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Renault Zoe

Starter e-car

Renault may have a bestseller on its hands with the fully electric Zoe. But the chic compact car has one big drawback: unlike all other electric cars, you can’t charge it from a standard household socket.

At some stage, the diamond could become a symbol of electromobility in the same way that a bonnet ornament of jumping horses currently denotes a sports car. Renault’s logo, which has been mounted in the radiator grills of the cars from Boulogne-Billancourt since 1923, now sparkles in light blue chrome, the signature colour of the e-car line, on the fourth Zoe model. Renault is leading the way in this field. And the diamond is more than just a symbol in the fully electric Zoe, which has been available since June, as the charging plug socket is hidden behind it.

The idea is that the hatchback will give the new segment a boost from below: the Zoe is cheaper than its electric competitors, although it still costs more than comparable petrol, diesel or hybrid models. With a realistic range of around 150 kilometres, the Zoe has been designed for short and medium distances, and provides outstanding performance on such journeys. Smart interior features such as water-repellent Teflon seats and a voice-activated multimedia system are an added bonus. This is the first time that these features have been included in a compact car. And although the undercarriage in the Zoe is the same as in the Renault Clio 4 – a decision based on cost factors – the battery installed fat under the vehicle proves that the Zoe was designed as an e-car.

This is an abridged version of the article – the full text is available in new energy issue 05/2013

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