Following on from the QuickCharge videos where Nikki and Mark gave their initial views of the family-sized Renault ZOE ZE, this is the ChargedUp review where they give their final impressions having lived with the car for a week.
What did Mark and Nikki think of the ZOE?
The ZOE is – at the time of writing – one of the more affordable electric cars available in Europe. The price being kept low by the use of battery rental rather than allowing the customer to buy the vehicle outright. When purchased the owner signs up to a battery lease where they pay an agreed amount per month for a certain number of miles per year.
These figures have been carefully worked out to still make the change to EVs advantageous to those use to buying petrol or diesel. The other major advantage to this is Renault is always responsible for the battery, if it breaks they replace it.However this model has also been criticised due to the never-ending nature of this lease (it is passed on to second, third and forth hand buyers and so on) and the fact that Renault has control of a ‘kill switch’ to stop the battery from accepting charge if a payment is missed.
One aspect of the car that both Nikki and Mark loved was the Chameleon charger. This allows the car to charge from 3kW (16A single phase) up to 43kW (63A three phase). This versatility – all delivered through one socket on the car – really does give the driver freedom. No more is there the worry about not finding a compatible charger. This car uses the European agreed protocol and can plug in anywhere.
Due to this, the car is incredibly flexible. Whether being used as a daily run-around or for office commuting with the occasional longer trip, the car offers the flexibility needed.
Over all, both Nikki and Mark gave the car 7 out of 10 – bringing its total score to 14 out of 20. The car was let down by no charging below 3kW, the cheap feel of the plastic in the interior and some of the odd marketing decisions which saw the car being spread across too many different audiences. If Renault can address these issues in the ZOE 2.0/Phase II, they should have a very interesting electric car on their hands.
What do you think of the ZOE? Let us know below.
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