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
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.
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.
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.
[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 carwith 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 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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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”
Apologies that it’s been a while since I wrote an update on life with our Renault Zoe, bought on PCP and undergoing the rigours of everyday family life in south-west London.
Since delivery 10 weeks ago it has covered 1000 miles, mostly in the hands of my wife, who traded her eight-year-old Ford C-Max for life on the electric superhighway. Well, as the low mileage suggests, perhaps more of the electric urban highway.
The experience so far has been overwhelmingly positive, the Zoe slotting in to our lives seamlessly. There have been no worries about range, or charging times, or space, or ride quality (all supposed shortcomings), just general joy at the instant torque, silent running and modern high-tech kit list that makes the £150 a month lease with battery a steal.
How so, sceptics may ask? The answer lies in the fact that it suits our needs so perfectly. If we lived in the country, commuted far and wide, didn’t have a drive or a second car, it just wouldn’t work. But none of those things are an issue, so on we motor – even when the sub-zero temperatures reduce full charge range to an eyebrow raising 55 miles.
Yes, I choked at first, but the point is a 25-mile run is as far as we’ll typically do. We just have to charge it more than we expected – but even that is painless, and at roughly two hours to 80% full not remotely inconvenient.
You guessed it, I’m a convert. As I said at the beginning of this series, electric cars aren’t for everyone, but if they suit you they really suit you.
The ZOE Swiss Edition is a limited-edition addition to the catalogue of Europe’s best-selling electric passenger car. It targets customers who wish to benefit from the model’s environmental credentials and rewarding mobility while enjoying an exclusive touch of elegance, including particularly plush leather upholstery and a premium Bose® audio experience.
The limited-edition Renault ZOE Swiss Edition will be released this summer in Switzerland and foreshadows the new high-end version of the model that will be available for sale in all the car’s markets from the last quarter of 2016.
A new body colour and new wheels for extra chic
In addition to the original’s sleek, fluid lines which are perfectly befitting of a modern electric city car, the ZOE Swiss Edition’s exterior styling has been enhanced by discreet, sophisticated embellishments.
In addition to new 16-inch black Shadow diamond-cut wheels, practically all the existing body colours are available for the ZOE Swiss Edition which can also be specified with the brand new Yttrium Grey finish.
Outstanding leather upholstery, pleasing both to the eye and to the touch
The ZOE Swiss Edition’s upholstery uses only rigorously-selected hides of the finest quality. The seats are exceptionally plush, due notably to longer fulling of the leather compared with more conventional processes. The soft, natural feel of the skins is preserved thanks to the extremely high standard of their finish, while the use of varnish and other chemical agents has been halved in comparison with most leather upholsteries.
The seats’ striking appearance stems equally from the leather’s Pailleté Brown finish and refined stitch work, including gussets on the cushions and seat backs, top-stitching, and hot stamped badging on the front head rests.
A cabin that oozes elegance and comfort
The rest of the ZOE Swiss Edition’s interior matches the standard set by its elegant upholstery.
The dashboard features a soft-to-the-touch Metallic Fumé Grey finish and the same colour has been carried over to the air vent surrounds, R-Link console and door panels. The hand brake lever is trimmed in leather and the floor is protected by four thick braided velour carpet mats.
The ZOE Swiss Edition takes care of occupant wellbeing too, including heated front seats with a choice of three temperature settings. The driver’s seat is also equipped with manual lumber adjustment to adapt the seat back to the driver’s build. Last but not least, the ZOE Swiss Edition comes with electrically folding door mirrors for additional peace of mind.
A silent ride to enjoy the purity of the premium Bose® audio system
ZOE’s silent ride due to the absence of engine noise and vibrations inherent in electric vehicles means occupants can benefit fully from the Swiss Edition version’s Bose®-quality sound. The car’s premium audio system comprises six high-performance loudspeakers and a compact woofer which deliver every detail of original recordings.
The two dashboard-mounted 2.5cm tweeters provide crisp, balanced sound which is backed up by the full, rich volume of the two neodymium bass speakers incorporated in the front doors and the two wide-range speakers fitted in the rear doors. The boot-mounted compact woofer contributes a deep, realistic low-frequency edge thanks to Bose® waveguide technology which reproduces the lowest notes with extreme clarity despite the woofer housing’s compact size.
Renault will provide used EV batteries to Connected Energy Ltd for second-life application in its E-STOR product
Renault is the electric vehicle market leader in Europe
E-STOR is a revolutionary energy storage system that can reduce costs and enable more flexible and efficient use of energy – including high capacity fast charging
E-STOR will be available in the UK from July 2016
Renault and Connected Energy are partnering to develop sustainable and efficient ways of using electric vehicle batteries at the end of their useable in-vehicle life in order to supply innovative and more affordable vehicle charging solutions.
At the end of their useful in-vehicle life, Renault EV batteries still have considerable remaining capacity, which means that they can continue to give great service in other applications before they are ultimately recycled. And with rapidly increasing EV sales – 97,687 EVs were sold in Europe in 2015, up 48% on 2014 – so is the requirement in energy to charge them.
E-STOR: a flexible and environmentally friendly energy management system
Through its award-winning E-STOR technology, Connected Energy is offering a highly innovative solution to this conundrum through use of ‘second life’ EV batteries.
This can be used, for example, to store energy generated from on-site renewable generation resources such as solar panels and wind turbines, and then release it as it’s needed at a later time. The system also allows the batteries to be charged via low-cost off-peak electricity tariffs, enabling users to reduce their energy costs.
The batteries used are Renault EV batteries, chosen by Connected Energy because Renault, as EV market leader with 23,000 units sold in Europe in 2015, has expertise in the technology, its lifecycle and impact on the environment.
The first E-STOR product is nominally rated at 50kW/50kWhr which could typically be used to support one rapid charger or a cluster of fast chargers but the system is fully scalable and higher capacity units will follow.
In practical terms, as well as allowing more efficient use of energy, the system can also enable installation of rapid electric vehicle charging in sites where electricity supply would traditionally only allow slower rates. Instead of charging vehicles via a high-capacity supply directly from the grid, E-STOR allows multiple batteries to be charged at a slower rate over a period of time, ready to release their energy and charge a car when an EV driver needs it.
Renault offers two concrete solutions with its electric vehicles and their batteries through E-STOR. First to the grid, by providing energy storage that prevents power grid overload and balances supply and demand. Second to the environment, because batteries not fitted for automobile use, but that still have considerable remaining capacity, can have a longer life and lower carbon footprint before they are actually recycled.
In June 2015, E-STOR was named winner of the innovation category in the prestigious British Renewable Energy Awards 2015, hosted by the Renewable Energy Association.
Matthew Lumsden, Managing Director, Connected Energy, said:
“E-STOR will enable the more cost-effective roll-out of electric vehicles in commercial and industrial settings, thus increasing the overall sustainability of this clean form of transport. With Renault we have secured the supply of second life batteries for future E-STOR installations.”
Eric Feunteun, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Renault, commented:
“The second life application of Renault electric vehicle batteries supports Renault’s commitment to the energy transition in the automotive industry. Through E-STOR, EV owners can charge their car at reduced costs with electricity that is less carbon-dependent. It makes driving an EV a smart and even more sustainable transportation solution. With this energy management technology, EVs and their batteries become an asset for the grid rather than create overload.”
Renault is a leader and pioneer in the emerging electric vehicle market and has sold electric vehicles since 2011, offering a range of 100 per cent electric cars and vans to suit most requirements. The ZOE supermini sits alongside the fun and distinctive Twizy urban run-around which is also available in a commercial vehicle version with a boot instead of a rear passenger seat – Twizy Cargo. Completing the Renault Z.E (Zero Emissions) line-up is the Kangoo Van Z.E. – the perfect compact van for urban deliveries and tradesmen and is available in a range of bodystyles.
In 2015, Renault was the best performing EV brand in Europe, with sales rising 49 per cent to 23,086 units, with a 23.6 per cent European EV market share. It was a similar story in the UK, with ZOE sales up 102 per cent in 2015 to 2,053 vehicles – significantly outpacing the UK electric vehicle market, which was up 48 per cent on 2014.
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.