In terms of the exterior styling it appears to be a blink-and-you'll-miss-it update, but the secret of the revised Renault Zoe - the first details of which have leaked out ahead of its Paris motor show debut - lies in the new 41KWh battery.

Revealed: upgraded Renault Zoe gets 250-mile range

If my Dutch translation is sound, that means the new Zoe can deliver a certified 400km (248-mile) range when run through the official NEDC test cycle.

That's a significant doubling of the claimed range on offer now, and a signal of how fast the pure electric car battery arms race is winding up on the forecourts, primarily as Renault fights with its Nissan Leaf stablemate for supremacy in the mainstream, while the Tesla Model S and Model X set the standard at the premium end of the market. 

The BMW i3, meanwhile, has a claimed range of 195 miles, which equates to a usable ‘real world’ range of around 125 miles.   

With more range comes a wider pool of potential buyers, something the growing but niche electric car market needs. And with more customers come more advocates, willing to convince doubters that motoring life under electric power needn't mean compromises.

The Zoe leak also serves as a perfect warm-up ahead of the reveal of the anticipated VW electric car of the future, expected either later tonight or tomorrow morning in Paris.

This VW concept car is expected to give clues as to how a family of VW electric vehicles will look from 2020 onwards.

Given Renault will have a vehicle with a 248-mile range on sale early next year, VW is going to have to deliver something pretty special if it's to convince potential customers to wait three years for its offering.