Feeds
Renault Zoe

Review: Renault Zoe electric car

At last, an affordable, practical, decent looking e-car. WOOT

The essential guide to IT transformation

Impressive interior

The dash is again Clio-esque but none the worse for that, and the seats are simply superb. I’ve never parked my backside on anything this comfortable in a B or C class car. All-round visibility is good too, making the Zoe very easy to drive down the narrow twisty lanes that crisscross Lisbon.

To drive the Zoe is little different from any other car with a good automatic gearbox: just get in, push the start button, snick the console-mounted gear selector into D and away you go. The dash is very easy to understand and mercifully devoid of excessively patronising eco signage.

Renault Zoe

Looks like a three-door but has five

For navigation, entertainment and Bluetooth telephony, the Android-based R-Link touchscreen telematics system has been carried over from the Clio.

R-Link is a GSM-connected system and in the Zoe it also supports the My Z.E. Connect and My Z.E. inter@ctive (sic) systems, which let you monitor and, in the case of inter@ctive, manage your Zoe remotely through either a web browser or a smartphone app.

Interior space for both people and kit is generous and a major advance from the Fluence, which has a compromised boot thanks to the vertical battery pack designed to work with Better Place’s quick-drop robotic battery swap docks.

Renault Zoe

Electric blue exterior detailing shows its an EV

Renault’s engineers told me that the Zoe has been designed with one eye on quick-drop so adding it as a feature in a mid-life refresh wouldn’t pose too many problems should the need arise, though the system won't be compatible with Better Place’s existing stations.

Under the large Renault diamond on the Zoe’s schnoz is the now standard Type 2 power connector. It’s what Renault calls a Chameleon charger, meaning you can connect it to a 3kW, 22kW or 43kW power source for standard, accelerated or fast charging.

The second and third options will charge the Zoe’s 400V, 192-cell, 22kWh battery from near flat to 80 per cent of maximum capacity in 60 or 30 minutes, respectively. I’ve not tried a 43kW charger but the 22kW unit I used in a multi-storey car park in Lisbon worked exactly as advertised.

Renault Zoe

Don't need no steenkin' petrol pump

The standard test cycle maximum driving range of the Zoe is 210km but, as Renault makes clear, this is as irrelevant as an ICE car’s fuel consumption figures. Renault’s actual quoted range is between 100 and 150km.

Every time I pushed the On button on a charged Zoe I was shown a 125km (77 miles) range. No matter how I drove, the combination of distance covered and distance projected never dipped below that. Careful driving and use of the power-limiting Eco button saw the combined projection rise to over 145km (90 miles).

So despite the smaller battery pack my experience was that in everyday driving the Zoe has pretty much the same effective range as Nissan’s Leaf: around 75 to 80 miles. A reliable indication of touring range is of course key to lessening range anxiety, and Renault seems to have cracked the problem with the Zoe. What you see on the dash is what you get.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?