The new Renault ZOE is ready to compete with new contenders like the Peugeot e-208 and its Opel/Vauxhall Corsa-e derivatives, as well as some VWs.
Fully Charged was present at the unveiling of the third-generation Renault ZOE Z.E. 50 in France in June, but as it sometimes happens, it took some time to edit and release the episode.
Renault presented several trims of the new ZOE to showcase exterior and interior design. Fully Charged’s Jonny Smith noted it’s familiar to the previous generation, but improved – especially in the front (modified face and LED lights) and inside with new 10-inch digital dashboard display and vertical infotainment touchscreen. It seems also that the materials in the new ZOE are better.
The new ZOE is also a much better EV with a higher battery capacity (52 kWh), more range (up to 390 km/242 miles WLTP), DC charging capability (up to 50 kW), higher power motor (100 kW) and better acceleration.
First test drives and reviews are expected any time now as the new ZOE is scheduled for market launch this Autumn.
Renault ZOE R135 specs (see full description here):
52 kWh lithium-ion battery (air-cooled)
Battery pack: 400 V nominal, 192 cells, 10 modules, 326 kg of weight, 160 Wh/kg
up to 390 km (242 miles) of WLTP range
0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 10 seconds
80-120 km/h (50 to 75 mph) in 7.1 seconds
top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph)
R135 electric motor: 100 kW of peak power and 245 Nm of peak torque
R110 electric motor (option): 80 kW of peak power and 225 Nm of peak torque
DC fast charging using CCS Combo 2, up to 50 kW
AC charging of up to 22 kW (3-phase)
These are interesting times we live in. Electric cars walk the world, and some even make advances in professional motorsports.
The Renault Zoe has new ice to break in this field, though.
The Andros Trophy is an off-season racing series held in France and so far attended exclusively by traditional, fossil fuel-burning cars. The DA Racing team intends to break from that tradition, however. Their experienced driver, Jean-Baptiste Dubourg, will join the next championship behind the wheel of a modded Renault Zoe.
Modded how exactly? We don’t have the answers yet, but the production car is obviously looking forward to major tweaks and design alterations, especially since freezing weather is known to have an utterly devastating effect on traction battery capacity and performance. So far, finding a workaround is at the top of the priority list.
Typically, when I review a new car, in addition to telling you how it looks, who its competitors are, and how much tech it holds, the main value that I bring to the table (or so I hope) is letting you know how it drives – basically what it feels like from the driver’s seat.
Well, I was rendered largely redundant on this occasion because all I can tell you is what it felt like to be driven around in this vehicle. You see, the car that you see here is Renault’s autonomous Zoe prototype. And I mean fully autonomous – well, sort of. After all, the autonomous Renault Zoe isn’t exactly ready for the chaotic traffic at the Arc de Triomphe roundabout in the heart of Paris as yet. For the moment, it’s restricted to the campus of the University of Paris-Saclay on the outskirts of the French capital. This is part of a pilot project being run by automaker Renault, a public transport multinational, the Transdev Group, technology companies IRT SystemX & VEDECOM and, of course, the University of Paris-Saclay.
Where does it operate?
For the moment, the autonomous Zoe will operate within the campus of the University of Paris-Saclay. It’s meant to provide an autonomous shuttle service within the campus for a select group of students and faculty who opt into the program and allow their fate to be determined by this vehicle that has a mind of its own – literally! At present, French law prohibits companies from charging patrons for a service such as this, so it’s voluntary and free of cost.