The Palace of Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France is a major historical and tourism site. It covers a large area and requires a staff of personnel and related vehicles to maintain. Given its significance and the fact 2013 is the 400th anniversary of André Le Nôtre, the man responsible for the design and construction of the gardens around Versailles, it makes sense there would be a desire in this day and age to give those charged with its upkeep more environmental friendly ways to do so. One such way is through the use of electric vehicles, which French automaker Renault was all too happy to provide as part of a new partnership.
It takes a lot of fuel to cover the grounds of the Château, with its 350,000+ trees and over 300,000 flowers. To assist in creating more of a low carbon footprint, Renault said, staff have taken possession of twenty-three zero-emission (Z.E.) vehicles to meet
the many and varied needs of the domain of Versailles. Three ZOE vehicles are used by service staff to get around the grounds or travel between the national domain of Versailles and Marly; ten Kangoo Z.E. vans, maxi glazed or extended cab versions, are used by the gardeners and curators to carry rare objects, statues, plants and tooling, while ten Twizy quadricycles are used by security staff who appreciate their agile performance in accessing narrow alleyways or when immediate action is required.
To keep all of these electric vehicles charged as they move around the vast Versailles complex, around 30 charging stations have been installed. They are laid out strategically though to respect “the architectural integrity of the chateau and grounds, i.e. under the lower windows of the Grande Ecurie stables, in the Trianon domain, at Marly and in the Orangery gardens.”
Also of note to those who care to pay close enough attention is a special Renault Twizy “carriage” which sports “he decoration found on the carriage owned by the Dauphin or heir to the throne, the future Louis XVII.”