France’s Minister of Industrial Recovery, Arnaud Montebourg, took delivery this week of the very First ZOE electric car.

Montebourg had ordered his ZOE EV at the Paris Motor Show in September 2012 and was presented this week with the keys to the first ZOE in the Cour d’Honneur of the Bercy Finance Ministry by Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of the Renault group.

The ZOE, the spearhead of Renault’s Z.E. range, is the Group’s first full-electric car.

In France, the widely affordable car qualifies for a €7,000 government environmental bonus, bringing the starting price in France down to €13,700 (including VAT).

Renault says the ZOE targets private buyers and business customers alike.

Renault believes this EV is ideal for daily journeys and says it embodies the company’s excellence in electric technology.

Per Renault, the mobility-enhancing model features the most advanced technology in terms of range, user friendliness (with the installation of a charging station at owners’ homes or workplaces) and connectivity. It is a key symbol of the Group’s commitment to the electric revolution.

Renault ZOE delivered by Carlos Tavares to Arnaud Montebourg

Renault ZOE delivered by Carlos Tavares to Arnaud Montebourg

The Minister of Industrial Recovery is the first customer to take delivery of ZOE before mass launch across the Renault’s French network this coming spring 2013.

Commenting, Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer of the Renault group, said: “The first ZOE delivery is a vital step in Renault’s electric vehicle offensive, aimed at making zero-emission mobility affordable for the greatest number. The commitment of the government and Mr Montebourg, as confirmed today, is a decisive advantage for making France a robust cornerstone of electric vehicle development and serves to reinforce Renault’s position as a French champion on the international stage.”

The launch will be accompanied by the widespread development of public and private charging stations with the support of a special task force tasked with stimulating and backing infrastructure projects in large urban agglomerations.

The move is part of the “Plan Automobile” announced by the French government on July 25, 2012 and providing for the installation of charging stations at government ministries and the inclusion of electric vehicles in public fleets.