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New Renault Zoe goes the distance. Image by Renault.

New Renault Zoe goes the distance
Renaultís revised Zoe with 41kW battery can cover up to 250 miles, from just £17,845 on lease
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What's all this about?

Renault has confirmed the pricing and specification of its new long-range Zoe electric vehicle (EV). Displayed at the recent Paris Motor Show, this zero-emissions hatch now covers 250 miles on a charge, thanks to its new ZE40 lithium-ion battery rated at 41kW. That, claims Renault, makes it the most useful mainstream EV available.

Right, but we know these EVs can't do their full claimed range, don't we?

Yes indeed, although Renault is honest about the real-world implications, saying the Zoe with the ZE40 battery will do 186 miles in temperate conditions (ie: most of the UK) and 124 miles in extreme cold conditions (ie: Scotland).

Har-har, very funny. Does that spell the end of the existing battery tech?

No, the Zoe now comes with two battery options, with the 22kW item continuing as before - that'll only give a theoretical maximum range of 150 miles. There's a new Signature Nav range-topping trim for the UK, but if you go for an entry-point Zoe Expression then only the 22kW battery is available. The ZE40 battery is fitted to the higher Dynamique Nav and aforementioned Signature Nav variants.

And the charging times for the newcomer?

All Zoes sold to private customers are supplied with a fully installed 7kW fast-charging box for convenient home replenishment of the battery; that takes about seven hours to replenish the 41kW item, or four hours for the 22kW unit. The ZE40 has an optional Quick Charge facility to reduce said charging times further, however, with the time taken trimmed right down to anything between one hour and five minutes, and one hour 40 minutes.

Impressive. Can you tell me a bit more about Signature Nav?

Sure can. The top trim grade adds to the impressive standard equipment of the Zoe - even Expression cars get R-Link 2 infotainment with a seven-inch touchscreen and TomTom sat-nav, climate control, cruise control, electric windows and mirrors, a keycard and Bluetooth. Signature adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, a seven-speaker Bose audio system, reversing camera, 16-inch 'Grey Shadow' alloy wheels and driver's seat lumbar adjustment.

Has anything changed visually for the 2017MY Zoe and the long-range variant?

Not much - there are three new colours, which are Mars Red, Titanium Grey and Ytrium Grey (this last one is available on the Signature Nav only), which go with Zircon Blue metallic which was added earlier this year. As a result, the Renault logo and badging is now chrome instead of blue, while a new 16-inch alloy design can be found on the Dynamique Nav model.

And so the performance of the Zoe is the same?

Yup, its 92hp/220Nm electric motor means a 0-62mph time of 13.5 seconds and a top speed of 84mph.

Isn't buying a Renault Zoe a complicated maze of leasing batteries and so on?

Not really. You have two choices - the first sees the battery leased on a monthly basis and your fee is based on your mileage. Plans start from £49 per month, although a new 'Unlimited' option costs £110 per month and has no mileage cap. Including the plug-in car grant (PiCG), that means a 22kW Zoe starts from £13,995, while the new 41kW car begins at £17,845 for a Dynamique Nav and culminates at £20,645 for a Signature Nav. Alternatively, just buy the Zoe outright - you pay no battery lease monthly fees and the trim grades change to iExpression, iDynamique Nav and iSignature Nav to mark out your brave acceptance of full EVs. This way, the Zoe will cost at least £18,995, with the new 41kW model starting at £23,445 and rising to £26,245. Whichever way you finance your Zoe EV, it will cost you 7 per cent Benefit-in-Kind and it sits in VED Band A; which means zero road tax.

Is that it for the updated Renault Zoe?

Nope, final details revolve around two new apps for Renault's zero-emission vehicle owners, which are called ZE Trip and ZE Pass. Trip allows drivers to locate all public charging points in many European countries, with the app accessed via the R-Link system. Pass makes charging easier at said public charging points across Europe, even if they are owned by multiple operators, with the driver able to pay using the specific smartphone app or with one RFID badge. Both ZE Trip and ZE Pass will be rolled out across the UK during 2017.

1 Nov 2016

Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.

Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.Renault Zoe extended range. Image by Renault.       - Renault road tests
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