Auto Tech

With a Frendzy like this, who needs a second car?

Renault will introduce an electric cargo van concept that doubles as a family car at the upcoming Frankfurt auto show.

Recognizing that work and family time often overlap, Renault announced plans to debut an electric compact van that doubles as a family car at the Frankfurt auto show this fall.

The Renault Frendzy concept combines the utility of a cargo van with a comfortable interior that works for personal use. A sliding door on the passenger side and carriage doors on the driver side give the Frendzy the look of a Ford C-Max and Honda Element mashup. The front passenger seat and rear two-seater bench stow away to make room for cargo, and the Frendzy's fabric roof stretches to accommodate bulky objects. A magnetic floor helps keep items in place.

On the inside, the Frendzy EV is as connected as its social network-like name suggests. A BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is connected to the center console. Door sensors log packages equipped with RFID, and automatically create itineraries and routes based on shipment addresses. Incorporated in the window of the passenger-side sliding door is a 37-inch display screen that can be used for advertisements, promotions, or traffic messages. When being used as a family hauler, kids can play with the BlackBerry tablets that slide out from the back of the driver's seat.