals, companies, cities and municipalities in Europe. The data captured from the seeding is expected to help Renault to further enhance its efforts towards creating a robust platform for electric urban last mile delivery CVs. The different data types collected by Renault as the e-panel van clocks kilometers would include geo-location, mileage, range, use of openings, speed, stops, etc. The data collected will be transferred via the vehicle’s connected system, either in real time or once per day, to understand the reality of daily usage. The analysis of the data, complemented by the professionals’ feedback, will enable Renault to design vehicles that are better adapted to the evolutions in urban logistics space. The goal, the creation of an ecosystem ’that is as real as it can get. Is as sustainable as it could be. Fitted with lithium-ion battery for superior performance, the EZ-FLEX takes into account the soaring urbanization trend, which will lead to over 60 per cent of the population living in cities by 2030. It also takes into account the movement of people as well as goods in an ever shifting scenario where speed, flexibility and reliability are the main stays.

Taking into consideration the rapid rise in online purchasing, the EZ-FLEX, from an e-commerce point of view, is designed and developed to support faster and more accurate delivery times. It couples its ability to support faster and more accurate delivery times with an ability to support the increasingly drastic regulatory constraints in towns and city centers as well. Highlighting Renault’s exploratory work on the mobility of tomorrow, the EZ-FLEX is certain to make an interesting case for converters, which are until now used to working on conventional platforms like the Trafic and Master. But then, the availability of a drive away chassis of the EZ-FLEX could well mark the next stage of the e-panel van’s evolution in terms of weight and strength. As of now, the EZ-FLEX comes in the form that it does, and will soon become an LCV to watch out for in the beautiful city of Paris.

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