2013 Renault ZOE

The ZOE is Renault answer to the Nissan LEAF, which is curious seeing as both company work under an alliance and are practically one. Anyway, it’s an electric hatchback.

The car has a funky design which looks like a cuddly jungle creature of some kind and is a four-door family car with an electric drivetrain that needs to be plugged in after every some miles. But it is absolutely zero emission which makes a rather perfect city runabout.

It has a range of 130km on one full charge, and is the first electric vehicle capable of being charged at any level of power – in between 30 minutes and nine hours – thanks to the Chameleon charger. In the UK (Government Plug-in Car Grant subsidy is available for up to 25% of the car’s purchase price up to a maximum of £5,000), prices for ZOE after the grant deduction will start from just £13,650. In France, tax-paid prices start from €15,750.


Renault press release:

More than 60 patents have been filed for ZOE’s design. Range, interactivity and occupant wellbeing are at the core of its innovations.

ZOE, the first mass-market electric vehicle to be homologated with an NEDC cycle range of 130 miles

In terms of autonomy, Renault has developed the ‘Range OptimiZEr’, which combines three major innovations (new-generation regenerative braking, a heat pump and MICHELIN EnergyTM E-V tyres).  Due to this, the range of ZOE is the highest of the electric vehicles in mass production.  In the NEDC cycle, ZOE is homologated with a range of 130 miles. In real conditions, for example, in suburban use, the owner will generally achieve around 60 miles in cold weather and 90 miles in temperate conditions.

New-generation regenerative braking recovers practically all of the energy otherwise wasted during braking, without any significant impact on ZOE’s on-road dynamics. The car offers a smooth drive with no jarring electric motor braking. The system works in two ways:

  • The kinetic energy produced under deceleration and braking is recovered by the motor so that it can be converted into electricity to charge the battery. This feature is also fitted to Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Z.E.
  • When the driver presses the brake pedal, the system intelligently distributes the braking effort between applying the brake pads and the electric motor brake with a view to maximising the use of the electric motor brake and charging of the battery.

The heat pump provides excellent thermal comfort without detracting from the vehicle’s range. This system, which operates in the same way as reverse-cycle air-conditioning, consumes very little electricity. It produces warm or cool air by simply reversing the cycle of operation. The heat pump generates approximately 2kW of cooling or 3kW of heat with just 1kW of electricity. The cabin temperature is also more constant since it is not affected by the heat given off by the motor.

The MICHELIN EnergyTM E-V tyre is a Michelin innovation co-developed with Renault as a world premiere for ZOE. The tyre features enhanced energy efficiency to maximise vehicle range. Its rubber compound, tread design and sidewalls have been engineered to withstand ZOE’s high torque and address the specific demands of electric vehicles, yet it still delivers the same safety and handling performance as all other Michelin tyres. Available in 15- and 16-inch versions, this tyre is fitted to all ZOE models as core equipment.

The Chameleon charger revolutionises electric vehicle charging

ZOE is the only electric vehicle to feature the Chameleon charger. Patented by Renault, this charger is compatible with all power levels up to 43kW. Charging batteries at a charging station can take between 30 minutes and nine hours. For example, ZOE can be charged in an hour at 22kW. This intermediate power level extends battery life and puts less pressure on the power grid than the fast-charging of batteries at 43kW.

The Chameleon charger allows fast-charging at charging stations at quarter of the cost

Fast-charging stations are currently equipped with high-power chargers. Now that the Chameleon charger is fitted to the vehicle, there is no longer any need for chargers at charging stations. New fast-charging stations will be opened which are easier and more cost-effective. They will cost less than £2,700, a quarter of the cost of existing fast-charging stations. Charging stations of this type are being previewed on the Renault stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

Brand-new Renault R-Link multimedia system on ZOE

ZOE is the first Renault vehicle to feature R-Link, Renault’s brand-new integrated, connected multimedia system. To enable drivers to control its functions without taking their eyes off the road, R-Link features a large seven-inch display, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition. It also delivers integrated connectivity with motoring services and applications available from the R-Link Store. When released, R-Link Store will offer more than 50 applications adapted for life on the move thanks to an active partnership with application developers. These apps will be downloadable directly inside the car or via owners’ My Renault account.

R-Link also includes a host of new functions dedicated to electric driving and range management: tracking of energy consumption, display of energy flows and pre-programming of battery charging. The navigation system offers bespoke services such as a display of the vehicle’s operating radius based on the range remaining in the battery, suggestions for the most energy-efficient itineraries and the location of nearby battery charging stations (depending on country), as well as their real-time availability. R-Link also lets drivers view their eco-driving performance and improve their technique with ‘eco-scoring’ and tips (general and personalised).

Connected services for remote communication and monitoring

ZOE drivers will be able to use their mobile phone or computer to:

  • access range-related information using the ‘My Z.E. Connect’ package, available on ZOE from the entry-level version.
  • monitor their vehicle via the ‘My Z.E. Interactive Connect’ Pack which includes:
    o   remote operation (on/off) of battery charging if the vehicle is connected to a charging station.
    o   remote programming of charging (from a PC only) with the option of taking advantage of preferential rates from electricity suppliers.
    o   immediate or delayed activation of the cabin pre-cooling/heating system.

Related posts:

  1. Renault ZOE Distance Record
  2. Renault Fluence Z.E. Pricing
  3. 2013 Chevy Volt Update
  4. Combined Fast Charging System Revealed
  5. Renault Kangoo Van Maxi Z.E

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