QuickCharge: Renault ZOE

One of the most anticipated electric cars in the affordable price bracket, the Renault ZOE has a lot to live up to. What do Mark and Nikki feel about the car after having just got behind the driver’s seat?

Creeping Along in Traffic

Creeping Along in Traffic

QuickCharge is the Transport Evolved show where your intrepid hosts get behind the wheel of a new car and record their first impressions to camera. Unlike our other shows, which are recorded on professional camera and audio equipment, QuickCharge is recorded in a quick’n’dirty style in order to truly capture our first impressions, unencumbered by camera equipment and sound checks.

Let’s see what Mark thinks first:

From £13,995 after the UK Government plug-in grant has been applied, the ZOE certainly is trying to come in at the lower end of the EV market. But when you start spec-ing up extras such as 16 inch ‘Aerotronic’ Alloy wheels (+£400) or the My Z.E. Interactive system (+£150) you can see how the price starts to jump up.

And let’s not forget the battery. With the ZOE, as with all Renault zero emission vehicles, you rent the battery with no option to buy outright. Rental prices start at £70 per month (three year plus contract for less than 7,500 miles per year) and increase from there depending on number of miles driven in a year and how long you sign a contact for.

Nikki behind the wheel

Nikki behind the wheel

The Renault ZOE’s main selling point is the Chameleon charger. This allows the car to accept any power source from 3kW up to 44kW providing a charging time that ranges from 9 hours to as little as 30 minutes. At the moment there is no way to charge the ZOE at less than 3kW, requiring any driver to have a home charging station rather than just using an everyday socket. This is being addressed in the next model with an optional extra charger.

We’ve heard what Mark thought of the ZOE, what about Nikki:

We’ll be bringing you our fully thought out views on the Renault Zoe in a future ChargedUp video. Until then, what do you think of the ZOE? What are your first impressions?


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  • vdiv

    I think it should be rebadged as the Nissan Zooey 😉 and made available States-side. It will need to be able to charge at 120V and get a CHAdeMO connector for quick DC charging to take advantage of the already deployed stations. If appropriately priced it will give the Smart ForTwo ED and the Fiat 500e a run for their money. Many will also chose it over the Spark EV for various (non)reasons.

  • Kieron

    I gave up waiting for a Zoe and bought an i-miev. Having no rental and only around u00a330 per month on electricity means I would only now be tempted to rent if the spec was 150+ range. The i-miev does make a pedestrian noise, but it’s fun turning it off!

  • Kalle Centergren

    i tried the zoe in france some time ago, it was the first fully electric car that i drove myself and eentho it was a rather short test drive (about 30 min) i was hocked.ni actualy rather like their battery leasing skeem (as a way of curing the worries some ppl have of their batteries going dead, taking the second hand prise of their car with it.) nbut i do think they should give the ppl the option to buy the batteries aswell

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  • Surya

    I too kind of like and dislike the battery leasing scheme. I like the secure feeling it gives, I don’t really mind the monthly cost (though lower would be nice) but I don’t like the control it gives the leasing company over the rest of my car. They should indeed give us the option to buy or lease.nThat being said, I’ll proably order my Zoe Intense Neptune Grey this coming saturday or the week after.