The China-only Renault K-ZE has the potential to be the Dacia of the electric age, offering a 150-mile range for less than £13,000
Verdict: 4* Decent electric range, reasonable performance and impressive quality standards – all at an affordable price. If Renault could add ESP and bring the K-ZE to the UK for less than £13,000, it could repeat the success it found with Dacia in the early 2000s. In fact, the K-ZE has the ability to surpass all other petrol-powered city cars, which due to upcoming emission standards, won’t be quite so affordable any more.
Solid build quality at “shockingly affordable” prices: that’s how Renault made Dacia such a huge success around the world. Now, Renault is getting ready to repeat this coup with an all-new electric vehicle. In China, the French car maker has just presented the K-ZE, which will be built and sold in the world’s largest EV market this summer – before being rolled out globally at a later date.
Groupe Renault CEO Thierry Bolloré told us: ”This is not a Chinese project. It is a global project”. And even if he won’t mention specific regions, there is no doubt Europe is near to the top of the firm’s list. Especially when conventional cars like the Clio will struggle to meet exacting emissions standards due in the coming years.
While most of the industry takes its aim at Tesla, the cheap and cheerful K-ZE is a breath of fresh air. At 3.73m-long, with four proper seats (with a fifth as a spare) and a 300-litre boot, this is a small car with big aspirations. Renault claims a reasonable 150-mile real-world electric range and all for a price of around £13,000 before the usual government subsidies.
Pilot scheme beginning today aims to cut electric vehicles’ running costs and reduce energy usage from 2020
Renault has launched a revolutionary pilot scheme that aims to prove the feasibility of vehicle-to-grid charging systems by placing energy storage units aboard electric vehicles (EVs).
A fleet of Zoes have been adapted to enable reversible charging, which could help to bolster electricity supply at peak times. Renault anticipates that the technology will be ready for installation on customer vehicles as early as next year.
The system enables electric vehicles to stockpile energy supplies at times of low demand and then transfer electricity back to the grid when appropriate. By moderating power usage in this way, it could reduce strain on national electricity infrastructure, promote energy conservation and save its users money on running costs.
The first trials begin today in the Dutch city of Utrecht, in partnership with We Drive Solar, and on the Portuguese island of Porto Santo, where the scheme is backed by energy supplier Empresa de Electricidade da Madeira.
After taking a look at Motor1.com UK’s homepage this week, one could assume the death of the internal combustion engine is right around the corner. That’s not entirely true but it’s more than obvious that nearly every automaker is embracing electrification under full power these days. And the latest to show progress is Renault which is now testing the second-generation Zoe on public roads.
Seen here is a heavily masked prototype of the all-electric car undergoing cold winter evaluations in Northern Europe. Interestingly, the shape of the trial car is almost completely identical to the Zoe that’s still on sale today. The camouflage is not letting us see many details of the body, but it appears that the EV will be slightly larger than its predecessor.
The resemblance to the current Zoe is especially striking at the back where even the light clusters seem to have an identical shape. Up front, we notice a larger Renault logo flanked by sleeker headlights probably using LED technology. Of course, at this early stage of testing, some of our assumptions might not be completely correct.
Renault has sold 200,000 electric vehicles in Europe since its Z.E. range was launched in 2011
In France, the fourth biggest global market, Renault has registered 100,000 electric vehicles
Renault is number one in electric vehicle sales in Europe for the fourth consecutive year
ZOE and Kangoo Z.E. remain the flagship models in the group’s electric offensive
Renault has topped the 200,000 mark for sales of electric vehicles in Europe. At the same time, it has crossed a symbolic milestone in France with 100,000 vehicles registered. This double achievement underlines Renault’s position as leader in the European electric vehicle market, with steady growth in sales.
Almost one electric vehicle in every three sold in Europe is a Renault
A pioneer in electric vehicles with a range launched in 2011, Renault continues to lead the European electric vehicle market for the fourth consecutive year. Almost one electric vehicle in every three on European roads is a Renault. In 2018, Renault sales of electric vehicles in Europe surged by 36%, accelerating strongly in the second half-year to + 62%. In France, Renault holds a 56.8% share of the electric vehicle market, in both passenger cars and LCVs.
“Today, we are proud to say that over 200,000 customers in Europe have chosen Renault to make electric driving part of their everyday lives! And of course this is just a step on a far longer journey. Our clearly stated aim for the past ten years has been to make electric mobility available to everybody. Groupe Renault’s ambition is for electric vehicles to account for 10% of sales by 2022. To achieve this, it will build on the eight electric vehicles that will make up the range by this date,” says Gilles Normand, Senior Vice President, Electric Vehicles, Group Renault.
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.
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.”