The North East has reinforced its position as a leader in the
development of electric vehicles (EVs) after receiving a vote of
confidence from Renault UK which has chosen Gateshead College's
Performance Track to launch its new Fluence Z.E to dealerships.
Representatives from dealerships in Scotland, Northern Ireland
and Northern England will have the chance to test-drive the
innovative electric saloon at the Performance Test Track in
Washington at an event taking place on Thursday, 8 March.
They will also hear presentations from key Renault managers
about the five-seat Fluence Z.E, which is part of a groundbreaking
range of electric vehicles developed as part of a new business
model. Customers are able to hire the battery, therefore
bringing the up-front cost of buying or leasing the vehicle down, a
move that is set to provide a significant boost to EV sales in
Drivers in the North East will be some of the first in the
country to get hold of the Fluence Z.E as Newcastle's Benfield
Renault is due to take delivery of the new vehicle. The dealership
is confirmed as the region's first Z.E Expert dealer and is already
selling the new Kangoo Van Z.E, from the site.
Andy Heiron, Renault's Head of Electric Vehicles for theUK, says
the Washington based Performance Track was selected to showcase the
new Fluence Z.E due to the EV infrastructure already in place in
the North East.
"We recognise North East England as one of the foremost
connected EV networks in the UK. Many of the dealerships who will
be invited to attend will be travelling from areas outside the
North East with little EV charging at the moment, so a visit to
this EV-ready region will help give them additional confidence that
electric vehicles are the transport of the future.
"When Renault Z.E electric vehicles were shown for the first
time at the Frankfurt Motor Show, they provoked a huge amount of
interest from companies in every industry and from every country
and we are delighted to now be bringing the range to the
UK. Our unique model of battery hire helps to offer an overall
cost level which is competitive with diesel and which we think will
make electric vehicles a real, viable alternative for both
businesses and individuals."
Josey Wardle project manager for Charge your Car, the North
East's Plugged in Places scheme, said: "We're delighted to welcome
Renault to the Performance Track to host their dealership launch
for the Fluence Z.E. This is another vote of confidence for
the North East, which is leading the way in the development of EVs
and the associated infrastructures. With well over 300 EV
charging posts now in place throughout the region, we're well
placed to support the growing number of EV drivers taking to the
road in the coming months and years as fantastic new vehicles like
the Fluence become available."
The Performance Test Track, managed by Gateshead College, is the
only publicly accessible test track in the UK. Sitting at the heart
of the UK's biggest automotive cluster and designed specifically
for Low Carbon driving, testing and trialling, it boasts a range of
electric vehicle charging points, PV canopy, ahydrolyser and
Paul Gough, Head of Commercial Operations at Gateshead College,
said: "Gateshead College took over the management of the
Performance Track last year adding to our credentials as a leading
business in low carbon vehicle developments and it's fantastic to
see the track being used by vehicle manufacturers to showcase their
EVs in this way."
For further information about renting the facility on a
commercial basis, please contact 0191 490 2258