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.