The four vehicles in Renault’s proposed Z.E. Concept category, which debuted last week at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (Frankfurt Motor Show), add a dose of space-agey design in the electric car arena.
Each car in the Z.E. range–Twizy, a super compact hatchback; Zoe, an urban city car; Fluence, a sedan; and Kangoo, an SUV/van hybrid–is designed to recharge in three minutes with batteries that can easily be stored at the home or office.
The Zoe, pictured above, is a city car that holds five passengers inside its compact frame. Similar in and price (and dimension) to Renault’s Clio model, the operating costs are up to 20% less than the upkeep for a similar make with an internal combustion engine.
In the vein of the SmartCar, Renault has created something called the Twizy–meant to convey a melange of “too easy” and “twin”–that sounds as funny as it looks. The quadricycle design carries two people in a tandem position strapped in via three- and four-point seat harnesses. Head and tail lights are “diodes” that can display emoticons (seriously!) that change expression depending on what the drivers wants to communicate.
I’m curious to see how the design of the snappy Z.E. range goes under the knife before production in 2011, but until then I’ll be dreaming of a world with zero-emission cars straight out of the Jetsons.