Renault Zoe EV (2013) CAR review

This is a massive launch: the new Zoe is an electric car Renault really needs to succeed, as it’s the tip of a four billion euro arrow, fired years ago by Carlos Ghosn. Certainly, it’s a cracking looking thing, with its cute, stubby looks and stylish, airy interior that is techy without being weird. But is it four billion well sepnt? Thanks to the relatively low entry price of £13,995, once the Government’s near-£5,000 in plug-in grant has been added, it is the first EV that from a cost perspective gets somewhere near its more traditionally-powered rivals. So that’s a good start. How is it so cheap? The batteries for such cars as these cost about £10,000 (although Renault wouldn’t say how much it costs them) so in order to offset that cost, Renault is using a leasing scheme that lasts the eight to 10-year life of batteries. Buyers pay around £70 a month to ‘rent’ the pack for 7,500 miles a year or more for increased miles or if they are fast-charged more often, as it leads to premature wear. Renault will also insure them for you, and replace or repair if they are damaged, or you can use your own insurer. Also keeping the overall cost down is a free home 7kW wallbox to charge it. British Gas will installing it, and it is being paid for using the recently announced 75% support on domestic wallbox installations from the Government’s £37m grant funding, with Renault contributing the remaining 25%. This is enough to charge the Zoe in eight hours. A more powerful 43kW version at public spots will fill it up to 80% in 30 minutes. Read more..


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