Renault is providing an electric Kangoo Van to London-based charity The Felix Project, which redistributes more than 10 tonnes of food from supermarkets and wholesalers free of charge each week. By using the e-van for deliveries, the charity is expected to save a “significant amount” as the vehicle is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

“We are delighted to support The Felix Project in its invaluable work by providing an all-electric vehicle which perfectly fits their needs,” Renault UK’s managing director Vincent Tourette said.

“The Kangoo Van Z.E.’s low running costs and its exemption from the London Congestion Charge will allow the charity to spend its money where it is needed. Its impressive range will allow it to keep working, delivering food without having to stop and charge up, and its quiet running and zero emissions will be appreciated by people local to the collection and deliveries.”

The city of London implemented the world’s “toughest” emission standard in October 2017, with older polluting vehicles now required to pay £10 to drive through the centre of London.

Vehicles which do not meet the Euro 4 standards for PM and NOx emissions will pay the new fee on top of the Congestion Charge every weekday they drive in the zone from 7am-6pm. When combining the T-Charge with the Congestion charges, motorists could be faced with costs of around £21.50 daily.

As well as exempting The Felix Project from these charges, the electric van can transport up to 640kg of perishable and fresh foods – the same as a diesel counterpart. The van offers a charging time of 100% in six hours.

The charity is offering the donated food to the elderly, homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers and those with mental health issues. In fact, The Felix Project recently launched its Help a Hungry Child campaign – which works with primary schools to divert excess food to vulnerable families. Companies such as Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer (M&S) and Costco are all donating to the charity.

The Felix Project’s coordinator Annie Elkins added: “It’s absolutely amazing to have this support from Renault UK, and this electric vehicle fits in with our messages about protecting the environment by reducing waste and using nutritious food rather than throwing it into landfill.”

Talking vehicles

Renault wants electric vehicles and autonomous driving to deliver €70bn in annual revenues by 2022, as part of the company’s Drive the Future strategy.

The company has this week announced that 1,000 Megane vehicles have been produced with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) connectivity. The vehicles were created as part of SCOOP, an EU project based in France that tests autonomous driving features in real-world conditions.

Renault is currently recruiting fleet partners to test the vehicles through the project, which has numerous organisations involved, including the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, regional authorities, infrastructure operators, universities and research centres.

“Our main goal is to offer our fleet customers cars that are safer on the roads and improve the flow of traffic. These vehicles ‘talk’ to each other and warn each other in real time of any hazards, slow traffic or accidents on the road ahead,” Renault’s SCOOP project manager Christine Tissot said.

Matt Mace

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