Europe’s best-selling battery electric car, the Renault Zoe, will arrive at the Paris Motor Show Oct. 1 with an increased driving range of 200-plus miles (320 km).
The report comes from French business publication BMFBusiness but doesn’t say what the new battery capacity would be.
It’s also not clear if the driving range is based on the European NEDC tests, which are exaggerated compared to the EPA ratings by about one third.
Currently, the Zoe employs a 22-kilowatt-hour battery that delivers 90 (144 km) real world-driving miles, indicating that a new battery would need to be a little more than double in energy capacity.
If you’re not familiar with the Zoe, it’s a small three-door hatchback designed for urban use that one British car magazine described as, “pleasing to drive, quiet, classy and, leaving the electric thing to one side for a moment, a stylish and desirable-looking small car.”
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The Zoe is priced starting at $24,500 (21,900€) before any government incentives but, unheard of in the US, buyers rent the battery pack for $55 (49€) per month plus additional charges based on miles driven.
Like General Motors’s battery supplier for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Renault in a major customer of LG Chem, so it’s possible a new Zoe could be equipped with a 50 or 60 kWh battery.
The French automaker is part of the Renault-Nissan alliance and Nissan has announced that the new Leaf would come with 60 kWh batteries and the question is, would the two brands share batteries?
A new battery isn’t the only new component. BMFBusiness also reported that Renault developed a new smaller electric motor with higher efficiency.
With an increasing number of automakers planning 200-mile range EVs, a Zoe with that range and a lower price would give more European EV buyers a reason to buy one, even if they won’t own the battery.