All posts by Trevor Larkum

Software engineer and electric vehicle advocate

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

Renault ZOE in Emirates Road Trip

The first Emirates Electric Vehicle Road Trip (EEVRT) concluded at The Sustainable City in Dubai last week, successfully opening nine new charging stations in the UAE and further driving electric vehicle adoption in the country.

The new, free-to-use electric vehicle charging stations, supplied by ENGIE, were opened at three AccorHotels, including Marjan Island Resort & Spa in Ras Al Khaimah (three), the Novotel Fujairah (four), and at the Sofitel Corniche in Abu Dhabi (two).

Accelerating the transition towards a sustainable low-carbon future, the four-day event took place from 29th January to 1st February 2017 when 11 electric vehicles left Dubai and traversed more than 700km across the UAE. The charging stations installed have opened up a whole new stretch of electric vehicle driving for the UAE.

“The UAE has already come a long way in moving towards taking a more environmentally friendly stance when it comes to vehicles, and we hope that this event showed people how much of a difference it can make.

Thank you to everyone who made the Emirates EVRT possible. It was a truly momentous event for the region and one we are extremely proud of,” says Ben Pullen, Founder and Managing Director of Global Electric Vehicle Road Trip who brought the event to the UAE.

The response from participants and event partners who experienced the event for the first time was overwhelmingly positive. Intrigued by how the electric cars would perform during the longer drives to Jebel Jais and Fujairah, the participants were pleasantly surprised by the acceleration and range of the new Renault Zoe and Tesla vehicles.

One of the most interesting experiences was to witness the regenerative braking which is a technology that allows the batteries to re-charge when driving down hills.

Through driving down Jebel Jais the Renault Zoe Long Range model was able to achieve around 50km of extra range.

“As pioneer and leader of 100% electric vehicles in Europe, Renault was glad to support the Emirates EVRT initiative that is developing the awareness of pure sustainable mobility in the UAE. We have shown through the use of the new Renault ZOE with 400km autonomy that autonomy was no longer an issue to move freely in the seven Emirates,” says Emmanuel Guiffault, Marketing Director of Renault Middle East.

Read more: Emirates 247

Price Cut on Long Range ZOE ZE40

Best Renault ZOE Z.E.40 Deals

We have new PCP prices for February for the new Renault ZOE with the ‘Z.E. 40’ long range battery – we are pleased that they show a reduction in cost of about £13 per month.

And don’t forget, you get your first 10,000 miles of motoring for free (we refund the cost of charging at home).

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 Example Colours (Image: Renault)

Renault ZOE Z.E. 40 Example Colours (Image: Renault)The current prices including fuel, road tax and VAT (from 13 February 2017) are here.

The Renault TREZOR voted Most Beautiful Concept Car of 2016

  • The Renault TREZOR scoops the Festival Automobile International’s award for the Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year 2016
  • The Renault TREZOR is an all-electric GT that embodies the styling cues and technologies set to feature on upcoming Renault models

Award-winning Renault TREZOR

Renault Trezor Concept electric car (Image: Renault)
Renault Trezor Concept electric car (Image: Renault)

Paris (Tuesday, January 31, 2017) – The 32nd Festival Automobile International at the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, France, has singled out the Renault TREZOR as the most beautiful concept car of 2016.

“I would like to thank the jury for this award which will inspire us to pursue our design strategy,” says Laurens van den Acker, SVP Corporate Design, Renault. “The TREZOR’s powerful, sensuous lines pave the way for the styling and technologies that will be features of our upcoming models. It also marks the beginning of a new cycle of Renault concept cars which will be revealed soon.”

“The jury decided this award should go to the TREZOR because of the extreme beauty, sensuality and elegance it exudes,” observes Rémi Depoix, President of the Festival Automobile International. “It is the epitome of a concept car and we were notably won over by the cohesion of its overall design and the attention that has been paid to the details. It is a fine creative work which, we hope, will inspire Renault’s future roadgoing models.”


A pointer to the styling philosophy of upcoming Renaults

The lines of the Renault TREZOR are warm, sensuous and refined, while its assertive front end incorporates signature C-shaped lights. In terms of their styling, Renault’s upcoming models will draw their inspiration from the TREZOR’s DNA as their forms become even more fluid and mature.

The TREZOR’s interior design, meanwhile, places the emphasis on driving enjoyment and features a large enveloping touchscreen display that reinforces the cockpit feel. This customisable, connected interface juxtaposes warming, prestige materials like wood and leather. The interiors of upcoming Renault models will take their inspiration from these increasingly refined styling trends and connected technologies.

For the duration of this year’s Festival International de l’Automobile, the Renault TREZOR will be on display at the Hôtel des Invalides alongside other concept cars selected by the jury. This display will be open to the public from February 1-5, 2017. For further information, go to www.festivalautomobile.com/gb/index.php

Source: Media.Renault.com via Fuel Included News

Renault-Nissan Alliance extends electric vehicle sales record

  • Alliance sales reach 9,961,347 vehicles in 2016 – one in nine cars sold worldwide.
  • The Alliance confirms its zero-emission* leadership; cumulative sales reach 424,797 electric vehicles worldwide.
  • 18-year old partnership sees boost in innovation for the vehicle of the future.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance delivered significant growth in 2016, with global sales of 9.96 million vehicles. The car group also reinforced its leadership in zero-emission vehicles with cumulative sales of nearly 425,000 electric vehicles since the introduction of the Nissan LEAF in 2010, followed by the Renault ZOE.

The Alliance sales figures include Mitsubishi Motors sales of 934,013 vehicles globally. Mitsubishi Motors joined the Alliance last fall with Nissan‘s acquisition of a 34 percent equity stake in the company.

Launch of Rapid Charge Network (Image: Renault)

“The combination of Groupe Renault, Nissan Motors and Mitsubishi Motors creates a new force in the global auto industry,” Chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn said. “The strength of this innovative partnership that began 18 years ago has allowed us to improve our competitiveness, boost our growth and engage in the race for the vehicle of the future.”

The Alliance brands accounted for about one in nine cars sold worldwide last year.

Groupe Renault’s sales were up 13.3 percent to 3,182,625 vehicles in 2016 for the last year of the “Drive the Change” plan. This marked the fourth consecutive year of sales growth with a record year-on-year increase of 374,000 units.

Both Renault and Dacia brands had a record year in terms of sales volumes and Renault Samsung Motors volumes were up by 38.8 percent. Market share and sales volumes are up in all regions, with the Renault brand becoming number two in Europe.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. sold a record 5,559,902 cars and trucks worldwide, up 2.5 percent. In the U.S.A. and China, the company achieved sales growth of 5.4 percent and 8.4 percent respectively, setting new records in both markets. Infiniti sold over 230,000 vehicles in 2016, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. In December alone, Infiniti sold 27,200 vehicles, an 18 percent increase versus the prior year.

Mitsubishi Motors sold 934,013 cars worldwide, down 13 percent. Sales grew in the United States and Australia, but were offset by lower sales in Brazil, Russia, and the Middle East. Japan sales were also affected by lower consumer confidence following the fuel consumption issue.

Through Nissan’s partnership with Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan expects to target synergy benefits worth 24 billion yen in fiscal year 2017, rising to 60 billion yen in fiscal year 2018 and beyond. The gains will contribute to increased earnings per share worth an estimated 4 yen per share in fiscal year 2017 and 10 yen per share in fiscal year 2018 – on top of any earnings accretion linked to Nissan’s overall shareholding in Mitsubishi Motors.

AVTOVAZ, which sells cars under the LADA brand, sold 284,807 vehicles. Together, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and AVTOVAZ sell about one in three cars in Russia.

Sustained leadership in electric vehicles

The Renault-Nissan Alliance, with Mitsubishi Motors, cumulatively sold 424,797 electric vehicles through 2016, making it the undisputed leader in zero-emission mobility.

The Nissan LEAF, the first mainstream, mass-marketed electric vehicle, remains the world’s best-selling EV with more than 250,000* vehicles sold since its launch in December 2010.

In addition to the LEAF, Nissan also sells the e-NV200, a light commercial vehicle sold mainly in Europe and Japan since 2014.

Renault has sold more than 112,000 electric vehicles worldwide since 2011, including the Renault ZOE, Kangoo Z.E., Fluence Z.E., the SM3 Z.E. and the Twizy.

Renault was at the top of the European EV market last year, with sales up by 11 percent at 25,648 units (excluding Twizy). ZOE led the EV ranking with 21,735 sold. Renault Pro+ recently announced the addition of two new commercial EVs to its lineup: the New Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E.

In 2016, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, including Mitsubishi Motors i-Miev series, sold 94,265 EVs, up more than 8 percent from 2015.

* Including Venucia E30 sales in China. No CO2 emissions and no regulated exhaust pollutants while driving, according to NEDC homologation cycle.

Boosting innovation for the vehicle of the future

In 2016, the Renault-Nissan Alliance took several steps to advance the development of future vehicles that will be electric, autonomous and connected.

The Alliance plans to launch at least 10 models with autonomous drive functionality by 2020. Development and tests of connectivity and autonomous drive technologies are underway with several partners, including Microsoft and NASA.

“We were the first to launch an affordable electric car back in 2010. Other major automakers are now recognizing that EVs are the most effective zero-emission solution,” Ghosn said. “With autonomous drive and connected cars and services, we are firmly engaged in the race for the vehicle of the future.”

Source: Renault Nissan Alliance via Fuel Included News

Biggest UK Order Of EVs: Renault Delivers 55 ZOE To Europcar

Renault boasted the completion of biggest ever order for electric cars in UK, as 55 ZOE were delivered to Europcar.

The French EVs are to be used by Europcar to support its city-based Deliver & Collect service (car hire), and help Europcar move towards its goal of 5% EV penetration for its fleet by 2020.

The Renault ZOEs at the Europcar Mobility Centre, ExCeL London
The Renault ZOEs at the Europcar Mobility Centre, ExCeL London

According to announcement, Europcar ordered the ZOE Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge, with slightly lower range ratings than that of the newer R240 (210 km instead of 240 km NEDC) or the “newer” new 400 km range ZOE ZE 40 (with 400km of NEDC range), but gains the 43 kW 3-phase charging capability (instead of 22 kW).

In the UK, the 2016 base edition of the ZOE is available with the battery pack included (from £18,945 after the Government Plug-in Car Grant) or rented separately from the car (£13,945 after the Government Plug-in Car Grant with battery leasing from £45 per month).

“Renault has delivered its biggest ever UK order of the all-electric Renault ZOE, with 55 of the innovative supermini having been supplied to Europcar UK for use in the delivery and collection of hire vehicles in major UK cities.

With zero emissions in use and offering the benefits of smooth and instant pulling power, the award-winning Renault ZOE is ideally suited to the busy urban-based role. While supporting Europcar’s Deliver & Collect service, which ensures that customers of the leading mobility player enjoy a highly convenient and flexible hire car experience, the Renault ZOEs will also contribute to Europcar’s continued efforts to be at the forefront of reducing vehicle emissions and introducing customers to new technologies. Europcar is committed to five per cent of its total UK vehicle fleet being electric by 2020.

Ease of use and environmental compatibility were key factors in Europcar choosing the ZOE. The firm’s decision to invest in Europe’s best-selling EV was also influenced by the positive customer feedback it has received from those who have experienced the Renault ZOE through its rental fleet.

In addition to enabling Europcar employees to deliver rental vehicles to customers at their home or workplace, the Renault ZOEs will provide support to E-Car Club – the all-electric car club that Europcar has a majority stake in and the acquisition of which represented the first ever exit of a crowdfunded start-up. With E-Car Club attracting more and more private and business customers and working to grow its locations, which span from East London to the Outer Hebrides, the Renault ZOEs will ensure that E-Car Club can quickly access additional cars to meet customer demand.”

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included News

The End of an Era (Renault ZOE 2015)

[From 5 January] I heard the news from Renault in about the middle of December that there were just 11 of the Renault ZOE ‘Dynamique Nav’ still in ‘stock’, i.e. available to sell across the UK dealer network or in Renault’s south coast import yard. That is the 2015 model of the ZOE, the one with the 22kWh battery and the Renault motor (so with 80-100 miles of range). It is effectively the definitive model of the Renault ZOE so far.

Well I learned today that all stock has been sold – there are no more new 2015 ZOE’s available to order from stock anywhere in the UK (there is just one example of the lower ‘Expression’ model remaining in stock, but that model doesn’t get PCP support from Renault so has never been popular or successful – it represents something like just 1 in 20 of ZOE’s sold). What remain at dealers are just the few ZOE’s that have already been ordered (e.g. on ‘spec’ by a dealer, or cancellations) and we are currently tracking down the last ones for keen customers.

So the Renault ZOE as we have known it in the UK is no more. From now on all new orders taken will be for the 2017 model ZOE – the Renault factory in Cléon retooled to manufacture this model during last autumn and deliveries are due to customers from February/March.

Renault ZOE Z.E.40
Renault ZOE Z.E.40

Virtually all new orders will be for the long-range Z.E. 40 (41kWh) ‘Dynamique Nav’ and ‘Signature Nav’ models as, again, the new ‘Expression’ model (which only comes in the old short-range 22kWh form) gets so little PCP support that it is unlikely to sell in meaningful numbers in the UK.

I see this, then, as the end of an era. From now on the Renault ZOE will – in any meaningful sense – only be available in Z.E. 40 form. Renault have ditched sub-100 mile EVs (except, perhaps, on paper) and from now on will only produce 200 mile* EVs. That is a major milestone in the development of European EVs with meaningful ranges.

The king is dead – long live the king!

 

*well, 180-190 miles so close enough to 200 miles to count!

Source: Fuel Included Blog

Renault Zoe Signature Nav R90 Z.E. 40 (2017) review

► Upgraded Renault Zoe tested
► New batteries offer improved range
► Rivals the i3, Leaf and e-Golf

Renault’s revamped the batteries in its all-electric Zoe , turning an already excellent little car into a grown-up – one with a claimed 250-mile range, and one that runs rings around the BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf and Nissan Leaf.

But as with everything electric, it’s not quite as simple as that…

So it goes for longer? Who wouldn’t be happy with that?

In the real world, Renault reckons this new Z.E 40 version will cover around 190 miles in summer conditions and 120 in the winter, still putting it out of sight of the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3.

This is thanks to a series of battery upgrades, including packaging changes and modifications to the chemical make-up of the cells, resulting in a 41kW battery. The pack itself remains the same size and shape as the 22kW 80-mile range version, which stays in the line-up as a cheaper entry level model. And here’s where it all gets a bit complicated.

Without a doubt, longer range in an electric car is a good thing. It offers up all sort of possibilities, ownership profiles and ways of using the car. But the cost of this new battery tech isn’t cheap: even after the £4500 Government grant the basic entry level price of a 40 is £4500 more than a 22kW car – although it does admittedly also feature more kit. The question effectively is then, then, is double the range worth the extra cost?

Handily, this issue is mitigated to an extent by Renault’s leasing offer, which mean you can lease car and battery together. And why wouldn’t you? There seems no reason to take the risk on the used value of the batteries.

As an early indication of pricing, for a Dynamique Nav (the second-highest model in the range) doing 7500 miles a year it costs of £270 after a £1995 down payment.

Time to get the back of a fag packet out then?

The beauty of running a Zoe is its elegant simplicity; charging at home from a free 7kW wallbox supplied with the car, the point-and-go drivability. But before you get to this point you really do have to test the grey matter and envisage its role in your life and do your sums. Certainly the 40 version is likely to play a more prominent one with its range – and we’ve found with our 22kW long termer that in fuel used you can save way more than £100 every 1000 miles compared to a very economical petrol supermini.

So the more you use it, the more you save, but at the same time the extra cost of the new model counts against that a bit. Put it this way: the 22kW’s price and range makes a brilliant second car, the more expensive 40 version makes it a decent first-and-a-half car, its cost now pitching into choppier waters full of competitively priced conventional cars.

I’m not entirely sure about the top-of-the range specification version either, where shiny leather seats and dark colours add a more sober air to a car that tripped along with a wonderful lightness of touch.

And it now takes six to seven hours to fully charge from a conventional charger, rather than four, although most owners do this overnight anyway – and you can get to 80 percent in an R90 model in one hour 40 minutes when connected to a fast charger.

There’s also a more expensive quick-charge model that takes 65 minutes to get to 80 percent when plugged into a fast charger, but eight to nine hours to full charge from a home point. I do hope you’re keeping up. I barely am myself.

Verdict

After all that you might be thinking that you’re better off with the cheap, short range one – but no! The 40 is a brilliant car. Renault launched this Zoe in Portugal, with the launch route taking in a four-hour drive up the coast road, which snaked up clifftops and down inlets. Bonkers – most EVs get launched in Holland, starting at the top of a very small hill and ending at the bottom.

At the end of this drive, where the car still does everything the Zoe did before, which means zippy acceleration from standstill, tidy steering a restful silent cruising, we still had 80 miles of range left. The level of smugness I felt at this result is at the Trump end of the scale.

The Zoe is the best electric car on the market and the option of the longer range models enhances its appeal even more, but you do need to take your time to work out which suits what you need most.

The big thing is though that now that thanks to the Zoe, the electric car is about to go mainstream.

Source: Car Magazine via Fuel Included News

How an electric car can work without a home charge point

Enthused by the technology and the idea of being an everyday Eco Warrior, I traded petrol for electric and became part of the EV revolution – despite not being able to charge my car at home! Yes that’s right … I charge my car publicly all the time!

The fact I don’t have an electric charge point installed at home seems to surprise a lot people I talk to about my EV (Electric Vehicle). In most cases it seems they wouldn’t even consider an EV if they couldn’t charge it up at home. I must admit if I were doing long journeys each day I think I would struggle a bit – but I’m not. My Renault Zoe is my ‘run around’ (albeit a High Tech run around). It gets me from A to B and serves exceptionally well as a city car, certainly in Milton Keynes which is a major hub for EV owners.

Charging my Renault ZOE in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Pegram-Mills)
Charging my Renault ZOE in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Pegram-Mills)

When deciding to go electric I found out I couldn’t have a charge point installed at my home but rather than give up on the idea I started to look into other charging options, there were plenty! And all of these options made me realise it wasn’t actually a necessity and would still be much cheaper than running a petrol car. Fifteen months on I love my Renault Zoe and I do only charge publicly; Charging has become almost second nature when parking my car – it’s simply an additional thing to do like paying for a parking ticket. In fact I do it instead of paying for a parking ticket because electric car parking is free. As a result the cost of charging is actually less than the cost of parking.

So, If you want to go electric but can’t get a charge point installed at home, don’t be deterred – do some research (and FuelIncluded.com helped with this)….

* How often are you likely going to charge your car each week? Look at the real-world mileage range of the EV you are considering against how many miles you travel each week.

* Where is your nearest charge point to Home or Work, and what are the parking and charging terms?

* Check if there are charge points in the areas you regularly visit.

* Find out where your nearest Free charge points are – The Holy Grail!!

* Where are your closest ‘Rapid’ Charge points – these can be a bit more pricey but always great to use as a fall back if you need a full charge fairly quickly.

What’s important is you make charging your EV fit around your lifestyle, rather than make it a chore. Once you familiarize yourself with the Electric Charging Network available to you, public charging can actually work in your favour and you may be surprised to learn of additional perks and cost savings in doing so.

Jo Pegram-Mills

Source: Fuel Included Blog