There have been discussions on the French Zoe forum about the occasional use charging cable that is available for the Zoe, similar to that for the Fluence and Kangoo. This type of cable is not the one that is used to connect to a dedicated wallbox EVSE. Instead it is for charging away from home by plugging directly into a domestic socket, for example when visiting relatives (and is therefore sometimes known as a ‘granny cable’).
In particular there have been complaints at the suggestion that it might not come free automatically with the car. A recent article now indicates that it won’t even be available as an option when the Zoe is first delivered, but it may become available at an unspecified later date. The reason given is that it has not passed long term testing.
Meanwhile another French site has given the revised date for the first Zoe deliveries as June.
A recent press release caught my eye about the My Solar Port, a car port with solar panels for charging an EV. It sounds like a neat idea and could be a good solution for homes without garages and/or a roof suitable for solar panels.
During November our local area experienced severe flooding, as did much of the UK, of course. I stopped on the way to work one day to take the picture above as it seemed to say something about the situation we are currently experiencing, and the changes we need to go through (i.e. more renewable energy to slow down climate change and hence the increase of flooding).
Today I became curious about the wind farm in the background and did a bit of research. It is the ‘Milton Keynes Wind Farm’ at Petsoe Manor, Emberton. Presumably it is so named because it was one of the first in the area – others have been installed since, with more planned. I wondered if it might be open to the public, so I could visit it, but I understand now that it isn’t.
There’s an interesting time-lapse video showing it being constructed:
A bite-sized video (from Climate Crocks) summarising the state of climate change in 2012. It does not contain a lot of data or reasoned arguments, but it is neatly effective in the way it intercuts clips from Cloverfield, news of severe weather events and rising temperatures with leading deniers (such as Inhofe and the Heartland Institute) claiming that the climate is cooling.
In this thought-provoking presentation Guy MacPherson, award winning conservation biologist and Professor Emeritus University of Arizona, gives his assessment of the current global situation. His forecast is, to be honest, very depressing!
The talk is in two halves. The first half is the bad news – a detailed run-through of the most recent research papers published on climate change. The following is a summary quote:
“Methane release will accelerate exponentially, release huge quantities of methane into the atmosphere and lead to the demise of all life on earth before the middle of this century (2031 for the Northern Hemisphere)”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the second half is the ‘good’ news – the global economy will collapse and, if we’re lucky, it will happen fast enough and therefore CO2 emissions will reduce fast enough, that we may avert the worst climate change outcomes:
“Only economic collapse can prevent runaway global climate change and allows for continued persistence of our species on this planet”
It ends with an exhortation to each of us as individuals to change our ways and adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
Although his predictions are dire, from what I’ve learnt studying climate change his views are based on valid data so he appears to me to be on solid ground, at least for the first half of his talk. If anyone can see any flaws, however, please comment (if only to reassure that things aren’t really as bad as he says!).
Autocar has a recent article where Renault marketing boss Stephen Norman talks about Renault’s disappointing EV sales globablly, and the marketing planned for Zoe:
“We need to communicate the autonomy of the vehicles, and let people know more about what they can do. I think people invent constraints the cars don’t have.”
“Our next task is to get up off our backsides and sell them, not talk about what we’re going to be doing in 2030. There are so many messages to transmit on the electric car; we need to make the push.”
Renault will launch the Renault Zoe with a campaign centred on the silence of the drivetrain, a theme it will use for all of its electric cars. While Norman admitted people won’t buy them solely because they’re silent, it’s a quality that suggests engineering excellence and efficiency.
“People need to drive it, too. It’s ever so quick, and the brakes are very powerful.”
As we reported a while back, the French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg took a test drive in a Zoe and admitted to somewhat exceeding the speed limit, despite the presence of numerous journalists. This has inspired the French satire website LoboFakes to create a poster to mark the occasion in the style of the street racing film ‘The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift‘ but this time starring Montebourg and the Zoe (in suitable racing paintwork).
So who will be the first owner to really pimp their Zoe, I wonder?!
A surprise Christmas present arrived this week, slightly late for Christmas – a scale model of the production version of the Zoe, courtesy of Renault. It came out of the blue, without warning. It is quite different from the Zoe Concept available to buy from the ZE shop.
It came with a message:
“On behalf of the whole Renault ZOE team, I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Stephen Norman, Director Global Marketing and Communications
It’s a nicely made model, in a clear plastic presentation case. It arrived well packaged.
However, personally, I would rather have had news of when my ordered Zoe might arrive. Keeping the customer updated is to me the most important job of marketing and communications.
News and comment on the Renault ZOE electric car – quiet, lively, and non-polluting for £300 per month including fuel.