Renault ZOE electric car gains ‘longest range’

Car Manufacturer News

Renault has revealed prices for a revised version of its ZOE electric car, which now offers a longer range.

The quoted official range of the supermini is now 250 miles, equivalent to a ‘real-world’ distance of 186 miles in typical conditions and 124 miles in extreme cold. Renault states that this is the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle on sale.

The improvements come courtesy of a new battery, the Z.E.40, which offers 41kWh of energy, almost double that of the previous 22kW unit. It has been developed with LG Chem and employs high-energy density lithium-ion technology.

Storage capacity has been increased without making the battery any larger or significantly heavier, by improving the energy density of each cell rather than the common solution of stacking on additional modules.

All versions of the ZOE will now be fitted with the Z.E.40 except the entry-level Expression model. This retains the previous 22kW unit, offering an official range of 149 miles and a charging time to 80 per cent of three to four hours. Renault’s option to lease the battery for a monthly fee, based on mileage, remains, while the car can also be bought outright.

Trim designations have also been changed to reflect the rest of the Renault range, the car now available in Expression Nav, Dynamique Nav and Signature Nav – the last a new range-topping variant that includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, a seven speaker BOSE audio system, rear parking camera, 16-inch ‘Grey Shadow’ alloy wheels and driver’s seat lumbar adjustment.

Dynamique and Signature models are also available in Q versions that come with a quick charger to cut charging times. All retail ZOE buyers are supplied 7kW fast-charging wall-box with free home installation, charging the car from flat to 100 per cent full in three to four hours, depending on version.

ZOE prices now start at £18,995 outright, for the 22kW model, after the Government’s plug-in car grant is taken into account. Leasing the battery cuts £5,000 or more off the price of the car, the battery fees ranging from £49 to £110 depending on mileage. First deliveries of the new versions will be in January 2017.

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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