It is no exaggeration to say that I loved the Renault Zoe – and since I drove it at Mallon Motors a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been gabbing to anyone willing to listen that it is the most impressive thing I’ve driven in ages.
Scratch that, obviously the most impressive thing I’ve driven in recent times is the BMW M4, but that was in Mondello and I was wearing a crash helmet. You get the picture.
But the Zoe is different. We’re at a turning point in history – for the first time, despite all the science fiction talk over the past several decades, we’re actually finally at a point where we might actually be on the brink of saying goodbye to the internal combustion engine.
Those who can see into the future say that it will happen suddenly, literally overnight.
Tumbleweed will blow across once vibrant petrol station forecourts.
Nissan/Renault are the first major car company which have brought genuine electric vehicles to the masses.
Tesla may get all the plaudits, but the Nissan Leaf is the first everyday/every(wo)man electric car out there.
And now Nissan’s stablemate, Renault, is pushing its own, the Zoe.
Before I sat into the Zoe I’d never driven a full electric car, and wasn’t sure what to expect.
I had high expectations for my impact on the environment (there would be none), but either low, or no expectations for any other bit of it.
And that’s where I was gloriously wrong. The Zoe was good looking, comfortable and fun to drive.
Electric cars have great torque because the power in them isn’t gradual.
It’s like a light bulk – it’s either on, or off, so the torque is immediate. There’s no lag waiting for the turbo to kick in.
The Zoe I was driving said that I had 210kms in the full battery, but every time you slow down or brake, it’s regenerating the battery, so much so that although I did 18kms in the car, the battery only registered a loss of 13kms. Who’d have thought that stopping at traffic lights would be so rewarding!
The Zoe is Clio/Polo/Fiesta sized, although it is particularly notable how it doesn’t drive like a small car. It’s solid on the road – to such a degree that, notwithstanding the electric element, it’s easily a better car than many similarly sized offerings out there.
Read more: Leinster Leader via Fuel Included
Do you love a playlist? – songs to suit your mood, a situation, time of year, or sometimes even a person.
I find the most fun ones usually pop into my mind without much thought, like going for a run for the first time in too long and immediately thinking i’m Rocky with ‘Eye of the Tiger’ or letting The Cure welcome in the weekend with ‘Friday I’m in Love’.
On my way to work today driving my Renault ZOE I started to think about an Electric Car playlist, here’s what I’ve got so far….
- She’s Electric (Oasis)
- Electric Feel (MGMT)
- Electric Avenue (Eddy Grant)
- It’s Oh So Quiet (Bjork)
- The Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
- Silence is Golden (The Tremeloes)
- Zoom (Commodores)
can you think of any others?
The Renault ZOE has been awarded Best Eco Car at the Parkers New Car Awards 2018. This is further recognition for Renault’s all-electric supermini which boasts the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle at 250 miles (NEDC).
Parkers editor Keith Adams commented:
“The Renault ZOE is currently Europe’s bestselling electric car, and it’s easy to see why. Ownership is painless, and it’s great fun to drive. If your life fits an electric car, buy with confidence.”
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 ZOE now with the Z.E.40 battery, and its 250 mile (NEDC) autonomy, builds on this success and delivers the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle. We’re delighted that Parkers has recognised the ZOE as a pioneer in the electric vehicle sector.”
The Parkers award add to many accolades ZOE has secured and follows the recent ‘Game Changer’ award from Autocar in May. Earlier in the year ZOE was also awarded ‘Best Electric Car 2017’ by What Car? and took the ‘Best Electric Car under £20,000’ for the fourth consecutive year. In February, the Renault ZOE was awarded ‘Best Ultra Low Emission Vehicle’ at the Fleet World Honours 2017.
Read more: Automotive World via Fuel Included news
UK announces ‘innovative’ customs ‘partnership’ for post-Brexit trade, SMMT wants interim single market access
The SMMT and Freight Transport Association (FTA) have largely welcomed the first landmark UK policy paper outlining Britain’s Brexit negotiating strategy with the EU, which involves a proposal for an ‘innovative and untested’ new UK-EU customs ‘partnership’, which would avoid customs checks and enable ‘frictionless’ trade. This would involve importers from outside the UK and EU paying whichever tariff out of the UK or EU is higher, and then reclaiming the difference if the goods are sold in the region with the lower tariff. The plan also includes a transition period where UK customs arrangements remain equivalent to that of the EU; the SMMT, however, continues to call for full single market access during this period.
Customs arrangements are particularly crucial for the automotive industry, due to Rules of Origin requirements as well as ‘just in time’ production lines – and low margins that have little room for flexibility.
However, the SMMT warns that maintaining the substance of customs arrangements will not be enough, and that single market access is also essential for a smooth transition period. Hawes says:
‘To maintain frictionless trade and ensure business only has to adjust to one change, interim arrangements must retain membership of a customs union with the EU and full participation in the single market. Any other arrangement risks additional administration, delays and costs, undermining the competitiveness of UK exporters and increasing the costs of imports. We will continue to work with government to try and avoid such an outcome.’
Read more: Autovista Group via Fuel Included news