Renault Online Support 3: Z.E. Online User & Vehicle Settings

My Z.E. Online change notification settings (Image: T. Larkum)
My Z.E. Online change notification settings (Image: T. Larkum)

While logged into your ZE Online account there is a link at the top of the site to User & Vehicle Settings. This has various options as follows (most are self-explanatory):

  • Edit Your Account Information
  • Change Your Password
  • Change Notification Settings
  • Delete Your Account
  • Driving Mode (whether you wish to be connected/disconnected from Z.E. Services)
  • Change Vehicle (specify which vehicle is registered to this account)
  • Suppress Vehicle (cancel the current car’s registration)

Of these options the most interesting is Change Notification Settings: “You will be able to set the frequency and your preferred communication method to receive your charge notifications”. Here you can select how you are notified of key events such as charging state, charging problems, and low battery state.

I have set my options as above – this means that I get a text message when there is an urgent issue such as a battery charge problem or a low battery alert.

Email notification on charge start (Image: T. Larkum)
Email notification on charge start (Image: T. Larkum)

I also get an email when a charge starts and when it ends plus reminders when the battery is low.

Email notification on charge end (Image: T. Larkum)
Email notification on charge end (Image: T. Larkum)

Together these notifications provide a useful set of services to keep you informed about your vehicle’s charge status, and particularly any problems as they arise.

R-Link Experimentation

I’m still finding my way with the ZOE’s R-Link multimedia system. Since getting the ZOE I have mostly just used it as a conventional satnav and not much else, so this weekend I decided to experiment a bit further with it.

First of all I tried out the multimedia functions. R-Link has a nice radio that is straightforward to use – it can be a nuisance to scroll through all the different stations but there is a ‘favourites’ option so you can get to your regular stations quickly.

I plugged in a USB drive containing various MP3 albums and videos. By default it starts playing the MP3 tracks as soon as you insert the drive but it does so in alphabetical order, which seems pretty daft. However, you can select music by album instead and then you get a more logical ordering.

It played a couple of MP4 music videos fine, though it wouldn’t play some large MP4 TV programmes, nor a video in MOV format.

I haven’t yet used the satnav (provided by TomTom) very much yet. However, I did experiment with putting in a couple of addresses via the voice recognition system (activated by a button the steering wheel). After a shaky start, and once I realised you need to listen for a prompt beep before speaking, I found it worked pretty well (albeit rather slowly) and surprisingly effectively.

Finally I tried changing the system units from miles to kilometres as I want to do some energy consumption testing to compare with other data reported in kilometres. I was surprised to see that this changed the units used for distances in the satnav to km and km/h but had no effect on the main driver’s dashboard which continued to use miles and miles per hour. This odd result, the fact that the ZE Voice pedestrian alarm sound can’t be set via R-Link, and the very limited control of the car’s main systems that you get through it (e.g. power levels, regeneration control, etc.) lead me to conclude that the R-Link is pretty much just a glorified satnav with some multimedia functions and is not at all tightly integrated to the vehicle’s core systems. This is perhaps not a great surprise since it was developed by TomTom.

In fact while the R-Link has some neat functions it is considerably more limited than I had hoped. Given it is an Android system permanently connected by GPRS to the ‘cloud’, where are the functions you expect to find on even the most basic Android tablet? I was expecting to be able to download music, audiobooks, games, utility apps and so on – and ideally also be able to browse the Internet.

While R-Link theoretically has the capability to download apps from the R-Link store – Renault’s version of the Google Play store – the current range of apps is pathetically poor with just a few forgettable options. There is just a single game available to buy – and that’s just Soduku (never mind Angry Birds or anything advanced).

I will continue to explore R-Link’s capabilities, but it will have to improve significantly over time through updates and upgrades before it can become a serious rival to some of the more sophisticated ‘infomedia’ systems being developed by Renault’s competitors.

‘Vive Le Summer’ with Renault and new 63-reg plate offers


Renault Zoe 2013
Renault Zoe 2013
  • Renault launches ‘Vive Le Summer’ promotion, including hot deals and giveaways
  • Every new Renault model released or refreshed in 2013 available for new 63-plate registrations in September, including: Captur, Clio (plus GT-Line and Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC), ZOE, Scénic range including XMOD

In readiness for the rush on new 63-plate registrations next month, Renault has launched its latest promotion, ‘Vive Le Summer’.

Running from this month until the 22nd September, every customer who takes a test drive in any new Renault model will win something in the giveaway. The range of designer summer-themed prizes includes everything from White Company picnic baskets, Lacoste sunglasses, to travel speakers. On certain dates, iPad minis will also be on offer to Renault purchasers.

Selected models are also available with tempting cash-saving deals and promotions, including VAT off all Méganes and Scénics, and free insurance on selected Clio versions and Twingo Dynamique.

The campaign will be heavily promoted using a TV ad for the new Captur crossover, as well as a nod to the latest two others to join the French marque’s trio of fresh-faced small cars, Clio and ZOE. A heavyweight Press and digital campaign will naturally support the initiative over the same timeframe.

Superstitious motorists who might have swerved the previous 13-registration plate will be spoilt for choice at the range of new Renault models on offer. Ranging from the cheeky Twingo, right up to spacious family favourites such as Mégane and Scénic, to the power-packed Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC and the four-strong range of electric vehicles, it has a model to suit most budgets and requirements.

Renault’s best-selling model, Clio, is likely to be a huge draw. Inspired by the stunning DeZir concept supercar, its svelte and curvy exterior lines blend with a high-tech and upmarket interior. The high-selling supermini is also available with plenty of innovative touches.

R-Link multimedia system, climate control and heated front seats. Customers can also customise their car with a range of interior and exterior Touch Packs and stylish roof decals.

Newcomer Captur also hit the showroom just one month ago boasting the expressive style and driving position of a SUV, with the practicality of an MPV and the handling and driving pleasure of a hatchback. Personalisation is at the core of its appeal, with three Collections, Arizona, Manhattan and Miami. Each of them matches the adventurous spirit and personality of its official UK ambassador Steve Backshall, the well-known children’s author and explorer. Prices start from only £12,495 on-the-road.

Renault also continues to lead the way with its four-strong, 100 per cent electric vehicle line-up. The range flagship, ZOE, is a stylish, affordable and incredibly versatile supermini – it is priced the same as a diesel-engined alternative, from under £14,000, and expertly designed from the ground up as a plug-in car. It even includes a free 7kW domestic wallbox, giving full battery charge in three to four hours, supplied and installed by British Gas. Alternatively, unlike several other electric cars, it can be fast charged in one hour (22kW), or rapid charged to 80% charge in only 30 minutes (43kW).

The facelifted Scénic range, including the seven-seater Grand Scénic, now comes with the company’s new design identity, as seen on each of Renault’s latest arrivals: Twingo, Clio, Captur and ZOE. The new crossover-inspired version, XMOD, is a more rugged variant of the French brand’s iconic MPV, yet retains its trademark practicality and ease-of-use. With unique wheels and striking front and rear bumpers, and black roof bars, it certainly stands out – especially when priced the same as the equivalent standard Scénic, in spite of its enhanced looks and higher equipment level, including Grip Xtend Control, from £17,955.

On top of the sizzling deals, all cars qualify for Renault’s 4+ included package, worth £1,000, giving free four years/100,000 miles warranty, routine servicing and roadside assistance. See for more information.

Renault-Nissan Alliance Blog: The French City of Arras boosts its electric fleet with 5 new Renault ZOEs

The French City of Arras boosts its electric fleet with 5 new Renault ZOEs (Image: Renault-Nissan)
The French City of Arras boosts its electric fleet with 5 new Renault ZOEs (Image: Renault-Nissan)

Aiming to gradually make its fleet of municipal vehicles 100% electric, the City of Arras in northern France has acquired five new Renault ZOEs.

Arras has been pursuing a policy of sustainable development since 2008, and began replacing its combustion engine vehicles with EVs three years ago, when it acquired nine Renault Kangoos for its maintenance department. By 2014, another 15 EVs are scheduled to integrate the city’s 60-strong fleet.

As well as providing ecological benefits for the city, the five new Renault ZOEs offer financial advantages. The purchase price (15,000 euros) was the same as for a comparable combustion engine vehicle.

Furthermore, the ZOE has an autonomy of 150km, and fully recharging the battery costs just 2 euros, making it considerably less expensive to run than a traditional car. The vehicles will be used by senior staff for external visits, meetings, and other local journeys.

Arras is also involved in sustainable mobility project on a regional level. The Nord-Pas-de-Calais region is financing  the development of a local network of charging points, with stations set to be implemented in Arras, St-Omer, Maubege  and Boulogne-sur-Mer. The aim is to facilitate zero-emission journeys in the area and promote EV use among the public.