RENAULT ZOE: an end to range anxiety?

1333947_New Renault ZOE Dynamique R90 Z.E.40 (54)LOOKS like Nicole has definitely got her bus pass – ZOE is set to be the Renault name on the lips of motorists in the future.

That’s because Papa – and you too – now has a car that goes a long way (!) to dispel the ‘range anxiety’ worries of earlier fully electric vehicles.

Zoe has upped the stakes.

Look at the figures – when Zoe first swapped her high heels for a set of Michelins she would do at best a 130 NEDC range, 62 in suburban winter and 90 in suburban warm weather.
Now the latest version sports a 250 NEDC, 186 miles in warm weather and 124 in winter conditions. Quite an improvement.

1333967_New Renault ZOE Dynamique R90 Z.E.40 (60)What you ultimately get out of it is very much dependant on how you drive the thing – a lead foot will see the range plummet, while a steady pace and invoking some regenerative braking gets you back on course mileage-wise.

It might only have a top speed of 84mph, and a seemingly leisurely 13.5 second 0-62 time, but remember, with an electric motor the power is instantaneous so progress can be more efficient.

We used to have a Zoe in the office years ago – most do, I guess. But while the human version suffered from a faulty volume control, electric ZOE doesn’t need one in the first place, because she doesn’t make any noise worth mentioning.

1333746_New Renault ZOE Dynamique R90 Z.E.40 (2)Start her up and while there’s the odd click here and there, there’s nothing to disturb your concentration. Select drive, press the pedal and she’s off, the power instantly available and displaying a high level of responsiveness.

As the flagship vehicle of the French brand’s 100 per cent electric vehicle range she’s perfect for commuting, supermarket and school runs, and for households who want to downsize their engine and carbon footprint.

And with her better range, the largest of any mainstream electric vehicle, she’s now a decent alternative to the traditional infernal combustion engine supermini.

Nicole certainly added a touch of glamour to the ad campaigns of old, but the looks in this instance unreservedly belong to the car itself.

There’s a good amount of interior space and it’s all neatly finished and laid out. And you don’t need a Ph D in automotive engineering from the University of Clarkson to understand how to work ZOE. Switch on, select drive and off you go. Keeping it green on the screen keeps it clean and at its eco-friendly best.

1333954_New Renault ZOE Dynamique R90 Z.E.40 (55)It comes in three trim levels – Expression Nav, Dynamique Nav and new Signature Nav. All are offered with a battery hire scheme to make it possible to tailor operating costs to your actual usage, or in i specification, where the buyer assumes full ownership of the car and batteries.

A rapid charge version of the latest Z.E.40 is also available which allows charging at 43kW and a 0-80 per cent charge in one hour. Both Rapid and Quick charge versions are available in Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav.

Renault provides a free 7kW domestic Wall-box quick charging point installed by Chargemaster with every ZOE and Renault’s patented ChameleonTM charger allows ZOE to adapt and always charge at the maximum possible rate from any given charging source.

ZOE actually looks like she was styled by someone with a love of automobiles, someone who wanted to pen a car that people would look at and appreciate.

FOR: much improved range
AGAINST: initial cost, plus cost of battery rental

FASTFACTS: Renault Zoe Dynamique R90 Z.E.40; £17,845; battery rental from £59 per month; R90 electric powertrain, 92hp, 220Nm, automatic transmission; NEDC range 250 miles, temperate range 186 miles, winter range 124 miles; top speed 84mph, 0-62mph 13.5secs; will it fit the garage? Of course it will! Renault 4+ warrantyfor four years/100,000 miles.

© 20171333924_New Renault ZOE Dynamique R90 Z.E.40 (46)