Zoe – 2015 Renault Zoe
What a pretty supermini-sized electric car the Zoe is. The range is not bad either and will suffice for Luxembourg with a practical 130 – 150kms depending on your driving style.
Like the Nissan Leaf, this is an EV that’s been designed as one from the ground up, rather than being converted from an existing car like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV et al. Renault’s thus been able to idealise the design, placing things where they should be rather than where they’ll fit and, more importantly, ensuring it ekes out maximum range from those floor-mounted batteries.
The driving experience is ethereal. The steering is light and floaty, the tyres have a nebulous grasp of the road, especially in the wet, and the only noise inside is a distant hum, which sounds like angels minding their own business.
The electric motor produces 90hp, but also puts out 220 Nm of torque, from zero rpm. This means wheelscrabbling immediacy in town. The chassis has been optimised for EV basics, so we expect Renault to have maximised the inherent low centre of gravity. Indeed, there may even be an element of Renaultsport tuning in there: the crack hot hatch team did the chassis for the Twizy, and that’s an absolute hoot. It’ll be lovely to think they’ve also had a say at this…
On the inside
Renault’s gone for the calm, elegant, welcoming approach with the Zoe’s interior. The Zoe is supremely quiet when it is on the move thanks to the electric motor, with only wind noise to disturb the peace. There’s even an active charcoal air filter to ensure the grubby exhaust emissions emitted by pesky normal cars don’t infiltrate the haven. Also there is space for 5 people inside.
Charging the Zoe’s 22kW battery fully takes between 60 minutes and 12 hours depending on the power source.