Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Renault Zoe BEV
The Register has published an, erm, positive review of Renault's new leccy hatchback.
"The Zoe is based on the same shared Nissan-Renault platform that underpins the new Mk. IV Clio. So everything is bang up to date and as safe as any other car in its class right down to the five-star Euro NCAP rating. The platform should also be a clue that the Zoe is a size smaller than the Nissan Leaf: a largish B-class rather than a C."
"Despite only having a 88bhp electric motor, the Zoe feels both quick and responsive. More importantly it feels light and agile which is quite an achievement when you remember that there is a 290kg battery pack slung beneath the cabin."
"The top speed may be limited to 84mph but the Zoe accelerates briskly with no fuss or drama. The actual 0-62mph scamper takes 13.5 seconds but in real world driving the 162 lb-ft of torque that’s available from the off makes it feel faster."
"Compared to the driving experience of the Renault Fluence or the Nissan Leaf, the Zoe is a big step forward. It’s just so much more fun to throw around the bends. It’s also completely silent. There’s not a hint of motor whine and road noise is well suppressed. Even by EV standards this is a very refined car."
"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."
"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."
"Under the large Renault diamond on the Zoe’s bonnet 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. 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."
"If you want to venture further afield, all Renault main dealers will soon have free charge points installed. Looking to the longer term, Renault’s battery lease scheme includes a clause that once the maximum recharge capacity drops below 75 per cent, or if the battery ever becomes “non-operational”, Renault will fit a new one."