All posts by Trevor Larkum

Software engineer and electric vehicle advocate

Electric Car Spotting 2

Nissan LEAF in East Northampton
Nissan LEAF in East Northampton (Image: T. Larkum)

I have the impression that electric cars are becoming more common in the UK – I hope it’s not just wishful thinking. I have previously reported seeing two electric cars near Northampton. Recently I have seen two more, two different Nissan LEAFs, one in the west of Northampton and one in the south.

Nissan LEAF in South Northampton at Night (Image: T. Larkum)
Nissan LEAF in South Northampton at Night (Image: T. Larkum)

Of course, it’s possible that I’m just getting better at recognising electric cars, as increasingly they look very similar to conventional cars – a trend that will definitely accelerate with the Zoe since it is almost indistinguishable from the new Renault Clio.

Diane Kruger electrifies the Champs-Elysées in a Renault ZOE

On Wednesday, November 21, actress Diane Kruger, arrived in an electric Renault ZOE to switch on the Christmas lights that will illuminate the world’s most beautiful avenue until January 9, 2013.

Diane Kruger and the Renault Zoe
Diane Kruger and the Renault Zoe

Renault has been official partner of the Champs-Elysées Christmas lights since 2012.

New, more environmentally friendly lights

From November 21, 2012, the lights will adorn 200 trees along more than a mile of the Champs-Elysées. This year again will see more environmentally friendly third-generation LED lights, reflecting Renault’s priorities. The new technology will also reduce the energy bill. Some of the 38,000 kWh that will be consumed during the operation will be supplied by the Thémis solar farm in the eastern Pyrénées.

Renault, the “natural” partner of the Christmas lights

Renault was the first carmaker to open premises on the world’s most beautiful avenue, 100 years ago.

Innovative electric lights? Renault has innovation in its genes and develops affordable technologies in anticipation of customers’ expectations. Renault is the only carmaker to sell a full range of electric vehicles at affordable retail prices: Kangoo Z.E, Fluence Z.E. Twizy and ZOE.

Environmentally-aware Christmas lights? Renault launched a strong environmental approach in 1995, which takes into account the environmental impacts of all the company’s activities, at every stage in the life cycle of a car. The Renault eco2 label represents that commitment.

In the middle of the Champs-Elysées : L’Atelier Renault

For the second year in a row, visitors to the illuminated Champs-Elysées are welcome to drop in at L’Atelier Renault to prolong the magical experience. L’Atelier Renault Café has even designed an “Illuminations” (“Christmas Lights”) cocktail, which can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

About L’Atelier Renault

Open daily from 10:30 am to 11:30 pm (and to 1:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays), L’Atelier Renault organizes special events year-round themed on Renault and the latest Renault news. With its suspended walkways and mezzanine overlooking the exhibition space, the L’Atelier Renault Café restaurant and bar is open from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm for lunch and from 4:00 pm until closing for dinner or simply to unwind for a moment on the most beautiful avenue in the world. The venue also features a vehicle sales outlet, a Renault shop where visitors can find brand merchandising, and a free WiFi hot spot.

Zoe Makes Its Movie Debut

Zoe on Set (Image: RushLane)
Zoe on Set (Image: RushLane)

It was announced yesterday that the Zoe has a leading role in a new French romantic comedy called ‘Un Prince Presque Charmant’ (A Prince Almost Charming). It is directed by Philippe Lellouche and produced by Luc Besson.

It is about a couple who have nothing in common but are brought together by a Zoe; it is due to be released on 9 January 2013.

First UK TV EV advert

I saw my first UK TV advert for an electric car this week, a Nissan LEAF:

Car manufacturers are notoriously reluctant to advertise electric cars, perhaps because they don’t feel that the resulting sales (which, let’s be honest, will be smaller than an equivalent fossil car for some time to come) justify the high costs. It is therefore refreshing to see one on TV – even if it was late at night on a satellite channel. Who knows, maybe Renault will be next with one for the Zoe – fingers crossed!

Renault Zoe – Quite Simply Revolutionary

Renault have released a new commercial video for the Zoe – it came out last month but I missed it then (a nod to My E-Life Now for pointing it out). Personally I think it’s a bit too ‘eco’, tree-hugger style, which I don’t think is the best way to sell large quantities of the Zoe to the mass market.

But anyway, I’d say it’s certainly better than the previous one which told you nothing at all about the Zoe, and didn’t even show it well. I guess it was a ‘teaser’ to start interest – I certainly couldn’t see it getting many people to look into buying one.