All posts by Trevor Larkum

Software engineer and electric vehicle advocate

Electric car with A.I. to undertake 745 mile Australian ‘road trip’

An electric vehicle with artificial intelligence (AI) sensors and computers is set to embark on a 1,200 kilometer (745 mile), three-month journey in Queensland, Australia.

The zero-emissions Renault ZOE will be used to map roads in the state, which is in the northeast of the country. Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which is based in Brisbane, will man the car.

“As researchers drive the car across Queensland, onboard sensors will build a virtual map to help refine AI-equipped vehicles to drive safely on our roads,” Mark Bailey, Queensland’s minister for Transport and Main Roads, said in a statement Wednesday.

2018 – Renault ZOE

Bailey added that while it was “early days”, AI technology and smart road infrastructure had the potential to transform the way people travelled in Queensland and “reduce road trauma.”

The project will look at how the vehicle and its AI system adapts to lane markings, traffic lights and street signage. Additionally, it will look to overcome GPS systems’ limitations “in built-up areas and tunnels for vehicle positioning.”

Michael Milford, from QUT’s Australian Centre for Robotic Vision, said that as the vehicle was driven, AI would “watch and determine if it could perform the same as a human driver in all conditions.”

Read more: Yahoo via Fuel Included News

How to charge electric fleets

With reduced taxes, well-proven technology and expanding infrastructure, it is now becoming more and more convenient to run electric vehicles when compared with running petrol or diesel vehicles

Electric vehicles are already looking cheaper to run for individual drivers compared with petrol or diesel but, when it comes to fuelling a fleet, businesses will still want to arrange preferential rates to make the numbers work at scale.

There are huge savings to be made by drivers who switch to electric vehicles (EVs) from petrol or diesel, according to Ben Fletcher, of Renault UK.

The Renault ZOE hatchback, for example, is 100pc electric, has a WLTP driving range of 186 miles and costs just “2p per mile whereas an equivalent petrol or diesel would typically be around 12p”, says Mr Fletcher, head of electric vehicles in the UK for the French manufacturer.

West Sussex Council Fleet Goes Electric With Renault ZOE (Image: Renault)
West Sussex Council Fleet Goes Electric With Renault ZOE (Image: Renault)

The amount of electricity it takes to charge an EV costs around a third as much as buying petrol for a normal car
Not only is the cost lower, drivers can also have peace of mind about where their electricity comes from, with far greater control “over who provides their energy, whether it comes from a renewable source and what tariff they are on, than they would do if they fill their cars with petrol or diesel on a forecourt”, he adds.

Both considerations are important for individuals, but when it comes to corporate approaches to transport they take on even greater significance.

Renault’s electric cars, for instance, are mirrored by a range of Renault Pro+ electric vans, demonstrating the opportunities for companies to switch to electric even on multi-tonne light commercial vehicles.

Fleet managers with multiple EVs will see considerable fuel savings and a large reduction of tailpipe emissions. Jon Lawes, managing director of Hitachi Capital UK’s vehicle solutions business, says: “If all of Britain’s vans and heavy good vehicles [HGVs] were to switch to electricity, businesses could save around £14bn a year in fuel costs alone.”

Read more: Telegraph via Fuel Included news

New flagship Renault ZOE S Edition added to range

Renault has introduced a new flagship S Edition model to its all-electric ZOE line-up, with more equipment and added technology

Renault has updated its all-electric ZOE line-up, adding a new flagship model called the S Edition. Priced from £19,270 (including the government’s £3,500 plug-in car grant), the new trim level replaces the ZOE Signature Nav as the range-topper, adding more standard equipment for a lower price.

The new Renault ZOE S Edition gets a BOSE stereo with DAB radio, a choice of either 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels, a reversing camera and leather upholstery with lumbar adjustment on the driver’s seat.

Renault ZOE

Other features include parking sensors, automatic lights, rain-sensing wipers, climate control, a leather steering wheel, electric windows, electrically folding door mirrors and a seven-inch infotainment system with voice-controlled sat-nav.

A choice of two motors are available for the ZOE S Edition; a quick-charge Q90 unit with 86bhp or a more potent R110 model with 106bhp and 225Nm of torque. Both motors have a range of 186 miles under WLTP regulations, and the Q90 model can be charged to 80 percent capacity in 65 minutes using a 43kWh fast charger.

Read more: Auto Express via Fuel Included news

Europcar Mobility Group Adds 85 100% Electric Renault ZOEs to its UK Service

  • Europcar Mobility Group orders 85 all-electric Renault ZOEs for its UK car sharing and Deliver & Collect operations
  • A number of units to be used by E-Car Club to extend its cost-effective, low-emissions car share schemes
  • Majority of E-Car Club’s new Renault ZOEs to be made available at brand new Solihull locations
  • Order will also work to significantly lower the carbon footprint of Europcar’s city-based Deliver & Collect service
  • Ease-of-use, environmental compatibility and real-world range of 186 miles influence repeat order
  • Renault was the number one electric vehicle manufacturer in 2018, whilst the Renault ZOE is one of Europe’s best-selling electric cars
  • ZOE available from £18,420 on-the-road (after PiCG)
  • Over 5,000 Renault ZOEs are included in European car-sharing schemes

The UK’s leading low-emission car sharing club has reaffirmed the suitability of the all-electric Renault ZOE for its growing operation as its parent company, Europcar Mobility Group, orders a further 85 of the award-winning supermini.

E-Car Club – ecarclub.co.uk – has taken a number of units, supporting its expansion across the UK, from East London to St Andrews, Scotland. Through the innovative scheme, E-Car Club provides the public with a low-cost, hassle-free and environmentally friendly alternative to private car ownership and customers can hire a Renault ZOE from only £4.50 per hour, including power and insurance.

Europcar adds 85 ZOEs to its car-sharing service (Image: Renault)
Europcar adds 85 ZOEs to its car-sharing service (Image: Renault)

The majority of E-Car Club’s newly acquired, 40 kWh Renault ZOEs, will be used for a brand new scheme in North Solihull, which sees the popular EV available to members at nine locations throughout the region’s residential areas.

Local drivers can hire any of the new ZOEs, one of which has been wrapped in a distinctive ‘ECO Jungle’ livery, by simply signing up online. Completely self-service, bookings can be made via the E-Car Club website 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with customers gaining access to a ZOE simply by scanning their membership card against the windscreen. Drivers then unplug the ZOE from the onsite charger to experience all the benefits of all-electric motoring.

The rest of the Renault ZOEs will be used by Europcar to support its Deliver & Collect service in major UK cities. The use of the Renault ZOE works to significantly lower Europcar’s carbon footprint in these highly populated areas as well as reduce its operating costs.

The new order follows Europcar’s successful introduction of 55 Renault ZOEs for its Deliver & Collect logistics fleet in 2016, which at the time was the biggest ever UK order for the best-selling EV.

Europcar opted to extend its fleet of the 100 per cent electric, five-door supermini following feedback from both E-Car Club members and its own drivers. The ZOE has proved to be perfect for both its busy Deliver & Collect role and E-Car Club’s car sharing model, being immensely easy to drive and charge, spacious and boasting a very practical real-world range of up to 186 miles on a single charge. Notably, the reliability of the Renault ZOEs already on fleet also influenced Europcar’s purchasing decision.

Read more: Renault Press via Fuel Included News

All-Electric Renault Zoe Named ‘Best Used Electric Car’

  • Renault ZOE named ‘Best Used Electric Car’ in DieselCar and EcoCar’s Used Car Top 50 2019
  • All-electric ZOE takes the title for the second consecutive year
  • Five-door supermini also voted 21st overall out of over 750 cars that were evaluated
  • Renault is the number one EV manufacturer in Europe

LONDON – January 25, 2019: The 100 per cent electric Renault ZOE has successfully defended its title of ‘Best Used Electric Car’ in DieselCar and EcoCar’s Used Car Top 50 2019.

The ZOE clinched the title for the second consecutive year after impressing the magazine’s judging panel of second-hand car experts with its ease-of-ownership, clean looks and nippy yet relaxed driving experience. The award joins an ever-growing list of industry accolades bestowed on the stylish supermini. Additionally, the magazine placed the ZOE 21st overall out of over 750 cars evaluated.

Packing up the ZOE in Brighton ready to go home (Image: T. Larkum)
Renault ZOE 22kWh (Image: T. Larkum)

Diesel Car and Eco Car reached its decision after assessing the Renault ZOE on a multitude of factors, including purchase price, residual value, general competency and fitness for purpose. Every car evaluated was given a score out of 10 that determined its final placing.

On awarding the Renault ZOE for the second year running, Ian Robertson, Editor and Publisher, DieselCar and EcoCar, said

“A supermini rather than a family car, the attractive ZOE is a stylish all-electric model that makes adopting electric motoring remarkably easy. Drive one around town in near-silence with zippy acceleration and zero tailpipe emissions and you’ll be convinced electric power is the future. That’s especially the case in cities like London, where it’s Congestion Charge exempt, saving owners a fortune. Be sure to check if the battery pack is included, as customers were given the choice of buying it outright or leasing the batteries separately.”

Read more: The Auto Channel via Fuel Included News