Out of juice? Renault will get you home

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Renault has revealed it will introduce a free recovery service for its EVs when they go on sale at the end of this year.

The 'get you home' guarantee will assume you were attempting to drive within the range of the vehicle, but got caught short by traffic jams or conditions forcing use of the lights and wipers.

Renault says that it will provide customers in such instances with replacement vehicles, but it hasn't clarified yet how many times a driver will be able to call on the service in any given time span.

So-called range anxiety is one of the biggest concerns for potential EV owners - if you run out of petrol it's easy enough to walk several miles to the nearest petrol station with an empty canister, but a stricken electric car would require a very long extension cable.

Renault has an ambitious expansion plan for its EV range, however. The core of the Renault EV range will be made up of three cars. The Fluence goes on sale at the end of this year, the Twizy next year, and the Zoe in 2013.

All three cars have already been previewed in close to production format. The Fluence is a fairly conventional saloon and the Zoe is based on the next-generation Clio.

It is the Twizy that is attracting the most interest however, with its curious blend of car and scooter. It could be as popular among fashionable urban-types as the Smart fortwo was back in the late-90s.

Renault appears to be trying very hard to make the EV ownership experience as painless as possible - the real acid test will come when prices are announced later this year.