I recently attended a VIP Evening at my local Renault dealer (Marshall in Bletchley) which was an opportunity to see the Zoe and the new Clio. Unfortunately, due to a conflicting family commitment, I was unable to catch the main presentation. However I did get an opportunity to sit in, look around and photograph the Zoe.
Here’s a selection of general shots – I’ll follow up with some more detailed photographs in my next post.
Launched at the Paris Motor Show, the new 100%-electric Renault ZOE is ready to hit the UK streets in 2013. This sleek, stylish supermini is noiseless, easy to charge and, when you put your foot down, it accelerates like a charm. As well as being superbly stylish and a dream to drive, the Renault ZOE has everything you need to travel in comfort, from advanced climate-control to a voice-activated satnav. So just relax and learn to love driving again, with the new Renault ZOE.
FREE CHARGE POINT AT YOUR HOME
Great news! British Gas, Renault’s preferred supplier of home-charging solutions, has partnered with the POLAR UK charging network to provide a free Chargemaster Homecharge-i in the home of anyone living in London, the East of England, the Midlands and Milton Keynes. And that’s not all, as well as a charge point at your home, you also get access to 1,500 public charging points around the country! Contact our Customer Relations team on 08000 723372 for full details.
Wards Auto has a news item with the headline ‘Renault Suspends Zoe EV Launch to Clear Way for Clio’. It quotes Carlos Tavares, Renault COO, as saying that Renault is postponing the full launch of its Zoe electric vehicle until next year. The delay is linked to the eurozone economic crisis, which has resulted in Renault having too many new products arriving at the same time. The implication is that Zoe is being delayed so as not to overshadow the release of the Clio, with Tavares saying:
“I will turn over the keys to the first Zoe by the end of the year”
“If one launch follows another too closely we lose the power of the launch for marketing and commercialization.”
The delay has apparently been confirmed by French customers on the Zoe ZE Forum, with delivery dates as late as May being suggested.
Personally I don’t believe that the Clio launch is the primary reason for the delay – after all the Zoe was launched in March and the Clio was launched in September so, all other things being equal, there was no need to artificially separate delivery dates – or else, logically, it would be the Clio deliveries that should be delayed. I would guess, therefore, that there is a technical issue with the Zoe EV that has caused the delay (further problems with the R-Link perhaps) whereas the conventional Clio is a more straightforward launch.
I have the impression that electric cars are becoming more common in the UK – I hope it’s not just wishful thinking. I have previously reported seeing two electric cars near Northampton. Recently I have seen two more, two different Nissan LEAFs, one in the west of Northampton and one in the south.
Of course, it’s possible that I’m just getting better at recognising electric cars, as increasingly they look very similar to conventional cars – a trend that will definitely accelerate with the Zoe since it is almost indistinguishable from the new Renault Clio.
On Wednesday, November 21, actress Diane Kruger, arrived in an electric Renault ZOE to switch on the Christmas lights that will illuminate the world’s most beautiful avenue until January 9, 2013.
Renault has been official partner of the Champs-Elysées Christmas lights since 2012.
New, more environmentally friendly lights
From November 21, 2012, the lights will adorn 200 trees along more than a mile of the Champs-Elysées. This year again will see more environmentally friendly third-generation LED lights, reflecting Renault’s priorities. The new technology will also reduce the energy bill. Some of the 38,000 kWh that will be consumed during the operation will be supplied by the Thémis solar farm in the eastern Pyrénées.
Renault, the “natural” partner of the Christmas lights
Renault was the first carmaker to open premises on the world’s most beautiful avenue, 100 years ago.
Innovative electric lights? Renault has innovation in its genes and develops affordable technologies in anticipation of customers’ expectations. Renault is the only carmaker to sell a full range of electric vehicles at affordable retail prices: Kangoo Z.E, Fluence Z.E. Twizy and ZOE.
Environmentally-aware Christmas lights? Renault launched a strong environmental approach in 1995, which takes into account the environmental impacts of all the company’s activities, at every stage in the life cycle of a car. The Renault eco2 label represents that commitment.
In the middle of the Champs-Elysées : L’Atelier Renault
For the second year in a row, visitors to the illuminated Champs-Elysées are welcome to drop in at L’Atelier Renault to prolong the magical experience. L’Atelier Renault Café has even designed an “Illuminations” (“Christmas Lights”) cocktail, which can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
About L’Atelier Renault
Open daily from 10:30 am to 11:30 pm (and to 1:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays), L’Atelier Renault organizes special events year-round themed on Renault and the latest Renault news. With its suspended walkways and mezzanine overlooking the exhibition space, the L’Atelier Renault Café restaurant and bar is open from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm for lunch and from 4:00 pm until closing for dinner or simply to unwind for a moment on the most beautiful avenue in the world. The venue also features a vehicle sales outlet, a Renault shop where visitors can find brand merchandising, and a free WiFi hot spot.
It was announced yesterday that the Zoe has a leading role in a new French romantic comedy called ‘Un Prince Presque Charmant’ (A Prince Almost Charming). It is directed by Philippe Lellouche and produced by Luc Besson.
It is about a couple who have nothing in common but are brought together by a Zoe; it is due to be released on 9 January 2013.
I saw my first UK TV advert for an electric car this week, a Nissan LEAF:
Car manufacturers are notoriously reluctant to advertise electric cars, perhaps because they don’t feel that the resulting sales (which, let’s be honest, will be smaller than an equivalent fossil car for some time to come) justify the high costs. It is therefore refreshing to see one on TV – even if it was late at night on a satellite channel. Who knows, maybe Renault will be next with one for the Zoe – fingers crossed!
Renault have released a new commercial video for the Zoe – it came out last month but I missed it then (a nod to My E-Life Now for pointing it out). Personally I think it’s a bit too ‘eco’, tree-hugger style, which I don’t think is the best way to sell large quantities of the Zoe to the mass market.
But anyway, I’d say it’s certainly better than the previous one which told you nothing at all about the Zoe, and didn’t even show it well. I guess it was a ‘teaser’ to start interest – I certainly couldn’t see it getting many people to look into buying one.
RENAULT INTRODUCES THE WORLD’S LARGEST PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEM IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
This week Renault is introducing 40 hectares of photovoltaic panels simultaneously at six of its French production sites. The initiative further confirms Renault’s environmental commitment and is also an innovative way of protecting new vehicles before they leave plants.
Renault this week is introducing 400,000 square meters (equal to 60 soccer pitches) of photovoltaic panels, making the system the world’s largest in the automotive industry. The panels are located at six covered, ISO 14001-certified sites – Douai, Maubeuge, Flins, Batilly, Sandouville and Cléon – in delivery and shipping centers and employee parking areas.
The entire surface area is covered with photovoltaic panels developing total power of 59 MW and able to produce 52,600 MWh of electricity a year, enough for a town of 15,000 people. On average, photovoltaic solar plants have total power of around 1 MW.
The system is made up as follows:
Panel Surface area (m2)
Electricity production (MWh a yr)
Renault’s photovoltaic installations will help to make a 200-tonne reduction in the CO2 emitted annually by electric engine production (calculated on the basis of the energy mix in France), the equivalent of 550 round-the-world trips by an internal-combustion vehicle emitting an average 100 g/km of CO2 or a fleet of roughly 1,500 vehicles each travelling 15,000 km a year.
The photovoltaic system also showcases the Group’s expertise in renewable energies. Sustainable ratings agencies have for a number of years ranked Renault among the most “virtuous” companies in terms of environmental management, particularly on carbon strategy. Renault continued to figure among the frontrunners in the 2011 rankings from SAM, Carbon Disclosure Project and Oekow Research.
The initiative is also an innovative way of protecting new vehicles before delivery to the sales network because it limits storm damage. The panels are designed to resist impact and hail in particular.
The photovoltaic project was developed by Renault, project initiator and coordinator, in its role as lessor, together with its partners Gestamp Solar and Coruscant (Cléon only), in their role as operational project managers.
The system is also being rolled out internationally. The Group is to set up nearly 100,000 square meters of photovoltaic panels at the Valladolid and Palencia plants through an agreement with Cenit Solar, while feasibility studies are underway in Slovenia, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Romania. Further projects are being introduced at the Busan site in South Korea, with 300,000 square meters scheduled for finalization in December 2012.
News and comment on the Renault ZOE electric car – quiet, lively, and non-polluting for £300 per month including fuel.