E. Leclerc and Renault take a further step forward in making electric mobility available to everybody

December 18, 2012 | ID: 41791
Carlos TAVARES, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group and Michel-Edouard LECLERC, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc (Image: Renault)
Carlos TAVARES, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group and Michel-Edouard LECLERC, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc (Image: Renault)
  • Renault and E. Leclerc are confirming their commitment to sustainable development and electric mobility in France, with the launch of the “Z.E. Club des 50”, which will function from early 2013. In each region, an E. Leclerc centre and a Renault dealership will work together through the Club to deploy charging stations and thus make Zero Emission mobility available to the greatest number.
  • In Brittany, the E. Leclerc centre of Pont l’Abbé and the Renault dealership in Quimper are the first members of this Club, which aims to bring together players and ambassadors of electric mobility in each region. Heralding this initiative, ten Renault ZOE vehicles will be delivered today to Patrick Bellec owner of the E. Leclerc centre in Pont l’Abbé, at a ceremony attended by Michel-Edouard Leclerc, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc, and Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group.

The ten Renault ZOE vehicles ordered by Patrick Bellec at the Paris Motor Show are intended for use as company cars, to be driven by ten employees from the store who have fitted wall boxes for home charging. The employees will also be able to recharge their cars at work, where 11 stations, or 22 sockets, are available in the car park of the E. Leclerc centre in Pont l’Abbé. This equipment will be accessible to all owners of electric vehicles.

Carlos TAVARES, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group and Michel-Edouard LECLERC, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc (Image: Renault)
Carlos TAVARES, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group and Michel-Edouard LECLERC, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc (Image: Renault)

As France’s leading retailer, E. Leclerc encourages more responsible consumption practices and has long been committed to protecting the environment. As part of this approach, E. Leclerc has joined forces with a number of manufacturers, including Renault, and with the authorities, to encourage the use of electric vehicles in France, by installing charging stations in its store car parks. Today, it is taking the process one step further at Pont l’Abbe with the creation of the Renault – E. Leclerc, “Zero Emission” club and the delivery of the very first ZOE vehicles.

Currently, more than 20 E. Leclerc centres have made charging stations available to their customers. The “Z.E. Club des 50”, establishing local links between Renault and E. Leclerc, should become the “Z.E. Club des 500” in the longer term, bringing together the 500 E. Leclerc members investing in Z.E. and the 500 Renault dealers present across France. The club’s objective will be to develop electric mobility in France, by raising public awareness through communication initiatives. This will involve presenting products on the respective sites of both companies, developing charging stations at Leclerc centres, organizing joint initiatives with municipalities and maintaining an ongoing dialogue between management committees locally.

Carlos TAVARES, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group, Michel-Edouard LECLERC, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc and Patrick BELLEC, owner of the E. Leclerc centre in Pont l’Abbé (Image: Renault)
Carlos TAVARES, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group, Michel-Edouard LECLERC, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc and Patrick BELLEC, owner of the E. Leclerc centre in Pont l’Abbé (Image: Renault)

The E. Leclerc centre in Pont l’Abbé and the Renault Quimper dealership, which is part of the Bodemer Group, are the first members of this club bringing together players and ambassadors of electric mobility in Finistère and Brittany.

The ten Renault ZOE vehicles delivered today are forerunners to the mass launch across the Renault network in spring 2013. With ZOE, Renault makes zero emission mobility available to the greatest number. ZOE is the first supermini designed as a car that is 100% electric and priced at an affordable €13,700 incl. VAT (price in France, after deduction of the tax incentive). It embodies Renault electrical expertise with the most advanced electrical technology. More than sixty patents were filed as part of the design process for ZOE. Currently being rolled out across France, ZOE is spearheading Renault’s electric range, with a range of 210 km over an NEDC cycle.

Michel-Edouard Leclerc, Chairman of Centres E. Leclerc, said: “Our commitments to environmental protection. Mobility is indissociable from the hypermarket concept. Our role is to innovate, to develop new practices and encourage the general public to adopt them. The partnership between our network of members and the dealers will enable us to provide a good level of coverage nationwide. We will be potential partners, able to support municipalities in promoting new clean transport offerings.”

Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer, Renault group, said: “Alongside the order placed for the Renault ZOE vehicles by E. Leclerc in Pont-l’Abbé, I would like to praise the commitment shown by Michel-Edouard Leclerc and his members in supporting the deployment of electric vehicles in France. Through the coverage of the Renault network, combined with that of the E. Leclerc centres, we have an opportunity to make more charging stations available to our customers for their day-to-day needs. The local partnership between Mr Bellec and the Renault dealership in Quimper, which is part of the Bodemer Group, will provide access to innovation for the greatest number. The aim of the E. Leclerc-Renault Club will be to step up the pace of this process across France.”

Patrick Bellec, owner of the E. Leclerc centre in Pont l’Abbé, has organized many initiatives promoting sustainable development since opening his store. In his car park, with its photovoltaic panel lamps and drainage channels to recover wastewater, he already has two Fluence Z.E. and four Twizy. “We’ve been making active efforts to promote sustainable development for a number of years. We were the first hypermarket to draw up a carbon audit and to seek to reduce our carbon footprint, to make electric bikes available to personnel, and to rent out hybrid cars. So it was only natural for us to be the first to welcome electric cars,” explains Patrick Bellec.

About Renault:

The Renault group, present in 118 countries, designs, develops, manufactures and sells passenger cars and light commercial vehicles under the Renault, Dacia and Renault Samsung Motors brands. To meet the new challenges facing the automotive industry, both environmental and economic, Renault is implementing a two-pronged strategy: improvements to existing technologies with new generations of carbon-efficient engines, and the breakthrough “Zero Emission” programme. Renault launched a zero-emission range in 2011 with Fluence ZE and Kangoo ZE, followed in 2012 by Twizy, an innovative urban quadricyle, and ZOE, launched at the Paris Motor Show. This range makes innovation affordable to the greatest number. With its partner Nissan, Renault is targeting world leadership in the mass marketing of zero-emission vehicles

More information on www.renault.com and http://media.renault.com

About E. Leclerc:

With 560 stores in France and 530 members, E. Leclerc is France’s leading retailer. It reported revenue of €15.2 billion in first-half 2012 (excluding fuel), an increase of 8.3%. Reflecting its ranking, E. Leclerc has market share of 18 .1%, up 0.8 points. These results can be attributed to the policy pursued by E.Leclerc since its founding in 1949: continuous efforts to keep prices down and a single business model based on decentralized, cooperative and participative organization. The members of the E. Leclerc movement, who are independent entrepreneurs, share the same aim: to enable consumers to live better and spend less, through innovative and responsible initiatives, charging the lowest prices for a comparative level of quality. As grass-roots players in local communities, these members make the long-term investments necessary to ensure that E. Leclerc centres meet the needs of their customers and defend their day-to-day purchasing power.

Find out more: www.e-leclerc.com

Italian Zoe Electric Taxi Experiment

URI Zoe Electric Taxi (Image: UriTaxi.it)
URI Zoe Electric Taxi (Image: UriTaxi.it)

Renault and the URI(Union of Radio-taxi of Italy) will kick off in the spring of 2013 the first trial of 100% electric taxis, beginning in Rome and using the Renault ZOE.

The project involves the introduction of about 20 Renault ZOE in the taxi fleet of 3570, the largest radio taxi cooperative in Europe and part of the URI. It is one element of a wider program, ‘Going Green’, launched in July 2012 to evolve the taxi service to more sustainable mobility, with a pattern of taxi charging and fleet management with environmental sustainability unprecedented in Europe.

Renault presents the keys of the first ZOE to Arnaud Montebourg

MONDAY 17TH DECEMBER 2012 

Renault presents the keys of the first ZOE to Arnaud Montebourg 

Renault ZOE delivered by Carlos Tavares to Arnaud Montebourg
Renault ZOE delivered by Carlos Tavares to Arnaud Montebourg
  • Renault has presented the keys of the first ZOE to Arnaud Montebourg, French Minister of Industrial Recovery.
  • The first delivery of ZOE, the first broadly affordable full-electric car, comes ahead of further deliveries set for between now and the end of 2012 and mass launch in the French Renault network in first-quarter 2013.
  • The delivery is fully in line with the French government’s policy, as set out in the “Plan Automobile”, of building a sector of clean and competitive vehicles. It also underscores the importance of introducing an extensive network of charging stations. 

After ordering a vehicle at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012, Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Industrial Recovery, was presented today with the keys to the first ZOE in the Cour d’Honneur of the Bercy Finance Ministry by Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of the Renault group.

ZOE, the spearhead of Renault’s Z.E. range, is the Group’s first full-electric car. In France, the widely affordable car qualifies for a €7,000 government environmental bonus, bringing the starting price in France down to €13,700 (including VAT).  

ZOE targets private buyers and business customers alike. It is ideal for daily journeys and embodies Renault’s excellence in electric technology. The mobility-enhancing model features the most advanced technology in terms of range, user friendliness (with the installation of a charging station at motorists’ homes or workplaces) and connectivity. It is a key symbol of the Group’s commitment to the electric revolution.

The Minister of Industrial Recovery is the first customer to take delivery of ZOE before mass launch across the Renault’s French network in spring 2013.  

Commenting, Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of the Renault group, said: “The first ZOE delivery is a vital step in Renault’s electric vehicle offensive, aimed at making zero-emission mobility affordable for the greatest number. The commitment of the government and Mr Montebourg, as confirmed today, is a decisive advantage for making France a robust cornerstone of electric vehicle development and serves to reinforce Renault’s position as a French champion on the international stage.”  

The launch will be accompanied by the widespread development of public and private charging stations with the support of the taskforce headed by Philippe Hirtzman and tasked with stimulating and backing infrastructure projects in large urban agglomerations. 

The initiative is ideally embodied in the installation by the Ministry of Industrial Recovery of charging stations at the Bercy Finance Ministry. The move is part of the “Plan Automobile” announced by the French government on July 25, 2012 and providing for the installation of charging stations at government ministries and the inclusion of electric vehicles in public fleets. 

Key figures:

  • At end-October 2012, Renault had put 16,600 electric vehicles on the road in Europe.
  • At end-September 2012, Renault led the European electric PC + LCV market (excluding Twizy) with a 28.2% share.
  • Renault led the French EV market with sales of 4,566 units (including 1,999 Twizys) at end-October 2012.
  • Some 10,000 charging stations had been installed in Europe at end-2011. This figure has now risen to roughly 15,000 (up 50% on end-2011).
  • In France, the 2,000 to 3,000 Autolib stations are accessible to other EVs besides the Bluecars. Considerable efforts have been made in the Seine Aval area, in the Alsace, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Nord-Pas-de-Calais regions, and in cities such as Rennes, Rouen and Angoulême. 

Latest on UK Orders 2

My Zoe Order (Image: T. Larkum)
My Zoe Order (Image: T. Larkum)

As I described previously, when my Zoe order was taken at my local Renault dealer at the very end of October I was informed that the required computer codes were not available, so the order could not be entered onto the Renault order computer until 9 November. After that things went very quiet – I have learnt since that the salesman I was dealing with had moved on. Anyway, I have a new contact at the dealership and my order has been confirmed (see picture).

As can be seen, the estimated delivery is March/April 2013.

From a recent visit I learnt that the latest expected date for the computerised ordering to become available is 2 January. At that point, fingers crossed, each order should have assigned to it a specific vehicle, with chassis number, and – it is to be hoped – a more definite delivery date.

Main Message at Zoe Launch is Silence

Zoe (Image: Renault)
Zoe (Image: Renault)

According to an article in Auto-Industry-Digest, Renault has performed an about-turn on its brand strategy as it tries to curb declining sales and under-utilisation of its factories. Renault now wants to find a niche somewhere between premium and mainstream brands. Renault has Dacia as a ‘smart buy’ brand to fill in at the lower end of the market, leaving itself clear to try to shift its image closer to that of Volkswagen. Renault also intends to add more diversity to its range.

Renault has recently launched the fourth-generation Clio as the staple of its range and will soon begin filling in niches, starting with a small Clio-based crossover early next year. A ‘cargo’ version of the Twizy electric quadricycle with extra storage space is also likely to appear in 2013.

However, Renault will use the quietness of electric cars as its main sales weapon when it introduces the Zoe, a battery-powered small hatchback, to the UK next year.

The French company already has three electric vehicles on sale in the UK – the mid-sized Fluence saloon, the scooter-like Twizy and a Kangoo van – and has been stressing advantages such as low operating costs to try to sell them. But with electric vehicle sales way below expectations so far, the Zoe is seen by Renault as the model which could make a breakthrough, so getting the sales message right is crucial.

Global sales and marketing director Stephen Norman, in an interview with Headlineauto, has said:

“When we launch in the UK the main message is going to be one of silence.

“We’re not pleased about the level of sales, but we are the European market leaders and, with Nissan, world leaders. The principal reason the market is not expanding more quickly is that the infrastructure is arriving more slowly than we thought.

“We also have work to do on our marketing communications. But what I don’t see in any market is a resistance to electric vehicles on a cultural level. We haven’t been able to communicate clearly enough with potential customers about what these vehicles are capable of doing.

“We have to get people into a position where they say ‘Why would I not have a Zoe?’”

Exxon Hates Your Children, Time for Choosing Sides

I came across two very different videos this week, both giving food for thought.

The first one is controversial – part of the ‘Exxon Hates Your Children‘ campaign. Its aim being to demonise Exxon for its role in global warming. While I can understand the sentiment, I’m not sure we are yet at the stage where it’s appropriate to blame oil companies for feeding the addiction, rather than accepting our own responsibility for the demand for fossil fuels.

The second is a more personal view about taking a stand on Climate Change from a New Yorker, after Sandy: ‘The Time For Choosing Sides On Climate Change Is Now’:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Service Interruption

Early yesterday morning my server host provider, EUKHost.com, upgraded the server that hosts MyRenaultZoe.com without warning. A backup from earlier in the week was applied so posts and comments from the end of the week were lost. I have re-entered the ‘VIP Evening Part 2’ post as best as I remember it.

If you commented in the last few days and your comment is not showing please repeat it. I apologise for the interruption.

Zoe VIP Evening Part 2

Reversing Camera - at far right above number plate (Image: T. Larkum)
Reversing Camera – at far right above number plate (Image: T. Larkum)

Here are some more photographs from the VIP Evening. Some of them show details that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

Rear Parking Sensors - just visible in bumper (Image: T. Larkum)
Rear Parking Sensors – just visible in bumper (Image: T. Larkum)

Another attendee, Anthony, has given me some more details of the part I missed (thanks, Anthony). First there was registration, on an iPad, followed by drinks. The new Clio was there, covered up. The launch started with a welcome from the dealer, who then introduced two guys from Renault (Fusion). They uncovered the Clio and then took everyone around it, introducing all its new features. Anthony missed the next bit but doesn’t believe there was a similar reveal for the Zoe. He did learn, however, that test drives are being offered at the dealer (in Milton Keynes) from around 19th January 2013.

R-Link Multimedia System, Steering Wheel with Cruise Control Speed Buttons (Image: T. Larkum)
R-Link Multimedia System, Steering Wheel with Cruise Control Speed Buttons (Image: T. Larkum)
Controls to the Right Side of the Driver - Pedestrian Sound, Lights, Charge Door (Image: T. Larkum)
Controls to the Right Side of the Driver – Pedestrian Sound, Lights, Charge Door (Image: T. Larkum)
Centre Console with Cruise Control, Eco Button, Drive Selector and SD/USB slot (Image: T. Larkum)
Centre Console with Cruise Control, Eco Button, Drive Selector and SD/USB slot (Image: T. Larkum)
Charge and Range Indicator (Image: T. Larkum)
Charge and Range Indicator (Image: T. Larkum)
Driver's Door with Controls for Wing Mirrors, Windows and Child Lock (Image: T. Larkum)
Driver’s Door with Controls for Wing Mirrors, Windows and Child Lock? (Image: T. Larkum)
Driver's Right Hand Stalks: Volume/Telephone, Wipers (Image: T. Larkum)
Driver’s Right Hand Stalks: Volume/Telephone, Wipers (Image: T. Larkum)
Rear Door Handle - Closed (Image: T. Larkum)
Rear Door Handle – Closed (Image: T. Larkum)
Rear Door Handle - Open (Image: T. Larkum)
Rear Door Handle – Open (Image: T. Larkum)
Charge Cable with Type 2 'Mennekes' Connector (Image: T. Larkum)
Charge Cable with Type 2 ‘Mennekes’ Connector (Image: T. Larkum)

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