All posts by Trevor Larkum

Software engineer and electric vehicle advocate

Renault Zoe Z.E. 40 first drive

Renault’s new Zoe Z.E. 40 promises the greatest range of any mainstream EV on the market today.

With an official range of up to 250 miles depending on model, only Tesla’s line-up can beat that range figure, but they cost far more than twice the amount of the little Renault. Next Green Car got behind the wheel of the new longer-range EV to see how it performs on a cold and misty winter’s morning in the UK.

Review by Chris Lilly

WHAT’S CHANGED?

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 in Mars Red (Image: NGC)
Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 in Mars Red (Image: NGC)

We’ll start with the biggest and most significant change to the Zoe – the battery. Previous models were equipped with a 22 kWh battery which is good for an official range of 149 miles on a single charge. The new version now packs a 41 kWh battery with a quoted range of 250 miles. The previous 22 kWh model is still available in one specification, but it is the Zoe Z.E. 40 with almost double the battery capacity that is the big news and the model being pushed.

The extra range has been achieved by ‘chemical wizardry’ according to the presentation from Renault’s PR team, but essentially the engineers have made a battery with greater energy density through tweaking and improving the materials used. All of this means that the extra capacity battery is the same physical size, so it fits in the Zoe without the need for costly re-engineering.

Other changes include a new top-of-the-range trim level Signature Nav, which includes leather upholstery, bronze highlights inside, rear reversing camera, new alloy wheel design, and Bose stereo. All models get slight design tweaks inside and out, though you will be hard pushed to list them.

Charging has changed only in the sense that it now takes longer to top up the battery. Available in both rapid charge-capable 230 mile specification, and non-rapid 250 mile trim, the Zoe Z.E. 40 will take varying amounts of time to charge. The 250 mile model tested can connect to a 43kW rapid charger, but will only be charged from 0-80% in one hour and 40 minutes. A 7kW home charger – which comes free with a new Zoe Z.E. 40 – will complete a full charge in a little under seven and a half hours. The 230 mile model cuts rapid charging time to just over one hour, but increases the 7kW charge time by an hour. This is compared to the one hour rapid charge, and four hour 7kW charge offered by the 22kWh model.

Read more: Next Green Car via Fuel Included News

Renault #EV day, 2017 – Zoe Z.E.40 & Twizy

Renault has launched its latest Zoe version, with a new 41kWh battery that promises 186-miles (real world) range, 124-mile worst case range and 250-mile official NEDC range.

The new car also introduces new motor and charging options plus new colours and trim levels including BOSE sound system.

Meanwhile, the ever-enjoyable Twizy continues to provide on road open-air thrills (via a lack of windows) and a great way to travel the Cotswolds.

Source: AutoVolt via Fuel Included News

Renault Continues Momentum in Electric Vehicles with Master ZE and New Kangoo ZE

Through its Renault Pro+ brand, Renault is unveiling an extended custom offering in its zero-emission range at the Brussels Motor Show, with world première appearances for Master ZE and New Kangoo ZE. With these new arrivals, Renault fields a unique line-up of four electric light commercial vehicles.

The Renault Electric Z.E. Range (Image: Renault)
The Renault Electric Z.E. Range (Image: Renault)

Zero-emission light commercial vehicles addressing the specific needs of business customers

With world première appearances of two new electric vehicles (New Kangoo ZE and Master ZE), Renault, through its business vehicles brand Renault Pro+, proudly announces nothing less than a range of zero-emission light commercial vehicles unique in the world.

Twizy Cargo (the quadricycle with boot launched in 2014) holds irresistible appeal for city-bound business users, while longer-distance travellers will appreciate the company-car version of New ZOE, with its 400 km NEDC* travel range. Then New Kangoo ZE and Master ZE are perfect for business customers needing load volume. All the models in our range of zero-emission light commercial vehicles offer pollution-free peace of mind on the road plus full connectivity capabilities, as with ZE Trip and ZE Pass on New Kangoo ZE, services that facilitate charging at the 80,000 charge stations across Europe. (In 2017, Renault Pro+ business customers will also be getting other connected services, such as Fleet Management and Predictive Maintenance.)

“Renault Pro+ is market leader in electric LCV sales in Europe. With New Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E., Renault Pro+ is continuing to expand its tailor made offering dedicated to professional customers, while developing connected services for business users. We are confident that our professional customers will experience our Zero Emission connected vans which will significantly contribute to better business as well as driving experience.”

Ashwani Gupta – Global Head of Light Commercial Vehicle Business

New Kangoo ZE: major innovations

New Renault Kangoo ZE Electric Van (Image: Renault)
New Renault Kangoo ZE Electric Van (Image: Renault)

Kangoo ZE puts an end to reticence over the use of electric vehicles for longer-distance business uses. Following on from New Renault ZOE, which starred at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn, it’s Kangoo ZE’s turn to get a new battery and power unit, to boast a travel range of 270 km NEDC* instead of the 170 km previously. This is a record on the electric vans market.

The battery takes less than six hours to charge back up to full from a 7 kW Wall Box (that’s less than overnight), or just one hour (that’s a lunch break or the time it takes to load the van for the next delivery round) for a 35 km top-up. It all goes together to make working life easier for business users. For example, another radically new feature on Kangoo ZE is the heat pump that’s tied in with the climate control system to maintain travel range under cold weather conditions. So what was that about electric power being problematic for professionals?

#WelcomeMasterZE: Renault ZE expertise coming to large vans soon

New Renault Master ZE Electric Van (Image: Renault)
New Renault Master ZE Electric Van (Image: Renault)

Renault, number-one on the European electric vehicle market, announces the world première appearance of Master ZE, further substantiation of the company’s unparalleled electric power expertise. The new Renault van packs the ZE 33 battery (33 kWh) driving the new R75 electric power unit (derived from the ZOE pack). Renault Pro+ is proud to offer business customers a large van with a travel range of 200 km NEDC. It will be in European showrooms from around the end of the year. Like its little sister Kangoo ZE, Master ZE takes less than six hours for a full charge. That all adds up to making Master ZE an unbeatable proposition for last-mile urban delivery fleets and all kinds of local government departments.

Source: Renault Group Blog via Fuel Included News

Renault Zoe rally car

“I spotted a Renault Zoe and thought it would make the ideal rally car.”

Hardly conventional thinking, but then Ellya Gold isn’t your average enthusiast. He’s the brains and force behind eRally, which is working towards creating the world’s first electric rally championship.

We caught up with Ellya and the eRally team at a demo run with Josh Hislop at the wheel as part of the Grant Construction Stages Rally at Knockhill Circuit. The compact Zoe makes the perfect base for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the championship is aimed at drivers aged 14-17 entering the world of rallying for the first time, so the car needs to be affordable to run alongside the existing Formula 1000 series.

It also has to be something that’s competitive, which has been proved in tests of the prototype car you see here. So far, it’s put in stage times quicker than a Ford Fiesta ST200.

Read more: Piston Heads via Fuel Included News