ZOE Test Drive – 1

ZOE Zen demonstrator (Image: T. Larkum)
ZOE Zen demonstrator (Image: T. Larkum)

Yesterday, more than a year after pre-ordering my ZOE, I finally had the opportunity to take a test drive in a ZOE. The vehicle had been the showroom model but a new ZOE was on its way, with a higher specification (I imagine it will have the 17” alloy wheels and so on), so this vehicle – a standard Zen – was now the demonstrator. It had less than 300 miles on the clock.

I went with two colleagues from work to our local Renault dealer, Marshall in Milton Keynes. They had a drive each first and were both very positive about the experience. It was interesting that as passengers they commented on how much it was just like a conventional car and I would have to agree – as a passenger it was very difficult to tell it was electric.

A comment was made about how much of the noise in a car while driving is road noise – and this was an interesting point that I would have to agree with. Even though you remove engine noise, as you largely do in the ZOE, the drive is not silent because of road noise – and I think that’s particularly true in Britain at the moment due to the poor state of road surfaces. It’s great not to hear an engine, but it would not be true to say the drive is silent; it is quiet but with road noise evident at most speeds, and presumably there would also be wind noise at high speeds (though we didn’t have the opportunity to try that).

As a passenger in the back I would say that it was comfortable enough, but certainly not roomy. My colleague, at a little under six foot tall, appeared to be sitting slightly sideways to provide enough space for his knees behind the front seat passenger. Similarly, although there was a proper three-point seat belt for the middle seat, it would appear to only really be useable when there are three children sitting in the back – adults would be quite tightly packed.

Marshall Renault, Bletchley, MK with charge posts (Image: T. Larkum)
Marshall Renault, Bletchley, MK with charge posts (Image: T. Larkum)

After their drives finished my colleagues returned to work and I stayed for a longer drive. I asked to see how the ZOE was charged. It was very straightforward: a button inside releases the cover over the charging point, inside this there is a dust cover that you open by hand. The cable connector is inserted – at this point it appeared to become locked into position. Once the charge station is activated (in this case by an electronic card) the charging starts. On completion it is necessary to release the charging connector using a button inside the car – this is presumably to prevent other people (either passers-by or other EV drivers) from disconnecting you while you’re charging at a charge point in a public area.

[Part 2 is here]

Home Forums ZOE Test Drive – 1

This topic contains 7 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 5 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #2943

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    Yesterday, more than a year after pre-ordering my ZOE, I finally had the opportunity to take a test drive in a ZOE. The vehicle had been the showroom
    [See the full post at: ZOE Test Drive – 1]

    #2949

    PerLyngemark
    Participant

    My test drive last Thursday was a very pleasant one, I tried the acceleration a lot and the braking. I was amazed at how much power you regained by braking, and equally amazed that the AC took almost no power, spent like 0.2kW on a 45min ride on the AC.
    I tried ALL the functions on the R-Link and found it very simple to use and it had a lot of cool features.
    I think I pressed all the buttons and also figured out that after a charge you had to press the release button. I even tried the ionizer and the smelly thingie…
    However, can anyone tell me how to get the ZE-Voice activated? I searched online but there seems to be no information yet. I was unable to ask the Renault people since they just gave me the keys, the car was brand new (first to drive it) and the people in the store knew much less than me (the car arrived in the store while I was there).

    #2950

    andyw
    Participant

    It’s good to hear that the heat pump AC is working well in real world conditions too. To help answer the ‘ZE Voice’ button question, I’m pretty sure it’s one of the three controls under the left side of the steering column. See the below link for a picture of where I am talking about: http://tinypic.com/r/5djpfm/5. I believe these controls (from left to right) are electric charging port flap release, headlight angle?, ZE Voice on /off. I imagine that the voice must be changed (to one of the three options) through the R-link touch screen?

    #2966

    PerLyngemark
    Participant

    Thanks Andy, I will try them out on my next test drive.
    Another question I asked the Renault sales rep was about if there was a SIM card in the ZOE so that I could track it if it was stolen. I was told there was and he pointed on the SD card (I realized later when I was alone in the car fiddling with all the buttons and controls).
    I realize that the ZOE is using the bluetooth from my iPhone, which is ok for reading mails and calling etc from the car while driving. But if the car is stolen it might not be with my phone in it, so how could I locate it?

    #2969

    Anonymous

    @perlyngemark: The Zoe must have a SIM card; otherwise the R-Link features like checking on charging status wouldn’t work when the client device was out of Bluetooth range.

    #2971

    Anonymous

    Yes, the Zoe has a sim card and a gprs connection over the 2G phone network. I guess we ‘pay the phone bill’ through a combination of the R-Link subscription and the battery lease.

    I’ve not seen anything about what might happen if it was unable to phone home regularly. For instance, with old Sky boxes they needed to phone home once a month or they blocked subscription services.

    Regarding the SD Card slot on the front, I noticed that it was being used by the TomTom mapping data and removing that SD Card stopped TomTom from working. I don’t know if that’s the case for all Zoes or just the test-drive cars but it wouldn’t be great if you had to remove your satnav data to use the slot for other stuff. I did remove it, to see, and the satnav shuts down with a warning that the maps were unavailable. Plugging the card back in immediately re-enabled the satnav.

    #2973

    Trevor Larkum
    Keymaster

    However, can anyone tell me how to get the ZE-Voice activated?

    I believe these controls (from left to right) are electric charging port flap release, headlight angle?, ZE Voice on /off.

    Yes – see the 4th picture here:

    Zoe VIP Evening Part 2

    There’s some general information on the R-Link here:

    http://myrenaultzoe.com/index.php/zoe-description/r-link-multimedia-system/

    – I would think the SIM connection cost is covered by the Connect Pack/Interactive Pack charges.

    #2981

    Anonymous

    I only suggested the battery lease might pay for some of it because that would be how they can disable the battery charging if you don’t pay the lease and the T&Cs of the lease agreement do make it clear they track and gather data regarding the battery – condition, charge frequency, usage, fast-charge usage etc.

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