The Renault Zoe electric supermini has been revealed in production trim at the Geneva motor show
6 March 2012

The Renault Zoe electric supermini has been revealed in production trim at the Geneva motor show.

At £13,650 OTR (after the government’s £5k ‘plug-in’ grant) the Zoe will be the cheapest EV on the market. It’s also got the best-quoted range, with a maximum of 130 miles (or 60 miles in cold weather in the city – Renault’s idea of the typical ‘worst case scenario’) from each charge, plus Quick Drop battery tech so power packs can theoretically be swapped in three minutes.

Quick Drop infrastructure won’t be available in the UK when the Zoe arrives in the autumn, and Renault can’t tell us when – or if – it will.

Design-wise, the Zoe holds true to the concept shown in 2010 apart from the latest family headlamp/grille graphic added by new Renault design boss Laurens Van den Acker. The exterior is credited to Jean Semeris, whose ‘Petite Souris’ (the original sketch had a cute mouse-like demeanour before the new nose graphic was applied) was chosen from a range of internal designs. Semeris concentrated on “expressing harmonious movement”, rather than attempting to create something avant-garde in homage to EV technology, and the car is more svelte than the Modus whose dimensions it (approximately) shares.

A 2.58m wheelbase and 4.08m length mean there’s a ‘wheel at each corner’ stance, and deep body sides designed to hide the Zoe’s battery pack account for its 1.73m height. The battery is sandwiched under a 20cm high platform running aft from the front seats. Under the bonnet there’s a 65kw (89hp) motor, which drives the front wheels directly, top speed being limited to 84mph. Interestingly Renault has yet to reveal overall vehicle weight, but the car’s construction is conventional steel monocoque.

Inside there are three trim levels, an entry-level and a pair of themed luxury versions called ‘Techno’ and ‘Zen’. The latter includes an air toxicity sensor, ‘relaxing’ air ioniser and scent diffusers thanks to a tie-up with L’Oreal.

Our Verdict

Renault Zoe
The Zoe is expected to be the biggest seller in Renault's electric car range

Bespoke battery-powered supermini aims to advance the EV’s case

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6 March 2012

Looks really nice. Add a range-extender motor to make me want one. I hope the new Clio looks as good.

6 March 2012

I really like the style but this technology isn't quite the way forward (yet), until so it needs to be of the range extender type for that to happen.

The "Quick Drop battery tech " is a joke and should like the hydrogen car be forgotten about.


Hydrogen cars just went POP

6 March 2012

I assume the price doesnt include the battery?

So why is it so expensive, surely an electric motor is cheaper than a petrol engine and gearbox?

6 March 2012

I like it! love the interior too. Why is it manufacturers only get creative with interiors when applying them to EVs?? the nissan EV also has a pleasingly light and modern interior...

let's hope these design cues are also set for the new Clio...

6 March 2012

I really want to like it, and I mostly do. But that front... It looks too cross eyed for my tastes. The range sounds promising and it seems a useful size for the city (much more so than the Fluence).

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