Out with the old and in with the new… Renault Zoe.
One of Europe’s earliest, and best-selling, electric vehicles received confirmation that a new model will be released and available to order from Summer of this year.
The Zoe has been one of the cheapest and most effective pure EVs In the market and has enabled both personal and business customers to enjoy the non-combustion experience without breaking the bank.
As you will note from the pictures of the existing model, its internal and external aesthetics have caused some division in opinion; Renault probably made this a little too “individual” instead of building upon the success of the ever-popular Clio design. However, lessons have been learned and the new model is reminiscent of a car we all know and appreciate. It is certainly an attractive car but no longer forces the unnecessary bespoke approach some manufacturers try with their electric propositions.
So what are the key improvements with the new Renault Zoe?
Notwithstanding the actual aesthetic improvements, drivers will benefit from LED lights, more driver aids like emergency braking/lane assist/ traffic sign recognition and blindspot monitoring. Inside, Renault have moved away from the sea of plastic fantastic towards some nicer contrasts and touches. There will now be a 9” infotainment screen coupled with the 10” driver display screen giving many customers the “i-pad” feel which is appearing in most vehicles. Keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, USB ports and a “MyRenault” app to monitor the vehicle’s battery will keep drivers up to date with everything they need.
Will Renault be changing the battery with the new Zoe?
As we will discuss below on the previous model, Renault have realised some improvements were would be required to make the Zoe a more practical and desirable choice. A new 52kWh battery replaces the previous 40kWh option; a new WLTP range of 242 miles is achievable with the new Zoe. From a charging point, the new car system will allow a rapid-charge to be adopted (i.e. 50kW DC). The car uses a Type 2 and AC connection as per the existing model but adds on a CCS plug to enable rapid charge.
How long will it take to charge the new Zoe?
A faster home charge point (7kW) should achieve full charge in and around 9 hours (from empty to full). In a rush? A rapid charger should enable a full charge in just over 30 minutes. There will be two choice of “engines” with a 107bhp standard unit and a new 134hp model. The latter should see 0-62 times of circa 10 seconds and maximum speeds of nearly 90 mph.
So what are my choice in the small electric car range?
ontinuing on the cost-effective approach of the current model, the new Zoe will start at a price of around £22,000 (excluding the £3500 Government grant) and so should still be a great option for the individual and company driver on a more restrictive budget.
What is particularly exciting is that we are getting ever closer to the 300 mile range mark for smaller (and affordable) electric cars; this starts to put a good argument together for those drivers covering in excess of 10,000 miles per annum to give these vehicles more consideration.
Range-anxiety just might be ready to become a redundant proposition.
So what are the different connectors for an electric vehicle?
As mentioned above, every car will be built with a different connector. One of the crucial thing customers buying or leasing electric cars need to note is that type of connector the car has. This will determine the chargepoint you are able to connect to. You also need to consider that a vehicle can only be charged at a specific maximum rate; some vehicles won’t charge any quicker when connected to rapid or ultra-rapid points.
The main connectors you will see are shown below (courtesy of Zap Map):
· A Type 1 inlet (or 5 pin) is typical for many US and Asian vehicles like Nissan and Mitsubishi. Type 1 are AC and are typically found on slow or fast chargepoints (up to a 7kW power rating);
· A Type 2 inlet (or 7 pin) is typical for many European vehicles like Audi, Volvo and VW. Type 2 are AC and are typically found on slow or fast chargepoints (up to a 7kW power rating);
· CHAdeMO (which is found on Asian models) and CCS are DC. These will feature on rapid chargepoints (up to a 50kW power rating) and ultra-rapid chargepoints (between 100-350 kW power rating).
In terms of the car shown, the Renault ZOE HATCHBACK 80kW i Dynamique Nav R110 40kWh 5dr Auto, this is based on the following configuration:
· Highland Grey Metallic Paint
· Cloth – Black
· 16″ Aerotronic black shadow diamond cut alloy wheels
A standard the car includes automatic rain sensing wipers, 19” alloys, 4x35kW Arkamys sound system, privacy glass, heated rear windscreen, hill start assist, low friction launch, Bluetooth, cruise control, luxury carpet, rear parking sensor, slow speed pedestrian warning, touchscreen navigation, electric adjustable heated door mirrors, steering wheel mounted controls, body coloured externals, automatic hazard lights under emergency baking, automatic headlights, halogen headlights, LED daytime running lights, conditioning, leather steering wheel, discovery pack, hands free card, deadlocking system, immobiliser and Renault Anti-Intruder Device.
In terms of additional options consider – BOSE audio, heated front seats and the interior touch pack. Alternatively, upgrade to a Signature model.
On the technical-side, company car and business uses can note the P11d at £29,015.00 and CO2 at 0g/km. The 40wWh battery (1 speed auto motor) will deliver circa 180 miles WLTP, charge in 7- 8 hours on a 7kW home charger (1hr 30 mins on a rapid charger), 110ps and 0-62 times of 11.4 seconds.