The car plugs into a mains socket for recharging, and works out at around £5 a time in electricity to top up the battery pack.
Ride and Handling
The Fluence handles tidily and is more agile through the bends than might be expected of a family size car with a heavy battery pack located behind the rear seats. With all that extra weight kept quite low, it does not appear to have any significant adverse effect on the handling, although it does feel a bit ponderous at times. The car does not seem to lean unduly on tight corners.
Ride quality verges towards the softer end of the scale, and tends to feel a bit spongy, but is generally quite effective at sopping up the bumps and is cushioned for comfort.
Ease of Use
When you switch on the Fluence, a green light appears on the dash to tell you when the car is ready to move. This is necessary because there is nothing else to indicate it. No noise, no vibration from an engine starting up. The car is very easy to drive, with no gears to worry about – the transmission is a one-speed automatic. You just press the right-hand pedal and off you go.
The Fluence has 312 litres of boot space, so it is quite practical for family car use, with enough space for five people’s weekend luggage. The Fluence is not suitable for towing, in common with other electric cars.
The car plugs into a mains socket for recharging, and works out at around £5 a time in electricity to top up the battery pack. There are of course no costly filling station fuel bills to worry about. The battery hire charge, paid on a monthly basis, may sound a bit pricey, but Renault points out that overall the costing works out quite similar to what you would pay to replenish the tank of a typical diesel car.