Road Test Renault Zoe Daily Record

27 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Road Test Renault Zoe Daily Record отключены
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Renault describe the nippy little Zoe as the first real electric car

“I see the future,” murmured my colleague as we inspected the Zoe – Renault’s newest and flagship electric car.

The company have invested huge amounts of money and expertise in producing what they believe will become the world’s first mainstream electric car.

For those who are dismissive of electric technology, consider this – at least half a dozen major manufacturers will be bringing out their own electric offerings in the next two years.

The motoring industry is taking electric cars very seriously indeed and with the Zoe, Renault are quite clearly throwing down the gauntlet.

Their engineers have managed to stretch the mileage on one charge to a 130-mile limit – less with the heating or air conditioning on and if you have a heavy foot.

The bottom line is 62, up to around 93 miles, which I did when driving it, and that is not bad at all, considering that 87 per cent of daily trips come in at less than 40 miles.

Renault Zoe


Renault are claiming six world firsts and 60 patents for this neat little car and the clever bit is how they have added on lots of technology to maximise the mileage.

The Range OptimiZEr uses regenerative braking that recharges the battery as you slow down and brake. They have also devised a new heat pump that lets the driver heat or cool the cabin with little impact on the range.

And they have worked closely with tyre giant Michelin on a tyre that lowers energy consumption and extends miles.

But would you want it? If you are the kind of person that yearns for clear conscience motoring, then the answer is yes.

If you are the type who simply wants a smart little car to zoom around in, then the answer is still yes. The Zoe is simply a great little car.

Naturally, the people who brought you the Clio were not going to present the world with a boxy little plug-in number. The Zoe is beautifully formed from her smiley little face at the front to her sporty rear end.

She is identifiable as an electric car from the blue effect on the lights and Renault badge, which opens to charge the car, and of course the ultimate sign – no tailpipe.

Inside the finish is excellent with a beautiful dash and a touchscreen centre console that is easy to use.

The top-of-the-range Intens features white contrasting piping on the seats that are high, because they sit over the battery, and there is lots of room both front and rear. This car will easily seat five adults.

But the beauty of the Zoe is the responsiveness. It is nippy around town with a fair turn of speed to overtake on the open road or motorway. It corners well and there is none of that loss of performance you get with some electric cars when you put the foot down.

The boot is big for shopping or kids’ bags and the all-round vision is good.

The Zoe can stand up against any similar petrol or diesel model, which is why Renault are describing it as the first ‘real’ electric car.

What makes it stand out even more is the amount of kit you get with it.

Sat nav comes as standard even on the basic Expression model, as well as an Econometer, cruise control, hill-start assist and privacy glass.

Renault Zoe


Renault Zoe Electric Cars

It also comes with the facility to link your car to your laptop or phone and pre-heat or cool it while on charge so that you do not waste power on this as you drive off.

The Dynamique Zen has interior Teflon upholstery protection and an active scent diffuser as well as an ioniser and toxicity sensor.

This is less of a car and more of a lifestyle. The Dynamique Intens boasts auto lights and wipers and a rear parking camera with darker interior upholstery.

The three trims all have refined sound systems maximised by the silence, or lack, of an engine.

In the UK with government grants, the Zoe is certainly more affordable than most electric cars with the basic model coming at just less than £14,000 and including, for the moment, a free home charger.

You can charge overnight or for 30 minutes on a rapid charger. So an average of about 90 miles, a price tag of £14,000 – how do they do it?

Well, by leasing you the battery, which is by far the most expensive part of the car.

It starts at about £70 a month, which you would have to contrast with the price you normally pay for fuel, servicing, oil changes and all the other costs of running an internal combustion engine car.

The promise is that if anything goes wrong – for example if the car runs out of power – Renault will provide 24/7 assistance to put it right.

Renault Clio Zoe

dreams can be reality

What is clear about this addition to the electric range is that Renault have taken a big step in moving the technology forwards.

It may once have been just a cherished ambition by governments and green advocates to have us all buy and use electric cars, but it is now a whole lot nearer.

After having driven the Zoe, I can see how these dreams may now become a reality.

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