Latest on UK Orders

As described in my previous post, I now have a deposit taken for my Zoe order. The dealership has been trying to put its orders onto the system today. However they have had an email from Renault saying that the dealer ordering system will open on the 9th. At that point they will have all the ordering system codes etc.

Meanwhile, the basic information available is a release from Renault dated 30 October, of which I have a paper copy. It gives the following prices:

Expression: £14,444

Dynamique Zen: £15,666

Dynamique Intens: £15,666

Delivery Charge: £595

Registration: £55

Battery lease: £70 per month for 7,500 miles per year. £77 for 9,000 miles. £85 for 10,500 miles. £93 for 12,000.

UK Zoe Orders Are Now Open

Zoe at Marshall Renault in September
Zoe at Marshall Renault in September

At about 6pm last night, while trawling for Zoe news, I came across some reports just released on UK websites stating that orders for the Zoe were open. The terminology, however, was confused with Autocar and Auto Express saying ‘Zoe now available to order’ while Automotive Management Online and Car Enthusiast talk about ‘pre-orders’.

Zoe On Charge
Zoe On Charge

I immediately rang my local Renault dealer, Marshall in Milton Keynes, and got a call back this morning confirming that Zoe prices had been announced and that they were able to take orders. I gave mine immediately over the ‘phone, with a £250 deposit. This afternoon I called in to pick up the paperwork. Although I was told that the computer ordering will actually start tomorrow morning, so far as I know my order is now official. Furthermore, Marshall has taken three orders already today, including mine.

Rear View
Rear View

So the best advice seems to be to get to your local Renault dealer immediately to put in your order, and so get on the delivery ‘waiting list’ as soon as possible. Official delivery on the order is given as ‘March/April’.

Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change

A Satellite Image of Hurricane Sandy (Image: NASA via Getty Images)
A Satellite Image of Hurricane Sandy (Image: NASA via Getty Images)

New York State is currently suffering the impact and effects of Hurricane Sandy (the so-called ‘Frankenstorm’). That has necessarily led to a lot of online discussion, and, of course, rant, on whether it was caused by global warming. Here are some example articles that caught my attention:

The big question everyone wants answered is ‘Was Hurricane Sandy caused by climate change?’ And, of course, it’s a question to which we don’t know the answer, nor could ever expect to know the answer. Climate change can make such events more statistically likely, or more energetic, but it doesn’t cause any particular event – there were hurricanes before climate change, as is well known.

A better question is ‘Did climate change have an effect on Hurricane Sandy?’ and that seems to be a question we can attempt to answer. Essentially the effects of climate change are higher sea levels, more energetic winds and more water in the atmosphere, each of which likely contributed to making Sandy impact worse than it would otherwise have been.

Overall I would say the Guardian article addresses the issues most thoroughly and objectively. However, from the Washington Post article I’ll take the best summary:

“The endless debates about whether this or that particular hurricane can be blamed on global warming are fascinating. But they can also distract from the more basic fact that our cities and infrastructure are quite vulnerable to future temperature increases and sea-level rise. And Hurricane Sandy, unfortunately, is a grim reminder of that.”

Zoe in the Flesh

Zoe Up Close
Zoe Up Close

Last month I finally got to see a Zoe ‘in the flesh’ at my local Renault dealer. It was a left-hand-drive example that I understand was conducting a familiarisation tour of dealers. I only had a brief time to take a look at it as it was on a tight timetable – there was unfortunately no time or opportunity for a test drive.

Rear Three-Quarter View
Rear Three-Quarter View

I was given a brief tour by Andy Heiron, who took time to me show me around it and to describe some of its key features, including the charging system, EV tyres and R-Link.

Interior, with R-Link Multimedia System
Interior, with R-Link Multimedia System

I learnt some interesting points of information:

    • Although this Zoe was fitted with 17” alloy wheels – as are many of the examples seen in publicity shots – the special EV tyres developed by Michelin for the Zoe are only available for the 15” and 16” wheels. These EV tyres can give up to 10% improvement in range compared to other tyres.
17” Alloy Wheels
17” Alloy Wheels
  • Deliveries will take place in the fourth quarter of 2012 in France, but will not happen in the UK before the end of the first quarter of 2013.
  • The Zoe is currently ‘on tour’ as part of the Z.E. Tour 2012 but is only on static display at those events. UK customers will instead get a chance to see the Zoe close up at official dealer ‘VIP’ evenings during November.
  • Orders for the first UK deliveries will be taken in January and February.

My personal impressions of the Zoe were very positive, though I didn’t have a lot of time with it. I sat in the back and found it fairly spacious and overall the vehicle seemed slightly bigger than I expected. It seemed smart and well made.

Boot with Charging Cables
Boot with Charging Cables

The boot, though full of a variety of charging cables, was a good size. I also liked the rear door handles which are very neatly built in to the window frames. Overall I was very pleased with what I saw and look forward to getting my own Zoe as soon as possible.

Rear Door Handles
Rear Door Handles

Your one stop source for news and updates on the Renault ZOE. For the latest prices and deals with free charging visit FuelIncluded.com.