Renault has further complimented its extensive range of electric vehicles (EV’s) with the arrival of the smart ZOE. The Renault ZOE follows on from the Fluence Z.E. saloon, Kangoo van Z.E. and the quirky Twizy. The ZOE is a smart looking prospect from any angle, it has hints of the Clio along with some unique features such as the headlights and oversize Renault emblem that takes centre stage at the front of the car. The rear led lights are rather cool and add to the overall appeal of this city car. Once inside the ZOE all occupants are seated in a light airy cabin that feels more spacious then it actually is. Renault’s smart R-Link multimedia system with a 7” touchscreen is mounted centrally and is straightforward to use. There’s a slim TFT screen used for the driver’s instrument cluster, it’s clean and clear to view providing key information such as speed, battery life and estimated range available.
ZOE customers can choose from three trim specifications, Expression, Dynamique Intens and Dynamique Zen. The standard level of equipment on the entry-level model is impressive, just some of its highlights include Renault’s R-Link multimedia system with 7” touchscreen, TomTom navigation system, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, climate control, ABS with EBD and emergency brake assist, cruise control, LED daytime running lights and hill start assist. Some of the additional equipment on our Dynamique Intens test car includes, a hands-free key card, leather steering wheel and gear knob, 16” alloy wheels with Michelin Energy E-V tyres and rear parking sensors with rear view camera.
On the move the ZOE is satisfying to drive, the acceleration from a standstill is impressive, with all its 220Nm of torque available from just 250 rpm. Accelerating away from the traffic lights is grin-inducing, leaving the rest of the traffic in your wake. The steering is relatively light, perfect for city driving where this car is really at home. The single-speed transmission works in harmony with the car’s 65Kw electric motor driving the front wheels. The NEDC standardised cycle for the ZOE is 210 kilometres, although the realistic range is approximately 150 kilometres. Crucially, the ZOE has a Chameleon charger which enables you to charge the car’s battery to 80 per cent capacity in just 30 minutes from a 43Kw charger. The same level can be achieved in 60 minutes with a 22Kw charge point, a full charge from a domestic 3Kw wall box will take nine hours. A full charge will cost you €4.00 during peak times and €2.20 off peak. If you need to charge on the go there’s plenty (approximately 800) of public charge points around the country.
The ZOE is well priced, with prices commencing from €17,490 there is an additional cost for the battery lease, this costs from €49 per month. All ZOE’s come with a five year unlimited mileage warranty. The ZOE ticks all the boxes for zero emissions driving, it’s stylish, practical and enjoyable to drive. If you haven’t driven an electric car yet I’d strongly recommend taking a test drive in the Renault ZOE, you may be surprised.
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