Feeds
Renault Zoe

Review: Renault Zoe electric car

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

High performance access to file storage

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.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.