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Renault ZOE

Revisions to electric Renault ZOE and Twizy

Renault ZOE

Renault ZOE

The electric Renault ZOE and Twizy now have updated the trim levels, at the same time as introducing a new longer-range motor to the ZOE (available from £13,445), resulting in a 149-mile NEDC range.

The new trim levels bring both vehicles into line with the company’s combustion-engined vehicles and create a more uniform grading structure across all the brand’s models.

The changes to the ZOE line-up have been timed to coincide with the introduction of a new, in-house-developed, longer-range electric motor. The new line up, with previous models in brackets, consists of Expression Nav (Expression), Dynamique Nav (Dynamique Intens) and Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge (Dynamique Intens). Expression Nav and Dynamique Nav feature the new motor, known as the R240, while Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge retains the original power unit.

Standard items on Expression Nav include R-Link voice-controlled satellite navigation with a 7-inch tablet touchscreen, Climate control, Renault Keycard entry system, Bluetooth connectivity, a 4x20W radio with four speakers, USB and AUX ports, cruise control, front electric windows and rear privacy glass.

ZOE has a five-star Euro NCAP rating and its comprehensive safety equipment includes ESC stability control, ASR traction control, CSV understeer control, Hill Start Assist and six airbags.

A comprehensive array of technology is standard in order to make ZOE as efficient as possible – the Renault Range OptimiZEr range-extender (heat pump, regenerative braking and Michelin ENERGY E-V low-friction tyres); the Renault Chameleon™ charger allowing the battery to be replenished in one to nine hours and adapt itself to always extract the most charge from any charging source, an ECO mode, a Z.E. Connect remote battery monitoring, Z.E. Voice low-speed pedestrian alert, a TFT display with a trip computer and driving style indicator, battery charge indicator, econometer and range indicator.

Renault is continuing to offer ZOE customers a 7kW charging wall box supplied and installed free of charge at their home. This means a charge time from zero to 100 per cent full in 3-4 hours.

Dynamique Nav adds a hands-free Keycard, rear parking camera linked to the touchscreen, Z.E. Interactive (remote battery charging, remote charge scheduling and remote interior temperature pre-conditioning), 3D digital sound by Arkamys, rear electric windows, bespoke upholstery, a leather-rimmed steering wheel and gearshifter, 16-inch Aerotronic alloy wheels and automatic lights and wipers.

Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge is identically equipped but can be recharged to 80 per cent of capacity in just 30 minutes through a 43kW charge point.  The official NEDC range is 130 miles, which translates to a ‘real-world’ range of around 64 miles in cold weather and 93 miles in temperate conditions.

All three grades of ZOE are available to buy as either battery hire or full purchase ‘ZOE i’ versions.

The R240 motor, engineered by Renault over an eight-year period and manufactured at the company’s Cléon factory in Normandy, extends operating range by almost 15 per cent to a class-leading 149 miles in the New European Driving Cycle. It gives the ZOE a real-world range of 71 to 106 miles, depending on driving style, the use of electrical features like air conditioning, the season and where the car is being driven. It is fundamental to Renault’s strategy of improving the range and performance of electric vehicles by advancing battery and motor technology.

It features integrated rather than stacked modules, with reduced gaps and no external power cables so that it is more compact. It also has a simplified air-cooling system and a three-in-one junction box incorporating the Chameleon™ charger and power electronics to form a single unit called the Power Electronic Controller. In the R240 motor this is the only part which is water-cooled.

The result is a 10 per cent reduction in size with no loss of performance, and with reduced energy consumption and faster charge times. This makes it especially suitable for use in smaller cars. The Chameleon™ charger has also been reworked for use with the R240 motor.

Both motors develop a maximum output of 65kW (88hp) and near-instantaneous maximum torque of 220Nm available in less than one-hundredth of a second. They deliver identical driving performance, with 0-30mph attainable in around four seconds and 0-50mph in 8.6 seconds.

The decision to offer two motors comes about because Renault has identified distinct types of use among its EV customers. Many have regular driving patterns, and will therefore appreciate the increased range and reduced charging requirements with the R240 motor. But others are less predictable in the way they use their car. For them, ultimate range is usually not a handicap – but they need the ability to rapid-charge to 80 per cent of battery capacity in the shortest possible time on occasions.

In an increasing electric vehicle market in the UK that was up 83.0 per cent in the first half of the year compared to 2014, sales of Renault’s electric vehicle range, comprising of ZOE, Twizy and Kangoo Z.E., rose by 145.9 per cent across the same period, with 949 EVs sold. ZOE contributed strongly to this performance, with 767 examples of the all-electric hatchback being sold – a 244.0 per cent increase on the first six months of 2014.

For Twizy, Expression replaces the former Urban version and Dynamique takes the place of Technic in the line-up while the Cargo remains unchanged. There have been minor changes to colours, trims and wheels.

Expression comes as standard with a driver airbag, a single-speed automatic transmission, range and eco-score indicators, regenerative braking, a battery gauge and econometer, a 31-litre lockable storage area behind the rear seat, all-round disc brakes, a drive and speed display, an engine immobiliser, 13-inch Grey Snowflake wheel trims, an adjustable front seat with built-in headrest, a quick-demist heated windscreen, a lockable steering column, four-point front and three-point rear seatbelts and a lateral wind deflector.

Dynamique supplements this with 13-inch Diamond alloy wheels in Gloss Black, Flame Orange or Urban Blue and a choice of 14 two-tone colour collections for the wheel arches, seat covers and mirror housings.

The Cargo version of Twizy dispenses with the rear seat, expanding the carrying capacity to 180 litres with a lockable storage area – sufficient for commercial applications such as urban area deliveries or for carrying equipment or tools.