Zoe Z.E. Concept (2009)

Renault Zoe Concept Car (Image: Renault)
Renault Zoe Concept Car (Image: Renault)

Zoe Z.E. Concept Car Specification

Length:4.1m
Width:1.84m
Height:1.52m
Weight:1400kg
Engine:70kW / 95hp electric motor
Range:160km

Description

The Zoe Z.E. (Zero Emissions) Concept Car of 2009 was a very different vehicle from the City Car of just a few years earlier and was the true ancestor of the current Zoe, being the first generation of the Zoe family line that used an electric drivetrain. Nonetheless it originated from much the same requirements for an urban vehicle, as can be seen by Renault’s own description of it as:

“a compact, versatile car aimed at motorists who use their vehicle for short journeys on a daily basis and who seek a comfortable, relaxing drive in a personalizable cabin.”

The new Zoe had a futuristic look, due in part to its very aerodynamic shape – an important consideration for an electric vehicle with limited range. It was larger in all dimensions than the previous vehicle, though still relatively small at just over four metres long. It was powered by a 70kW electric motor developing 226Nm of torque, and it had three ways of ‘refuelling’: a standard charge in 4-8 hours, a quick charge in 20 minutes, and a battery swap at a dedicated exchange station.

The Zoe Z.E. had many unusual features in line with its futuristic looks and concept status:

  • The front featured scissor doors, while rear access was through butterfly-style doors (both for the passengers, and to reach the boot).
Zoe Concept Door Arrangement (Image: Renault)
Zoe Concept Door Arrangement (Image: Renault)
  • Rearward vision was provided by two small energy-efficient cameras which transmitted images to the interior rear view mirror.
  • The dashboard included a range of touchscreen controls, and a TFT screen housed in a glass bubble.
Zoe Concept Interior - Showing Dashboard, Screen and Rearview Mirror (Image: Renault)
Zoe Concept Interior – Showing Dashboard, Screen and Rearview Mirror (Image: Renault)
  • Information on the screen was presented by an avatar that could be personalised (male, female, downloadable from the internet) and which provided information such as traffic conditions, route and remaining range.
  • The roof was designed as an intelligent protective membrane to insulate the occupants from heat and cold, as well as optimising climate control by recovering energy via its honeycomb photovoltaic cells.
Zoe Concept Honeycomb Solar Roof (Image: Renault)
Zoe Concept Honeycomb Solar Roof (Image: Renault)
  • The hands-free key-card could be personalised, by fixing a chip to any custom object to enable automatic door locking and ignition.
  • An innovative L’Oréal ‘Biotherm’ climate control system included functions for hydrating (using small dashboard-mounted vaporizer sprays), detoxing (a toxicity monitor closed the air vents if required) and active scents (emitting essential oils).
  • Air intakes either side of the car channelled airflow to cool the batteries.
  • The front seat cushions resembled asymmetric pebbles in shape, and the seatbacks were attached to the roof.
Zoe Concept Interior – Showing Roof-Hung Seatbacks (Image: Renault)
Zoe Concept Interior – Showing Roof-Hung Seatbacks (Image: Renault)
  • A retractable spoiler deployed at speeds in excess of 90kph.
  • The LED-equipped spoiler and the integrated light in the shark’s fin-type aerial on the roof both served as brake lights.
  • At front and rear a shield of polyurethane gel protected the electroluminescent diode lights from small knocks.
  • The wheels were unusually large at 21 inches.
Zoe Z.E. Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Image: G. Schwalbach/Creative Commons)
Zoe Z.E. Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Image: G. Schwalbach/Creative Commons)

At the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2009 the Zoe Z.E. Concept had its debut, and it was well received. It has continued to promote Renault Z.E. designs since, appearing as recently as January 2012 at the Detroit Auto Show.

Zoe Z.E. Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Image: Umberto)
Zoe Z.E. Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show (Image: Umberto)

The Zoe Z.E. Concept was an important transition design from the City Car to the later Zoe designs. It replaced the original squat design with a more aerodynamic shape, it modified the novel seating and door arrangements, and it introduced an electric engine – the key feature of all future Zoe versions.

Links

Renault Press Release
Renault Blog
Car Magazine
Design Sketches
Detroit Auto Show

Videos


4 thoughts on “Zoe Z.E. Concept (2009)”

  1. Too bad this was not the model they mass produced T_T I saw pictures of it in a magazine back in 2009 and I loved the futuristic look; the Zoe Concept Car was the only car that would make me want to take the driver’s license, just to drive it

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News and comment on the Renault ZOE (the world's most advanced mass market car), other electric cars, climate change, and related subjects. A car that's quiet, lively, cheap to run and non-polluting…£14k. Driving straight past petrol stations without a second glance…Priceless.