Staying at Center Parks with a Renault ZOE EV

In the summer we spent the bank holiday weekend at Center Parks Longleat Forest with family. We travelled there and back in the ZOE.

Naturally I hoped to charge while there but it turned out to be problematic. It seemed pretty clear that CenterParks was not setup for EV charging. Initially we were offered the use of a 13A socket in a shed in a far corner of one of the main car parks.

CenterParcs EV Charging Point in a Car Park Equipment Shed (Image: T. Larkum)
CenterParcs EV Charging Point in a Car Park Equipment Shed (Image: T. Larkum)

I plugged in and charging started fine. However, I was a bit sceptical and went back after a few hours to find that the charging had stopped, seemingly a circuit breaker had triggered. I restarted the charge, but disappointingly, I returned after a few hours to check on it to see that it had failed again.

CenterParcs EV Charging Point: the 13A socket above the bicycle (Image: T. Larkum)
CenterParcs EV Charging Point: the 13A socket above the bicycle (Image: T. Larkum)

I reported this and that night I was allowed to charge at the external sockets by the main entrance (next to the in and out barriers). However, the same thing happened and I gave up at that point. Instead we charged on our way home. So, overall, we were not too impressed with CenterParks’ provisions for EV charging (though apparently the provision of charge points has improved since).

CenterParcs' All-Electric Renault Kangoo ZE Van (Image: T. Larkum)
CenterParcs’ All-Electric Renault Kangoo ZE Van (Image: T. Larkum)

On the plus side, we did see that Center Parks were making use of all-electric Kangoo ZE vans for work around the park. And we did enjoy our time there, even if it was a bit pricey.

Source: Fuel Included Blog

Renault ZOE In Charge of January Plugin Sales in Europe

Europe began 2017 with solid growth of plug-in electric car sales, up 31% year-over-year according to the EV Sales Blog report. In total, roughly 19,000 units were sold, which is not only the best January ever, but also one of the better months ever.

Renault ZOE took an early lead with 2,602 sales (up 80 percent) after securing 1st place in 2016.

Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – January 2017 (Image: InsideEVs)
Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – January 2017 (Image: InsideEVs)

In second place was the BMW i3 (1,818), which gives us one way to compare sales of different battery sizes. Renault is seeing better sales of the new 41-kWh ZOE, while i3 continues to sell the 33-kWh i3. Obviously, these cars are quite different, but with EVs, range does matter. And, if BEV sales are so tightly connected to battery pack capacity/range and price, we are eager to see the Opel Ampera-e later this year.

Nissan LEAF keeps seeing strong sales in Europe, taking 3rd place in January with 1,386 sales (up 29%). This EV’s battery increase – from 24 kWh to 30 kWh – wasn’t all that dramatic, and the Japanese manufacturer needs to do more soon. The top three BEVs sold in Europe totaled 5,806 units, which was 30.5 percent of all plug-in car sales. Tesla sold some 819 Model S (#7) and 586 Model X (#11) EVs.

Read more: Inside EVs via Fuel Included News

Renault-Nissan To Test Fleet Of Autonomous Zoes In Paris

The Renault-Nissan Alliance has announced a partnership with autonomous vehicle services company Transdev which will see a fleet of self-driving Renault Zoe models hit the streets.

In a statement, the two automakers said that they will collaborate with Transdev to develop a modular transportation system that enables clients to book vehicles and for mobility operators to monitor and operate self-driving car fleets.

The partnership will start with fields tests in the Paris-Saclay business area and involve Transdev’s on-demand dispatch, supervision and routing platform.

Speaking about the deal, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice president of connected vehicles and mobility services, Ogi Redzic, said

“As the mobility services landscape keeps evolving, we have a great opportunity to offer innovative, connected mobility solutions for the evolving needs of our customers, fully aligned with our vision of a zero-emission, zero-fatalities society.

“Partnering with Transdev allows us to share our knowledge as leaders in electric vehicles, autonomous drive and connected-car technologies with one of the largest multi-modal mobility operators worldwide. Together we will develop an advanced driverless mobility system that will enhance existing public and on-demand transport systems.”

Source: Car Scoops via Fuel Included News

Renault ZOE e-sport concept whizzes into Geneva 2017

Crazy electric Renault ZOE e-sport concept has 456bhp, four-wheel drive and extreme weight saving

Renault has a history of using its Renaultsport department to create crazy concept cars, and at this year’s Geneva Motor Show the company has followed up the mad Espace F1 and Twizy F1 with a new ZOE concept using the firm’s Formula E technology.

Renault ZOE e-Sport Concept (Image: Renault)
Renault ZOE e-Sport Concept (Image: Renault)

Called the ZOE e-sport, it’s a radical two-seat interpretation of Renault’s all-electric city car, boasting an aggressive, angular, wide bodykit, a colour scheme in homage to the Renualt e.dams Formula E team, and most importantly a four-wheel-drive powertrain borrowing Formula E technology.

Two electric motors are on hand to deliver 456bhp – almost 200bhp more than governed 270bhp limit of a Formula E single seater. There’s also up to 640Nm of torque available, and power is supplied by a 40kWh battery pack.

With this powertrain technology on-board, Renault claims the ZOE e-sport manages 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, and it takes less than 10 seconds to reach its limited top speed of 130mph.

With that heavy electric powertrain and battery pack in place, Renault has gone to extreme measures to try and keep the ZOE e-sport’s weight down. The bodywork is made from carbon fibre, while the steel roll cage incorporates Kevlar panels. Despite the diet, the ZOE e-sport still comes in at 1,400kg.

A wider track is combined with a lower rider height and double-wishbone suspension front and rear, complete with four-way adjustable dampers.

Renault ZOE e-Sport Concept (Image: AutoExpress)
Renault ZOE e-Sport Concept (Image: AutoExpress)

Plenty of aerodynamic trickery is woven into the all-carbon body. A large air dam and splitter set-up is found at the front of the car, while the ZOE e-sport also features a flat floor and large rear diffuser. Gaping tracts in the rear doors, a large rear spoiler and 20-inch centrally-locking diamond cut aluminium wheels complete the racecar inspired look.

In the cabin, two large Recaro bucket seats with race harnesses are found, alongside a rectangular steering wheel and a square dashboard display used to adjust powertrain settings. A new, de-cluttered concept interior design with lashings of Alcantara and angular switches and vents is employed.

According to Stéphane Janin, Renault’s Concept Car Director, the brief for the ZOE e-sport was to have fun, explaining: “we came up with something midway between a production model and a racing car”. Despite the production model influences, the ZOE e-sport will remain a one-off concept.

Source: AutoExpress via Fuel Included News

First drive: Renault Zoe ZE40 Signature Nav electric car review

Review

Six years after the mainstream launch of the Nissan Leaf, range anxiety is still a barrier for many when it comes to adopting electric vehicles. It’s a barrier Renault hopes to demolish with the updated ZE40 edition of the Zoe compact electric hatchback, which almost doubles the vehicle’s range on the NEDC cycle, from 130 miles per charge, to 250 miles.

In real life, the manufacturer says that means an expected range of 186 miles, which it believes will be enough for many drivers to attempt the switch to electric.

The new battery system occupies the same space as the old one, and is only marginally heavier, but offers substantially more capacity. But, aside from the fancy new battery technology, the car itself is largely unchanged.

Renault has introduced a new top-spec trim level, called Signature Nav, which includes a Bose sound system, rear parking camera, leather heated seats, and some different interior colours.

The top spec trim level seems unnecessary on this car, and the darker interior loses some of the character of lower trim levels. Dynamique Nav, the mid-range spec, remains the pick. The light and airy blue and white interior of Dynamique Nav better fits the character of the car – friendly, accessible and classless.

There is one other area that has been improved that is worth a mention – connectivity. From midway through this year, the car will be compatible with a system called Z.E. Trip, a phone and car app combination that links into real-time charging systems, and shows live charging point availability. When the driver reaches the charging point, the Z.E. Pass will allow them to pay through the infotainment system for their charge.

Renault says the vast majority of Zoes sold in the UK are still bought under the battery lease programme, which will continue to operate.

Battery lease pricing starts from £59 on the new ZE40 vehicle, £10 a month more than the old 22kw model.

After plug-in grant, a battery lease ZE40 model starts from £17,845, nearly £4,000 more than the new price of the old model, which remains on sale. Those opting for full battery-included ownership will stump up £23,445.

Despite the cost premium, the new Zoe ZE40 is a serious contender in the electric vehicle sector. It may be smaller than the Leaf, but it has more range and a more modern interior, and is still significantly cheaper – upfront, at least – than a BMW i3.

Read more: FleetNews via Fuel Included News

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 (41 kWh) Battery Visualized

The new Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 proves that it’s possible to double battery capacity, without redesigning an entire car.

The key is to originally develop a battery pack that could handle future modules with more energy dense cells (see video below).

In the case of ZOE Z.E. 40, available energy went up from about 22 kWh to 41 kWh, while the dimensions of the battery remained unchanged, with the weight increasing by only 15 kg (33 lbs) – from 290 kg to 305 kg (5%).

Physically, Renault still uses a 192 cells (LG Chem) in 12 modules (16 cells per module) configuration.

With 41 kWh of energy in the sub-compact model, a real world range of 300 km (186 miles) is possible (officially in Europe the ZOE is rated at 400 km on the NEDC scale).

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included news