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

Climate Change is Simple

For a clear and straightforward summary of the current climate change situation this video presentation by David Roberts (edited by Ryan Cooper) is highly recommended:

It is certainly difficult for me to watch something like that and not feel the need to change my ways. For me that’s not just having solar panels and buying an electric car, but also seeing what else I can do to reduce my carbon footprint.

What about you? If you have any comments, please reply below.

Zoe Best Green Car at Paris Motor Show

Zoe Garners Awards at Paris Motor Show (Image: Renault)
Zoe Garners Awards at Paris Motor Show (Image: Renault)

The Zoe has been voted ‘Best Green Car’ of the 2012 Paris Motor Show by listeners of French radio station RTL and readers of the magazine Auto Plus. The new Clio was awarded ‘Best Production Car’; both were chosen from a shortlist of around 10 cars pre-selected by journalists from RTL and Auto Plus.

Zoe claimed 51 per cent of the votes in the ‘Best Green Car of the 2012 Paris Motor Show’, a sign, according to Renault, that the public sees the Zoe as a real car which combines attractive lines and innovative technologies with extreme respect for the environment.

According to Carlos Tavares, Renault’s Chief Operating Officer:

“These awards recognise the renewal process that the Renault range has undergone. They also mirror the outstanding welcome these two sensuous and innovative models have received from the public.”

DHL Orders Zoe and Ambitious Nissan-Renault EV Target

Kangoo Z.E. in DHL Livery (Image: Renault)
Kangoo Z.E. in DHL Livery (Image: Renault)

Today Renault announced that it will supply DHL France with a fleet of electric vehicles by 2015. DHL has already confirmed an order of 50 vehicles, comprising both Kangoo Z.E. and ZOE, to be delivered between now and 2015.

François Guionnet, director of Renault Parc Entreprises, said:

“Renault is particularly proud to take part in this key stage of DHL’s GoGreen Program, which aims to reduce the carbon emissions of DHL by 30% by 2020.”

Meanwhile Hideaki Watanabe, Managing Director of Zero Emission Vehicles, Renault-Nissan BV, has been busy giving presentations at the Paris Motor Show. A week ago, while promoting the Zoe, he gave an upbeat interview where he stated the Alliance’s ambitious plans to have 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2016. This has been reported as a significant increase in the target.

A couple of days later, he was advocating the development of a large charging infrastructure, with particular emphasis on fast chargers:

“Owners of electric vehicles are very positive about the cars, saying the cars are changing their mobility habits. But they are expecting a greatly expanded infrastructure. Put simply, the more quick chargers you have, the more EV users there will be… and the lower the levels of CO2 there will be in the atmosphere.”

In parallel Béatrice Foucher called for a joint effort to install more chargers:

“There are currently 20,000 charging points across Europe… but this is insufficient. At this stage of EV development there needs to be at least 50,000 points in place. Increasing this number is a collaborative project. Everyone – car makers, local authorities, utility companies – must work together if Europe is to be truly EV ready.”

French Industry Minister Drives Renault Zoe

French Industry Minister Test Drives a Zoe (Image: MyELifeNow.blogspot.fr)
French Industry Minister Test Drives a Zoe (Image: MyELifeNow.blogspot.fr)

Yesterday My ELife Now reported on a BFMTV item where the French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg took a test drive in a Zoe:

“Probably one of the best commercial for Renault’s new main stream EV, ZOE!”

Under Zoe’s Bonnet (Image: MyELifeNow.blogspot.fr)
Under Zoe’s Bonnet (Image: MyELifeNow.blogspot.fr)

The same site has had good coverage recently of the Zoe, including:

Edit 8th October: More links (see Replies):

Edit 11th October: Another link:

News and comment on the Renault ZOE electric car – quiet, lively, and non-polluting for £300 per month including fuel.