The electric-powered cute small car battle is getting serious now. You’ve seen the retro Honda e, the sporty Peugeot e208 and its Vauxhall e-Corsa cousin, and now there’s this. The new Renault Zoe. And it wants to be the most versatile of the lot.
For a kick-off, you can choose two different motors. There’s an 80kW (106bhp) motor if you’re not in a hurry, or for speedier sorts, a new 100kW (132bhp) power unit.
How’s this for technical progress. Back in 2012, the original Renault Zoe managed only 150km of range from its 22kWh battery. By 2016, that’d been doubled. Three years on, and this Zoe comes as standard with a 52kWh battery, good for a claimed 389km of range – the same as a Jaguar I-Pace.
Or to put it another way, this is a town car most town folk could probably get away with charging once a week. All of a sudden, the Honda e and its 209km range might not seem quite so appealing. What do you think?
How fast the Zoe goes from 0-100kph isn’t really important, y’see. Okay, it’s ‘under ten seconds’. And the top speed is 140kph. See? Not important.
What’s vital is how fast it goes from 0-100 per cent charged. And Renault says the answer is, via a 7kW wallbox, just under nine and a half hours – intended to be bang-on for overnight charging while you’re asleep. If you’ve only got one hour to kill staying plugged in, Renault estimates you’ll add 78 miles (126km) of juice.
If you can find a 50kW rapid charger, then 145km of range lands in the battery after 30 minutes.
Via a Renault app, you can find out not only where your nearest charging stations are, but also set your Zoe only to charge during cheap rate electricity periods. Canny.
Still with me? Right, let’s play 2019 Supermini Bingo!
Big touchscreen? Digital dials? Button festooned steering wheel? Oh it’s all there. Along with a mode that allows ‘one-pedal’ driving, thanks to lots of regenerative braking when you lift off the throttle. Wait, is it still called a throttle in an EV? The Go Pedal? We digress.
No word on prices yet – expect to pay around £21,000. That’s less than the Honda e will cost – declare your loyalties now…