1. Renault ZOE
- Model/Engine size:
- Renault ZOE Expression Nav R90
- Fuel economy combined:
Crucially the ZOE has been designed as an electric car from day one. This means that it doesn’t have the design compromises that come with adapting petrol and diesel models. The layout is reasonably conventional with the electric motor at the front under the bonnet but the large battery is encased in the floor within the wheelbase.
Putting the battery in the floor gives the ZOE a low centre of gravity, keeps the batteries safe in an accident and means that you get a large 338-litre boot. There is a slight compromise for rear seat passengers as the rear seats are slightly raised reducing headroom, but there are three seatbelts and adults under six foot can squeeze in.
The big news however is the adoption of a new battery which is available alongside the original 22 kWh pack. Demonstrating the rapid rate of development it packs 41 kWh into the same space and weighs just 15 Kg more. Confusingly Renault has chosen to call models with the bigger pack ’40’ rather than 41. This takes the official range from 149 miles to 250 miles and the minimum real world winter range increases from 71 miles to 124 miles. This makes ZOE a viable everyday option for many.
Apart from deciding which battery to choose (budget and usage obviously key here), the other big decision is charging options. Renault uses a different system to most utilising AC charging for rapid as well as fast. This means it is limited to 43kW from rapid chargers, such as those at Motorway Services, which deliver 50kW to DC enabled cars (everything else!). In a further twist all 22 kWh and standard 40 spec ZOEs are only capable of charging at a maximum of 22 kW even if they are plugged into a 43 kW rapid charger. To make full use of these you need to specify ‘quick charge’ at which point the car recharges significantly quicker at rapid charger points but becomes less efficient, slightly less powerful, more expensive, and bizarrely slightly slower charging at 7kW points such as a home charger.
Renault’s decision to lease the batteries has some insurance implications but the battery will be replaced free of charge if it falls to less than 75% capacity at any time during the lease. It also makes the ZOE affordable to buy. You can choose to buy ZOE with batteries if you prefer so it is worth looking at both options to see which suits you best. Compared to a Clio the ZOE is very competitively priced, has a bigger boot, has more gadgets, and according to Euro NCAP it is safer too! If you travel less than 60 – 110 miles a day (or between charges) the ZOE actually makes more sense than the Clio. The electric car has come of age.
Read our full Renault ZOE review
Official range 22kwh battery: 149 miles. Real world estimate 71 miles winter / 106 miles summer
Official range 41kWh battery: 250 miles. Real world estimate 124 miles winter / 186 miles summer
Official range 41kWh battery with quick charge: 230 miles. Real world estimate 112 miles winter / 174 miles summer
Official electricity consumption: 133 Wh/km (22kWh and 41kWh) 146 Wh/km (41kWh with quick charge option)
Battery pack: 22 kWh lithium ion / 41 kWh lithium ion, warranty – replaced if less than 70% SOC retained within 5 year 60,000 miles when purchased outright, or 75% SOC for term of battery lease
Recharge time 22kWh: 3kW 8-9 hours; 7kW (including home charger) 3-4 hours; 22kW 1 hour 45 mins; 43kW 1 hour 0-80%.
Recharge time 41kWh: 3kW 15 hours; 7kW (including home charger) 7 hours 30 mins; 22kW 2 hours 40 mins 0-80%; 43kW 1 hour 40 mins 0-80%.
Recharge time 41kWh with quick charge: 3kW 15 hours 30 mins; 7kW (including home charger) 8 hours 30 mins; 22kW 2 hours 40 mins 0-80%; 43kW 1 hour 5 mins 0-80%.
- Fuel economy, extra urban:
- Fuel economy, urban:
- CO2 emissions:
- 66 g/km average UK electricity (133 Wh/km), (146 Wh/km) 72 g/km
- £0 a year
- 1470 Kg
- Company car tax liability ( 2017/18 ):
- £18,795 (Qualifies for £4,500 Government grant) + battery lease from £45 per month. Or £24,345 including battery (Qualifies for £4,500 Government grant)
- Insurance group:
- 91 bhp
- Max speed:
- 84 mph
- 13.5 seconds
- 162 lb ft