Major changes in Electric Highway as revolution continues at pace

After five years, 30 million miles and £2.5 million pounds worth of free travel – Ecotricity will finally begin charging electric car drivers for using Britain’s most comprehensive car charging network – the Electric Highway.

A row of electric cars at a rapid charger station (Image: Ecotricity)
A row of electric cars at a rapid charger station (Image: Ecotricity)

A rapid charge of up to thirty minutes will cost £6, still significantly less than the equivalent cost of a petrol or diesel car, while the network will remain free for Ecotricity domestic energy customerssubject to fair use policy.

The almost 40,000 members of the Electric Highway will need to download a new mobile phone app to make payments, which will have the added functions of a ‘live feed’ of the entire network, so users can see the location and availability of their nearest pump, making it easier for you to plan your journeys.

The Electric Highway is the most comprehensive car charging network in Europe, with nearly 300 ‘Ecotricity Pumps’ across Britain which enable electric car drivers to travel the length and breadth of the country using nothing but renewable energy. Up until now it’s been the only charging infrastructure in Britain that was available completely free of charge. It currently powers around two million miles a month and has powered more than 30 million miles since 2011.

The usage trebled in 2015 and it has been so successful in encouraging the uptake of electric cars that it is now necessary to start charging for the service in order to maintain and grow the network.

A new mobile phone app will replace the current card system, which will be available for Apple and Android devices and will enable users to manage their accounts, pay for charging and check the status of chargers all in one place.

The switch to charging will be manually implemented at all charging points, with work starting on 11 July and expected to be completed by Friday 5 August. This will mean that the changeover to the app payment system will be gradual, with some chargers continuing to work via the free card system later than others.

Ecotricity believes that by 2030 every new car should be electric (pure or hybrid), and that by 2040 they should be the only cars on the road.

Electric Highway facts and stats, as of 31st May 2016:

  • The first Electric Highway pump was installed on 27 July 2011
  • Ecotricity has since installed a total of 296 Electric Highway chargers, of which 276 are rapid chargers
  • There are Electric Highway chargers across 96% of the British motorway network
  • The network stretches from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Jonathan Porterfield and Chris Ramsey were the first drivers to travel the length of the country only using public charging points –  a round trip that took 27 hours and 46 minutes in September 2015 and relied almost entirely on the Electric Highway
  • The Electric Highway has powered a total of 30 million miles totally free of charge
  • May 2016 was the busiest month of all time on the network. During the month, the Electric Highway powered 2,170,625 miles with 10,121 customers powering their cars with 347.3MWh of electricity through 43,211 separate charges. That’s the equivalent of having a car charging during every minute of every day throughout the month
  • 38,537 customers currently hold Electric Highway cards

Source: Ecotricity via Fuel Included News

New Renault ZOE from £175 per month fuel included

Renault ZOE Deals

The new ZOE prices are in for July – and they have gone up again. As we’ve said before, if you’re thinking of getting a ZOE then do so as soon as possible, or you will have to pay more (prices are rising rapidly, the last ones lasted little more than a month).

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Anyway, these have to be the best deals currently available on any ‘supermini’ – and with free fuel! We are able to offer a brand new Renault ZOE at very low rates allowing you to save on motoring expenses while driving away in an affordable brand new car. The ZOE is essentially a Renault Clio with an electric motor – only even better looking!

If you’re spending a lot on petrol, then you can pay for the car with what you save on petrol and car tax. You get to drive a new car for free!

We are offering a Renault ZOE Dynamique Nav on 2 year PCP; this stands for Personal Contract Purchase and is currently the most popular way to buy a car because of its flexibility. You put down a deposit, pay an affordable monthly fee (less than many people spend just on petrol), and drive away a new car with fuel included. At the end of the two year term you can choose to pay an optional lump sum and keep the car, or you can just give the car back and upgrade to the latest model.

It’s like a mobile phone contract, but with miles rather than minutes included.

These are the current prices (from 1 July 2016):

Annual MileageMonthly Cost
(£990 Deposit)
Monthly Cost
(£500 Deposit)
Fuel Included Miles
3,000£175£196All
5,000£199.60£221All
6,000£203£22310,000
7,500£207£22710,000
9,000£218£23910,000
10,500£230£251
10,000
12,000£243£26310,000
15,000£266£28710,000

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Read more: Fuel Included Blog

Renault ZOE Price Increase

There is a rumour going around that Renault will be increasing the cost of the ZOE significantly after 30 June, in other words there will be new prices from Friday.

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The figure suggested is about £30 per month, so a big rise.

The report is as yet unconfirmed, but of course it ties in with the start of the next sales quarter so it is credible.

It also matches our experience of the prices rising every couple of months so far during 2016.

For example we have previously reported price changes as follows:

These were all about two months apart so the next increase occurring in early July would be consistent with these previous events.

If the amount of increase is correct, however, then it’s significantly more than we’ve seen before.

As ever, we will report as soon as we have any more information. Until then, our current prices are here: Renault ZOE Offers.

Source: Fuel Included Blog

Renault Says ZOE Production Is At 160 Units Per Day

The Flins factory in France is the sole location for production of the Renault ZOE and we’ve now learned that each and every day approximately 160 ZOEs roll off the Flins assembly line.

Renault ZOE Production
Renault ZOE Production

If we assume Renault means 7 days a week, 365 days a year (that’s probably not what Renault intends to mean in its Tweet), then annual production for ZOE would stand at 58,400 units. A rather impressive figure.

However, it’s more likely that Renault’s Tweet is implying a typical five-day work week, with various break here and there for factory overhauls, holiday shutdowns, etc.

In that scenario, the implication would be approximately 200 days per year at 160 units per day, or 32,000 ZOEs produced annually…still a rather decent amount of EVs per year.

Renault itself has previously stated that its production goal for ZOE is 35,000 units this year, up from 20,000 produced last year.

Source: Inside EVs via FuelIncluded.com

50,000th Renault ZOE Rolls Off Production Line

  • Renault has produced its 50,000th all-electric ZOE
  • Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle just three years after the launch
  • Every three minutes, somewhere in the world, somebody purchases an electric vehicle
Renault ZOE (Image: Renault)
Renault ZOE (Image: Renault)

The 50,000th Renault ZOE has rolled off the production line at its specialist plant at Flins. The milestone vehicle was sold to Sylvie, a French citizen from Saint Cloud, Paris. Guillaume Berthier, Electric Car Sales and Marketing Director, presented Sylvie  with the keys to her ZOE at the Flins plant near Paris, the only ZOE site for global distribution. It was Sylvie’s children who encouraged her to choose a ZOE and she intends to use it every day. With 50,000 people now proud owners of the ZOE, Renault has found that 98% of customers are satisfied with their 100% electric-in-use vehicle.

Since 2013, Renault has been the only carmaker to have a complete all-electric vehicle range with Twizy, ZOE and Kangoo Z.E. Since then, the EV market has grown rapidly, expanding by 48% worldwide in 2015. A total of 18,500 ZOE vehicles were sold last year for a market share of 20% in Europe and over 55% in France. In the UK, 4,058 ZOEs have been sold since launch, with sales up in 2015 by 102% compared to 2014.

Most recently, the ZOE was voted second best vehicle overall in the Auto Express Driver Power survey – one of the largest motoring consumer surveys in the UK, and has also been crowned What Car?’s ‘Best Electric Car under £20,000’ for three consecutive years.

Charging a ZOE couldn’t be easier thanks to the continuing rollout of new infrastructure. Today, more than 60,000 charge points are available to the public in Europe.

Source: Press.Renault.co.uk via FuelIncluded.com

‘I Drive Electric Because I Love My Children More Than You Do’

I am the CTO of a company supporting the oil and gas industry, and also the CEO of a start-up (FuelIncluded.com) promoting the adoption of electric cars. Clearly, from at least one perspective, these industries are in direct competition. However I prefer to see them as complementary: the tension between these industries is an example of the many energy transitions we are starting to experience as a society as we move from fossil fuels to renewables, and from pollution to clean air. Having a foot in each camp gives me, I think, an interesting and exciting position from which to watch things unfold, and, to an extent, to promote a much needed change.

Smog in New York City (Image: Public Domain/Wikipedia)
Smog in New York City (Image: Public Domain/Wikipedia)

Naturally I’m a big fan of electric cars. I’ve owned one for nearly 3 years and have driven it more than 40,000 miles in that time. It charges at home either from my own solar panels or from our renewable energy supply. It charges on the motorway/freeway at Ecotricity rapid chargers which also have a renewable supply. I’m clearly sympathetic to the view that we should all be driving electric vehicles for the sake of public health and our future climate, never mind peak oil.

However, I was still shocked to receive a retweet on my Twitter feed this week that seemed to go beyond the usual debate on the pros and cons of electric cars. It showed a bumper sticker that said:

“I Drive Electric Because I Love My Children More Than You Do”

It was a bit of a shock to read so I read it again. I then moved on, meaning not to give it another thought. However, since then I’ve found myself reflecting on it. It bothered me, enough for me to want to put my thoughts on paper.

I’ve concluded that there are two issues here that caught my attention – the message itself, and the way the message was communicated.

The Message

I have a lot of sympathy with the message, …

Read more: Me on LinkedIn

New Renault ZOE from £157 per month fuel included

Renault ZOE Offers

[From FuelIncluded.com] We are pleased to announce our latest prices – these include the adjustments since 1 March resulting from changes in the government grants for electric cars.

These have to be the best deals currently available on any ‘supermini’ – and with free fuel! We are able to offer a brand new Renault ZOE at very low rates allowing you to save on motoring expenses while driving away in an affordable brand new car. The ZOE is essentially a Renault Clio with an electric motor – only even better looking!

If you’re spending a lot on petrol, then you can pay for the car with what you save on petrol and car tax. You get to drive a new car for free!

We are offering a Renault ZOE Dynamique Nav on 2 year PCP; this stands for Personal Contract Purchase and is currently the most popular way to buy a car because of its flexibility. You put down a deposit, pay an affordable monthly fee (less than many people spend just on petrol), and drive away a new car with fuel included. At the end of the two year term you can choose to pay an optional lump sum and keep the car, or you can just give the car back and upgrade to the latest model.

It’s like a mobile phone contract, but with miles rather than minutes included.

be1393e978dcb6da_Renault_Zoe_AutoBild

These are the current prices (from 15 March 2016):

  • 3000 miles per year: £157 per month, all fuel included
  • 7500 miles per year: £189.50 per month, 10000 miles fuel included
  • 9000 miles per year: £202 per month, 10000 miles fuel included
  • 10500 miles per year: £214.50 per month, 10000 miles fuel included
  • 12000 miles per year: £225 per month, 10000 miles fuel included
  • 15000 miles per year: £251 per month, 10000 miles fuel included

The other terms are as follows:

  • There’s an initial payment (‘deposit’) of £500 when you order.
  • A finance fee of £99 will be added to the first monthly payment.
  • Fuel included: you get free electricity over the two years as listed above (this is at the Economy 7 rate but you are not required to switch to Economy 7).
  • You get free road tax and congestion charge exemption.
  • You get a free home charge point paid for by Renault.
  • You get free breakdown recovery, and telephone and email support.
  • There is no MOT required within the contract term.
  • The standard colour is Glacier White (other colours add £10-£20 per month, contact us for details).
  • The Dynamique Nav rapid charges in about an hour, an upgrade to the Nav Rapid is £500 (or £21 per month).
  • All prices quoted include battery rental.
  • If you were to go over the agreed mileage you would pay excess mileage (for the car plus the battery) at 15.5p/mile – the exception is the very low mileage option (3000 miles per year) when it’s 38p/mile.

Full details of what’s included in the deals are on the Fuel Included offer page.
6_Renault_Zoe_unk
More details at FuelIncluded.com.

Renault ZOE Spec

The Renault ZOE Dynamique Nav is a very high-spec and well-connected car – like a smartphone on wheels. Features include:

  • Satnav with traffic control
  • Cruise control and speed limiter
  • Auto-lights and auto-wipers
  • Reversing camera
  • Android tablet integrated into the dashboard, with downloadable apps (email, weather, games, etc.)
  • Integrated MP3/video player
  • Electric mirrors and windows
  • Bluetooth smartphone connection to remotely control the heating and air conditioning, and monitor the battery charge and remaining range
  • On cold mornings the car can be pre-heated so when you get in it’s already warm.
  • Traction control, keyless entry, alloy wheels, air conditioning, and more.
  • A full charge will officially get you 121 miles range on the European NEDC test, but Renault say to expect “an actual driving range of approximately 71 miles during the winter season and around 105 miles at warmer times of the year”.
  • Built-in fast charging (at 7kW) – this is optional on many other electric cars where the standard is 3kW. At home you can charge from empty to full in 3-4 hours.
  • Built-in rapid charging (at 22kW) – this is optional on many other electric cars.  At motorway services you can charge from empty to 80% in about 50 minutes. An upgrade to 43kW charging is available for £21pm, allowing charging to 80% in about 30 minutes.

More details at FuelIncluded.com.

Snow Chains on Renault Zoe

Welcome to REMICHANICS! dedicated to vintage and contemporary cars, mostly Renault and Citroën. In this second video, you can watch how to mount snow chains and visit the beautiful remote village of Obermutten, Switzerland, with zero emissions in an all-electric Renault Zoe R240. Enjoy!

Source: Fuel Included News

Renault Doubled Its EV Sales In January

Renault didn’t waste time getting busy in 2016, as the French company increased electric car sales in January by 104% over a year ago to 1,886.

Renault BEVs sales – January 2016 (Image: InsideEVs)
Renault BEVs sales – January 2016 (Image: InsideEVs)

If we add in the, not so successful, Twizy, total sales reach 1,977 (up 88%).

Over the past three years, January has been one of the slowest months of EV sales for Renault, so looking ahead this could be a big year for the French automaker.

The top selling model in January was the ZOE notching 1,416 sales (up 105%). And because the ZOE was the most popular pure electric car in Europe in 2015, such growth has considerable impact on the overall market.

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included News

Electric Cars Are The Only Solution For The Future

The Geneva Motor Show is ground zero for all things automotive for Europe, and a major launching pad for new offerings – plug-in or otherwise. So it was no surprise to see Nissan-Renault CEO (and Avtovaz Chairman) Carlos Ghosn making an appearance, and doing a little ‘show and tell’ with his company’s most recent hotness.

The IDS Concept (a 60 kWh, 200+ mile all-electric car that we feel is a thinly disguised look at the next generation Nissan LEAF), is one such European debut that Mr. Ghosn attended this week.

And while on hand, Ghosn made some comments about the future of the plug-in technology – what it means to Nissan, the automotive segment, and the fact that VW’s recent emission scandal has accelerated the urgency to convert to a plug.

Basically, the CEO says that ‘Dieselgate’ demonstrated you can’t trust anyone, and that we need zero emissions to get serious about saving the planet as ‘zero means zero’:

“Without any doubt, because it has attracted the attention on the fact that even though the regulators are trying to do their best to say what is acceptable, and what is not acceptable, in term of emissions, there will always be conditions that the regulators cannot regulate. So if you really worry about emissions, the only solution is the electric car because here you have zero emission, you have nothing to measure.

On top of this, as you know, COP 21 has lead to the conclusion that we cannot afford to have more than 2 degrees of heating of the planet 20 or 30 years down the road, and this means more zero emission cars”

Source: Bloomberg via Fuel Included News

News and comment on the Renault ZOE (the world's most advanced mass market car), other electric cars, climate change, and related subjects. A car that's quiet, lively, cheap to run and non-polluting…£14k. Driving straight past petrol stations without a second glance…Priceless.