Among European automakers, Renault is one of the most active in promoting electric vehicle technology, and at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show, the company is displaying its production version of its ZOE all-electric hatchback.
Renault said the car would go on sale in Europe this fall, and has released (subsidized) pricing on the ZOE, at least for French customers, pitching the vehicle at 15,700 euros ($20,709) for the entry level Life model. The more up-market ZOE Zen and ZOE Intens will start at 17,500 euros ($23,084). These prices include a French government tax incentive of 5,000 euros ($6,600).
Renault said the, ZOE, which will be built in Flins, France, will be one of the most practical all-electric cars to hit the market when it goes on sale. It boasts 60 patents and a host of innovative features, including a Chameleon battery charger enabling use of 22-kw charging stations in Europe. These are more widespread and simpler than 43-kw units, and allow for a 60-minute quick charging time and exert less strain on the car’s battery system.
With its Range OptimiZEr umbrella that incorporates advanced regenerative braking, energy efficient Michelin Energy EV tires and an onboard heat pump, Renault says the ZOE has a real world driving range of 100 km (60 miles) in cold weather and 160 km (110 miles) in more temperate conditions.
Although availability is still a ways off, Renault is already taking orders for the ZOE, a car that could provide (at least in Europe) a truly practical solution to zero emissions motoring.
And if the ZOE does prove successful, perhaps it might spawn a Nissan LEAF derivative down the road (after all, if Toyota can successfully capitalized on the Prius name as a brand with a range of products, why not Nissan?)