Renault ZOE Price Increase Confirmed – end of this month

There has been a rumour circulating for a while that the ZOE will go up in price soon. It seemed credible as the current prices have held since the start of July, and the final sales quarter of the year is approaching.

front-tracking_renault_zoe_AutoExpress

Anyway, we were informed officially today that it’s true, and prices will go up from 1st October.

While we don’t know the full details of the change we know that it will impact the most popular model, the Dynamique Nav (but not the Expression) and that it will add about £350 onto the price of the car. We expect that to equate to about £15 per month on a 2 year PCP.

Renault has made it clear that it will honour the current lower prices on all orders received by 30th September. So, if you’re considering getting a ZOE, do give us a call (07920-790600) or drop us an email (sales@fuelincluded.com). Otherwise you could be kicking yourself in a few weeks’ time.

The other benefits of the deal remain the same, including the free installation of a charge point. As ever the car comes with 10,000 miles of fuel included, plus support, free tax, and in many places free parking.

Current prices: FuelIncluded.com

How Far Behind is the US in General, and Disney in Particular?

Culture Shock

With apparently ever-increasing globalisation most of us have an expectation that we can travel to other Western countries and find facilities and a culture similar to our own – after all, a McDonald’s Big Mac bought in Paris is recognisably the same as one from New York.

Occasionally, though, we find things to be suddenly different from what we expect. The difference is marked because it is not just a different food or architecture. It is marked – a culture shock – because it arises from very different assumptions about how a culture should be. I had such a feeling twenty-five years ago when, as a member of the British armed forces, I moved into married quarters in Germany. For the first time ever I encountered a culture with sustainability as a core value – we found recycling facilities all along our street, and were given full instructions on how to recycle our waste as part of moving in.

Such an approach was entirely absent in the UK, there we were still wondering whether we should consider starting to recycle some waste, and so returning to the UK felt like going back in time. Of course, since then the UK has caught up, at least to a large extent. For example, there are weekly collections of plastic and metal/can containers, of paper and cardboard, of glass, and of food waste, plus fortnightly collections of garden waste.

I write this as I approach the end of a vacation in Disney World and Florida, having experienced another such step back in time. Things are so far behind here it has been another culture shock. We last visited twenty-five years ago and it seems that the culture in general and Disney World in particular are virtually unchanged over that time.

Conspicuous Consumption and Pollution

It began with our accommodation – a lovely rented villa in a community estate in Davenport, half an hour outside Orlando. It’s huge and well-appointed with a very nice small pool and patio. However, it feels like living in a ‘consumption machine’. I write this in the open-plan kitchen/lounge area. Behind me upstairs the air conditioning system rattles away providing welcome cooling throughout the house – but it seems to be on permanently, 24/7, set to a temperature of 76°F (24°C). The energy consumption must be enormous, but its controls are locked away so we don’t have the choice to turn it off and save energy.

Behind me just outside the wall is the monstrous pump and filter system for the pool, whirring away. In front of me is a massive fridge which almost never goes quiet. Later today we’ll have men coming round making noise along the road (strimmers, leaf blowers, etc.). This evening we’ll have the sprinklers coming on to disturb our sleep. Not just carbon pollution, but noise pollution seems to be an accepted part of life here.

Even the cars of our neighbours coming and going seem inordinately loud, and why must they beep their horns every time they lock the doors? Everything is just so noisy (in this house we even watch TV in the same large living space as the dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer). The whole concept of noise pollution seems alien here, as though it were something to be embraced rather than avoided. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to try and get some peace and quiet. Yet in the UK people put a premium on quietness whether it’s buying a quiet car (such as an electric) or a house in the country – here the preference seems to be for cars and houses that are as big and noisy as possible.

The big irony, of course, is that the massive carbon footprint of this house is entirely unnecessary. A big chunk of it is for air conditioning because of the powerful sunshine here, yet it is precisely that excess of solar power that could be powering the house with solar energy for free. Instead, it is using fossil fuels and their associated carbon emissions to try and offset the energy being dissipated on the roof. I’ve only seen one house in the area with solar panels, and I noticed that precisely because it was an isolated example in a sea of blank rooftops.

Part of that irony is that we have solar panels on our home in England, even though we are at a much higher latitude than Florida and so get correspondingly less solar energy. Nonetheless, even with our supposedly cloudy and rainy climate the panels produce more than half the energy used by the house over the course of a year. In Florida a similar setup could potentially power the entire house, and with some left over going into the grid to reduce its overall footprint, or used to fuel an electric car.

It was good to see that our housing estate had a weekly recycling collection, even if it was just a mixed box (and many of our neighbours’ wheelie bins were overflowing with cardboard boxes and other items that could have gone in recycling).

No Leadership From Disney

So on to Disney. Over the last two weeks we have visited Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studio and Animal Kingdom twice each, and Epcot and the Typhoon Lagoon water park once each. We had a good time on the roller-coaster and other rides, and at the various shows. However, it felt like very little had changed in the last quarter century.

A tram with its diesel exhaust just a few feet from waiting passengers (Image: T. Larkum)

After parking up we were transferred to the park entrances via vehicles referred to as ‘trams’. While in Europe that name implies electric trolley buses, and given their workload and fixed routes these vehicles could have been electric, it was immediately obvious they were not. You didn’t have to get very close to them to hear the roar and smell the nauseous and toxic fumes that gave away that they were powered by massive diesel engines. And this, in the 21st century, and with half the passengers being young children.

Read more: Linked In

ZOE Primer: First Drive

This is a quick introduction to using the ZOE. It is intended to give just the basic information required for a test drive, use of a ZOE from a hire/rental company, or to get your ZOE home the day you buy it.

Rapid Charging the ZOE (Image: T. Larkum)
Rapid Charging the ZOE (Image: T. Larkum)

Doors

  1. The ZOE is a five door car designed to look like a three door car: the rear doors are opened by pressing on the concealed black handles (marked with a thumbprint) next to the windows.
  2. ZOE uses keyless entry, i.e. it opens electronically via a key fob rather than with a physical key. There are two methods, the simplest is to lock and unlock the doors using the buttons on the key fob.

Driving

  1. The ZOE has been designed to feel like a small automatic car so it has a large gear lever beside the driver. It has the usual positions from front to back: Park (P), Reverse (R), Neutral (N) and Drive (D); these modes and the current selection are shown on the dashboard when power is on.
  2. To start the car:
    1. The gear lever must be in Park (all the way forward).
    2. The key fob must be somewhere within the car.
    3. Press and hold the brake pedal.
    4. Press the Start/Stop button to the left of the steering wheel.
    5. The car will start with an audible chime and ‘READY’ will show on the dashboard – the car is ready to move.
  3. To move away engage the Drive gear position (with foot still on brake) and release the handbrake (beside the driver’s seat).
  4. Note that the ZOE has been programmed with ‘creep’, i.e. it will move forward like an automatic even when the accelerator is not pressed.
  5. The ZOE has both conventional and electronic brakes and at low speed, below about 10mph, the brakes can feel a bit ‘grabby’ especially if you are not used to it; take care in car parks and other confined spaces.
  6. There will be an external sound for warning pedestrians when you drive forward up to about 20mph. Note, however, there is no warning sound when reversing.
  7. Once in Drive mode, since there is no gearbox, you can accelerate up to maximum speed (about 84mph) without changing gear.
  8. You can come to a complete stop in Drive If you are stopping for any length of time you should then engage the handbrake and Park mode.
  9. To turn off completely use the Start/Stop

Charging

  1. If charging from a home charge point ensure it is powered up and ready (a Chargemaster/Polar charge point shows an amber light, for example).
  2. Ensure the car is in Park mode, the handbrake is engaged and the motor is off (no ‘READY’ sign).
  3. Release the charging port door (it carries the Renault badge on the nose) using the button on the key fob.
  4. Open the charging port door (which swings to your left) and the internal charging port cover (which swings to your right) by hand.
  5. Insert the charging cable from the charge point. This should be followed by an audible click as the ZOE locks the connector into place (it cannot be pulled out by hand).
  6. If charging from a public charge point, at this point you need to initiate a charge (the method will depend on the charge point model).
  7. The ZOE dashboard will read ‘Ongoing Checks’ as it communicates with the charge point. The charge point will also likely give an indication (a Chargemaster/Polar unit will show amber and green lights, for example).
  8. When the charge begins it will be accompanied by a high pitched whine (not always audible to everyone). The dashboard will show how long the charge will take as ‘Time Remaining : ’ plus an hours:minutes display. It will also show the percentage charge complete.
  9. The car should be locked if unattended, but operating the locks and doors has no effect on the charge operation.
  10. The ZOE may sit at 99% for a long time to battery balance – it does no harm to stop charging at this or any other point occasionally if it’s convenient (e.g. when in a rush).
  11. If at a public charge point the charge should be stopped at the charge point. A home charge point can be turned off or left on and the cable simply disconnected.
  12. Release the charge cable connector using the button on the key fob, and withdraw the connector.
  13. Close the charging port cover and charging port door; charging is complete.

Source: Fuel Included Blog

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.
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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.

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.