All posts by Jo Pegram-Mills

Renault Zoe: Australian launch hinted at as new government approval details surface

The Renault Zoe electric vehicle looks to be coming to Australia, with the company’s local arm having applied for and gained official approval to offer the little hatch in Australia.

The on-again, off-again French electric car was first spotted testing in Australia in 2012. In 2013, Renault Australia CEO, Justin Hocevar said that he’d love to see it here.

 “The big challenge is that there’s a view within the company that until there’s incentives in the market, it makes it very challenging to commercialise the vehicle and it’s true when you compare to incentives in Europe, it’s a huge difference,”

Hocevar said.

But, since then, there hasn’t really been any movement on the Zoe front.

A Zoe update in France appears to have sealed the deal for Renault Australia, with an updated ZE.40 battery system, the Zoe is now capable of 400 kilometres on a single battery charge.

The new battery pack has 41kWh of useful energy and a faster charging time, capable of injecting 80km of range every 30 minutes.

Documents submitted to the Australian government show that Renault Australia was granted identification plate approval for the Zoe, allowing the company to compliance the car and sell it in Australia.

The Zoe represents over 10 per cent of Renault’s city car sales and is the best selling electric vehicle in Europe.

To date, Renault has insisted that a lack of any government incentives – as are offered in most overseas regions – has prevented the company from offering a greater suite of electric vehicles, despite manufacturers like Tesla primarily funding infrastructure themselves.

Source: Car Advice

In Rouen, Autonomous Cars Will Integrate The Transport Service In 2018

By 2018, some 5,000 students and 2,500 employees in the Rouen metropolis will be able to benefit from a very demand- driven public transport service. Particular, since they are Renault ZOE electric and autonomous will be made available to them.

Renault ZOE autonomous and on demand

The Technopole of the Madrillet in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray concentrates an entire activity zone which groups more than 7,500 people spread over 35 hectares. A zone of activities which, from 2018, will receive the first test life-size in France to run independent cars. Requiring an investment of 10 million euros, this test will see the participation of three Renault ZOE fully autonomous. Consisting of setting up a service on demand of public transport, autonomous cars will allow their users to realize the ” last mile “. It will be made available to those who have taken the tram, one of the terminals of which is located outside the compound of the technopole.

A first test in real conditions

For the autonomous Renault ZOE , this will be a first before a possible future commercialization expected for 2020. The Technopole will benefit from this project over a period of 3 years, with an extension of the service in 2019 . Independent vehicles will thus make it possible to connect the tram stops to the various buildings of the site. In total, they will make a loop of 1.5 km on the same routes as buses or individual vehicles. This first test, carried out by the “Autonomous Vehicle Cluster”, is carried out by Metropole Rouen Normandie, the Region, Caisse des Dépôts (CDC), Transdev, SMEs, start-ups and other players in the technological world The competitiveness clusters Mov’eo, TES and the Vedecom Institute.

CONTRACT

This project led by the metropolis and several partners comes from a Public Private Partnership (PPP). The first of its kind in France, it follows on from the success of the Astucio free shuttle service on the quays of the Seine – become pedestrians – experienced in Rouen at the end of 2016.

Source: The Quebec Times

Electric Car Day – Focus on Renault ZOE

We were very pleased to be able to show off a Renault ZOE at our test drive event recently. It’s one of the new longer range ZOEs with the larger 41kWh battery (where the previous version was just 22kWh) so it has nearly twice the range.

Renault ZOE at our test drive event in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Tisdall)
Renault ZOE at our test drive event in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Tisdall)

It was a very popular vehicle, with all available slots for test drives taken. The general opinion was very favourable – this is a lovely car. Plus having the longest range of any electric car on the market (bar the Tesla) certainly works in its favour.

Prices are here: Best Renault ZOE Z.E.40 Deals

Renault ZOE at our test drive event in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Tisdall)
Renault ZOE at our test drive event in Milton Keynes (Image: J. Tisdall)

Below is a brief video walkaround comparing the Nissan Leaf and the Renault ZOE.

Our thanks go to Paul Smith of Brayley Renault for bringing the ZOE to central Milton Keynes and for taking our customers out for test drives.

Source: Fuel Included Blog

Renault Zoe electric-car owners can upgrade leased batteries

When the updated 2017 Renault Zoe was unveiled last fall at the Paris auto show, it became one of the few electric cars whose range effectively doubled over its model life.

Launched in 2012 with a 22-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery, the five-door subcompact hatchback had an effective range of 60 to 90 miles.

That was essentially on par with that of the Nissan Leaf, EPA-rated at 73 miles that year.

But this year’s battery upgrade to 41 kwh changed everything.

It gave the Zoe, Renault says, a range of 300 to 400 kilometers (185 to 250 miles) on the European test cycle.

Renault Zoe ZE40. Paris Motor Show 2016

Here’s the unusual feature, though: owners of earlier Zoes can get the larger, longer-range battery—by swapping in their old battery.

As a press release from Renault last week pointed out, many Zoe owners chose to lease their battery from Renault rather than buy it.

As Renault notes:

Thanks to battery leasing, as of spring 2017, owners of a Zoe equipped with a 22-kwh pack can upgrade to the [41-kwh] battery without changing their vehicle, and benefit from increased range.

Renault Zoe ZE40. Paris Motor Show 2016

Read more: Green Car Reports via Fuel Included News

Renault ZOE battery upgrade conditions

Later this year you’ll be able to upgrade your old ZOE’s battery to the new ZE 40.

For customers that are currently leasing the battery the upgrade will cost 3.500 € and a new leasing contract with higher monthly fees has to be signed, however for those who already own the battery the upgrade will cost 9.900 €.

While the battery upgrades for current ZOE’s owners will start in the second semester this year, there isn’t an official date yet. This uncertainty can be related to the LG Chem battery plant in Poland that will start production also in the second semester.

Renault battery upgrade prices

Renault has a clear interest of delaying the battery upgrades and prioritize the selling of new ZOEs.

As equally – or even more – important as the battery upgrade would be if Renault allowed its customers to simply outright purchase the batteries and end the lease if they wanted to.

Currently the only way to do it isn’t very straight forward. It consists in stop paying the monthly battery rental when the contract ends and fully pay what Renault Crédit International (RCI) considers to be the battery’s value. In both 22 and 41 kWh batteries, RCI considers the value to be 7.000 € (without VAT) when new, and they lose 10 % of their value per year.

For example if you have been renting the battery for 3 years, you would have to pay 5.103 € (7.000 € x 0,9 x 0,9 x 0,9) plus VAT to terminate the battery lease contract and keep the battery. I just wished that Renault would make this process simpler. However I’m sure that some friendlier Renault dealers already help you in this process if you need to.

While Renault representatives keep saying that people prefer the battery leasing scheme, we know that this isn’t true, as it suggests a poll that toke place at the French Automobile Propre forum, where only 10 % of the inquired said to prefer the battery rental scheme…

In Portugal for example, Renault gives higher discounts for ZOEs sold with battery rental than with battery included.

Source: PushEVs via Fuel Included News

Renault Zoe Named A Game Changer At Awards

The Renault ZOE has received the ‘Game Changer’ award by Autocar judges at the world’s oldest motoring magazine’s annual awards ceremony at Silverstone.

The Renault ZOE, fitted with the new 250-mile range (NEDC) Z.E.40 battery, has been recognised at the Autocar Awards 2017 as a true innovator in the ever-growing electric vehicle market. The Renault ZOE’s new Z.E.

Renault ZOE ZE40

40 battery delivers almost double the range of the previous battery, providing motorists with an electric vehicle option that is better suited to many lifestyles with the average daily commuting distance being well within the ZOE’s capabilities.

Renault, as Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer, believes in giving the customer confidence in their use of electric vehicles by estimating ZOE’s real-world range as 186 miles.

Renault, as Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer, believes in giving the customer confidence in their use of electric vehicles by estimating ZOE’s real-world range as 186 miles.

Commenting on the decision to award the ZOE Autocar’s ‘Game Changer’ award, Mark Tisshaw, Editor, Autocar said:

“The new Renault ZOE is an important step in bringing affordable electric motoring to the masses. An already good car has been improved further, now coming with a real-world range that extends close to 200 miles to make it a more viable everyday proposition for more people. We commend Renault for that, and

An already good car has been improved further, now coming with a real-world range that extends close to 200 miles to make it a more viable everyday proposition for more people. We commend Renault for that, and recognise the ZOE as a trailblazer for electric cars.”

Vincent Tourette, Managing Director, Renault UK, said of the result:

“The Renault ZOE has always excelled at providing motorists with a stylish, comfortable and practical electric car at an affordable price tag. The 2017 ZOE with the Z.E.40 battery, as well as interior and exterior upgrades, builds on this success and now delivers the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle.”

Read more: Fleet Point via Fuel Included News

Why The Renault ZOE Is Europe’s Killer EV Right Now — And Could Stay That Way Too

Forget about the Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X, or Tesla Model 3. Renault’s unassuming ZOE electric hatchback is currently undergoing a massive rise in sales across Europe, making it the most popular plug-in car across the continent for the first quarter of this year.

Despite being nearly as old as the Nissan LEAF in terms of its design, the Renault ZOE recently gained a massive battery pack upgrade, going from 24 kilowatt-hours of capacity to a whopping 40 kilowatt-hours.

And that, as we explain in the video above, has changed things forever for the four-seat plug-in.

Source: Transport Evolved via Fuel Included news

In Q1 2017 Renault ZOE Sales Were Up 57%, Looking For 40K By Year’s End

Renault opens 2017 with an electric car sales surge, as the new ZOE is selling like proverbial hotcakes.

Renault ZOE

The first quarter of 2017 ended with some 9,220 ZOE sales, which is 57% more than year ago (around 5,900).

Most of the sales comes via France – 56% (5,191) where ZOE holds an astounding 70% of all electric passenger car registrations, and notes growth of 60% year-over-year.

“Against the backdrop of a particularly vibrant and rapidly growing (up 22.9%) electric passenger vehicle market, the ZOE with its increased range of 400km NEDC has seen its sales figures climb close to 60%, and it alone accounts for 70% of the market with 5,191 units registered.”

Sales also hit new high in March – around 3,800 (41% of the total first quarter), which gives us hopes that ZOE may be able to reach up to 40,000 sales for the year (in 2016 it was around 22,000)!

Source: Inside EVs via Fuel Included, news

A Total Cost of Ownership Comparison of ZOE Vs CLIO

At Fuel Included, we have run our Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator on a real-life example to help show the way the costs break down, and the considerable savings that can be made.

Today we have gone head to head with an all Electric Renault ZOE Dynamique 40 kWh, and a Petrol engined Renault CLIO Dynamique Nav TCe 90.

Renault ZOE and Renault CLIO

We have taken a commuter travelling into central Milton Keynes each day and parking as our representative driver. These tables show the total monthly cost* by summing all costs for the three year period of the lease and dividing them by 36.

Total Cost of Ownership

Electric ZOE Vs Petrol CLIO cost comparison for 20,000 miles per year
Electric ZOE Vs Petrol CLIO cost comparison for 15,000 miles per year
Electric ZOE Vs Petrol CLIO cost comparison for 10,000 miles per year

Conclusions

Even at the lower ranges of driving there are significant cost savings to be made. However, we see that as the mileage increases, the money to be saved is simply staggering.

Please contact us if you would like us to assess the cost of ownership of an electric car for your use case.

*Assumptions made for these calculations:

  • Petrol price from Sainsbury’s Bedford £1.21 per litre.
  • Electric charging is home charging plus 10 charges per year at £6 per charge from the Ecotricity rapid charge network.
  • CLIO mpg 52 from https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/renault/clio-iv-2013
  • Both cars taken on 3 year PCP. Clio prices from http://offers.renault.co.uk/cars/clio/selection?offer=305 and ZOE prices from our current Fuel Included offer.
  • ZOE miles/kWh 4.5 from manufacturers real-world mileage figure divided by battery capacity.
  • Home charging Economy-7 unit cost 7.5p
  • Tax: Clio 1.2L 118 g/km CO2 = £160 in year 1 and £140 per year subsequently.
  • Parking costs based on person parking 200 working days per year in Milton Keynes town centre

Source: Fuel Included Blog

Like asking a vegetarian to eat meat

Under warranty I took my Renault ZOE into my dealership for a repair following an amber light warning of an electrical fault. I later had a call to say my ZOE would need a new part that was on back-order. It could take up to 4 weeks to get my Electric Car back and whilst I waited I would be sorted out with a regular petrol car arranged through a hire car company.

Renault ZOE showing electrical fault

With no Electric Car solution available, I was given a small, manual transmission, Renault Twingo. I really didn’t want to drive a regular petrol car, not only would I not be driving ‘Green’ but I would also be liable for some hefty parking fees at my place of work and of course the cost of petrol. Parking is usually free for an Electric Car in the city and charging is payable monthly and costs me less than £15 for the month.

Renault Twingo, Hire Car

Having totalled my estimated 4 week spend on parking and fuel at around £250 I asked the dealership if they would cover these costs, incredibly they said no but at my request they gave me the number of Renault Customer Services so I could raise a case with them.

Thankfully the person I spoke to completely understood the situation and took swift action to make sure I had a car within an hour, also agreeing and confirming that all associated costs (parking and fuel) would be paid back to me at the end of the rental (subject to supply of receipts). Phew! – that was at least something.

It’s not ideal, I would still much rather be driving an electric hire/courtesy car, every time I turn the key in the ignition and the engine rumbles to life I can’t help but feel incredibly guilty for my short journeys’ CO2 emissions, it also feels strangely old fashioned.

When explaining the situation to someone they said to me

“well it’s like asking a vegetarian to eat meat for a month”

and in a way I guess it is.