Zoe Delivered Without Occasional Charging Cable

Zoe Occasional Charging Cable (Image: Renault)
Zoe Occasional Charging Cable (Image: Renault)

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.

UK Zoe Videos

A couple of UK Renault dealers recently released videos of the Zoe. At a guess, they were made at the same time as the Zoe/Clio VIP events such as the one I attended (see here and here).

There’s one by Evans Halshaw:

and another by Toomey Southend:

In the Toomey one “Charge Time from just 3 Minutes” should presumably have read “Charge Time from just 30 Minutes”.

Britain and Climate Change

Severe Flooding, Against a Background of Wind Turbines: November 2012, Tyringham, Bucks. (Image: T. Larkum)
Severe Flooding, Against a Background of Wind Turbines: November 2012, Tyringham, Bucks. (Image: T. Larkum)

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:

Some general still shots:

Petsoe Manor Wind Turbines

Delay on UK Deliveries: Summer 2013

Renault.co.uk – January 2013
Renault.co.uk – January 2013

It has been widely reported that deliveries of the Zoe have been delayed, but Renault is saying little officially.

Delivery dates for the UK have always been vague. The best indication should be the Renault.co.uk website. I have been monitoring it (specifically the ‘Renault Z.E.’ tab), and this is what I’ve seen:

  • ‘Autumn 2012’ (or similar wording) shown early 2012
  • ‘End of 2012’ shown July 2012
  • ‘Early 2013’ shown August 2012
  • ‘Summer 2013’ showing now
Renault.co.uk – August 2012
Renault.co.uk – August 2012

Human Extinction By Mid-Century?

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!).

Enjoy – but you have been warned!

Marketing Zoe Silently

Stephen Norman Presenting the Renault Twizy (Image: Renault)
Stephen Norman Presenting the Renault Twizy (Image: Renault)

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.”

The Fast and the Furious: Paris Drift

The Fast and the Furious: Paris Drift
The Fast and the Furious: Paris Drift (Image: LoboFakes.com)

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?!

Scale Model Zoe

Zoe Scale Model (Image: T. Larkum)
Zoe Scale Model (Image: T. Larkum)

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.

Zoe Christmas Present (Image: T. Larkum)
Zoe Christmas Present (Image: T. Larkum)

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.