Electric cars with big range are big news, as car makers aim to rid us of the horrid notion of range anxiety, a perceived problem rather than an acutal one. Despite recent battery updates to the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, it is Renault who can claim to be first to launch their newly updated 250-mile (NEDC) electric Zoe. Kudos to Renault for stating that you’re unlikely to achieve that range and instead a still very respectable 186-miles range should be achievable, with a low of 124-miles in “extreme cold”.

To put that into perspective, 186 miles is enough to travel around the entire circumference of the M25 (approx. 117-miles), travel to the City of London and back out again (approx. 30-miles) and still have nearly 50-miles range remaining.

The two-time Formula E world constructor champion title holder is putting their knowledge and expertise to good use by seemingly having found the holy grail of batteries, one that can offer double the capacity of the older model, yet with no additional size or weight penalty. Renault has been a little coy about how this has been achieved, preferring instead to merely state that the batteries, from LG Chem, are world class and top of the range.

Speaking to a source at Renault, AutoVolt found out that the, “Z.E.40 battery performance stems not from the addition of further battery modules but by increasing the battery’s energy density.  The increase in energy density is due to an optimisation of the proportion of the different metals employed. This notably involves less manganese and more cobalt and nickel to store energy and has resulted in an unrivalled energy-to-volume ratio.”

Impressively, the new Z.E.40 battery doesn’t require any additional time spent at a rapid charge point, depending on the model. Officially, the charge time from 0-80% for the original 22kWh battery was 1hr, while the new Z.E.40 41kWh battery with new Q90 motor takes 1hr 5mins to achieve 0-80%.

Similar to Nissan’s approach with the Leaf, the Renault Zoe remains on sale with the original lower capacity battery, providing choice for the consumer and helping to keep costs low. If you don’t need the range of the Z.E.40 battery, you can simply opt for the lower spec 22kWh type.

The Zoe remains available with battery lease options for those who don’t wish to buy the battery outright, with prices starting from £13,995 (inc. PICG), for the original 22kWh battery. Prices start from £17,845 for the Dynamic Nav R90 Z.E.40 version with lease – but we’d avoid this model as it is equipped with the older motor and takes an age to recharge; 1hr 40mins from 0-80% on an AC rapid. Instead, for £18,595 the Dynamic Nav Q90 Z.E.40 is available and offers the best blend of rapid charge time with range.

For outright purchase, simply add an ‘i’ in front of the model variant and prices start at £18,995 (inc PICG) for the 22kWh battery Zoe and £23,445 for the iDynamic Nav R90 Z.E.40. As above, it’s worth spending an extra £750 to get the Q90 model that can charge much more rapidly (£24,195).

Battery aside, Renault Zoe is now available with top-of-the-range Signature trim level option that includes supple leather upholstery, heated front seats, a seven speaker BOSE® audio system, rear parking camera, 16-inch ‘Grey Shadow’ alloy wheels and driver’s seat lumbar adjustment.

Renault will also launch two new Apps in 2017, Z.E. Trips and Z.E. Pass. The former is ideal for planning long distance trips as it helps drivers locate charge points along a route. It can be accessed online too for pre-planning of a journey. It shows the live status of many European charge points and can be refined to only show charge points that are of interest and of a particular charge speed. Z.E. Pass aims to simplify the complication of visiting various charge point networks. Rather than having multiple RFID cards or Apps for each network you visit, Z.E.Pass can be used as a one stop shop to handle payments. Furthermore, the App can be used to compare prices at various charge points, without needing to be registered on each network.

Overall, the new ZOE is an excellent addition to the current electric car market that is often criticised for its perceived low range high price vehicles. The Zoe Z.E.40 aims to buck that trend and should make electric driving appealing to a great number of new EVangelists. To find out more information, see the full press release below.

Renault Zoe Arrives in the UK with 250-mile Range

Renault UK is announcing pricing and specification for the 2017 model year Renault ZOE that was recently unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, complete with the new Z.E.40 battery that has a 250 mile (NEDC) range – the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle. A new top-of-the-range Signature Nav trim level has been added to the ZOE line-up for the 2017 model year which goes on sale today and will arrive in UK showrooms from January 2017.

With a 250 mile (NEDC) range, ZOE offers the best range of any mainstream electric vehicle. In real-world driving, Renault estimates the ZOE fitted with the new Z.E.40 battery has a real-world range of between 186 miles in temperate conditions and 124 miles in extreme cold conditions.

ZOE is now offered with a choice of two batteries – the new Z.E.40 battery and the existing 22kW battery. The entry level Expression version comes with the 22kW battery whilst Dynamique Nav and above are offered with the new Z.E.40 battery enabling owners to choose a ZOE that suits their individual requirements. The Z.E.40 battery is available with an optional Quick Charge facility that reduces charging times even further. All ZOEs sold to private customers are supplied with a fully-installed 7kW fast-charging box that enables convenient charging at home.

The updated ZOE is being expanded to a five-version line-up based on three trim levels familiar to owners of other Renault vehicles – Expression, Dynamique Nav and the new top-of-the-range Signature Nav. ZOE remains available to purchase with a monthly battery lease agreement or outright with no battery lease agreement.

The Expression trim level provides buyers with a comprehensive specification with a 7-inch touchscreen housing Renault’s easy-to-use R-Link2 infotainment system with TomTom® satellite navigation; climate control, electric windows and electric heated mirrors, cruise control, speed limiter, keycard, Bluetooth connectivity and ample storage throughout the cabin.

Renault’s Range OptimiZer technology ensures ZOE is highly efficient with its heat pump, a bi-modal braking system and Michelin ENERGY E-V tyres. ZOE’s Chameleon Charger™ ensures that ZOE adapts and always charges from a source at the highest rate possible, thus lowering charge times.

Renault’s Z.E. Connect app allows drivers to remotely monitor battery levels and charging status via their smartphone or computer. The ZOE Expression is available with the R90 22kW battery enabling a range of 149 miles (NEDC) and a charging time of 3 to 4 hours (0 to 80 per cent full).

ZOE keeps occupants safe with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and standard safety features such as ESC with traction and understeer control, Hill Start Assist and front and side driver and passenger airbags.

The ZOE Dynamique Nav adds to the Expression specification with a hands free keycard, automatic lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, rear electric windows and electrically operated, heated and folding door mirrors, 16-inch ‘Black Shadow’ alloy wheels and a leather steering wheel and gear lever. In addition to the Z.E. Connect app, the Dynamique Nav benefits from a one-year subscription to the Z.E. Interactive app. Via a smartphone or computer this allows you to remotely charge your ZOE and schedule charges, as well as cabin temperature pre-conditioning, in order to maximise convenience and take advantage of available off-peak electricity rates.

All-new Signature Nav trim level

The new ZOE Signature Nav trim level sits at the top of the range and features supple leather upholstery, heated front seats, a seven speaker BOSE® audio system, rear parking camera, 16-inch ‘Grey Shadow’ alloy wheels and driver’s seat lumbar adjustment.

External changes for 2017

ZOE will be available in three new colours for 2017 – Mars Red, Titanium Grey and Ytrium Grey (available on Signature Nav only) complementing the Zircon Blue metallic added in 2016. The Renault logo and badging switches from blue to chrome to accommodate this new colour selection. The 16-inch alloy wheel design on Dynamique Nav and above has been changed.

Battery: Lease or buy outright

Regardless of trim level, the ZOE is available to purchase in two ways. Buyers can lease the battery on a monthly basis. Battery lease payments are banded and reflect estimated annual mileage ensuring ZOE drivers only pay for what they need. They start from as little as £49 per month. New for 2017 is the ‘Unlimited’ option, that has no mileage cap, and is priced at £110 per month.

Alternatively, ZOE can be bought outright, including the battery, and therefore have no monthly battery lease payments. Full purchase versions that include the battery are denoted by their trim level names: iExpression, iDynamique Nav and iSignature Nav.

Monthly Battery Lease Options

Annual Mileage

Up to 4,500 miles

Up to 6,000 miles

Up to 7,500 miles

Up to 9,000 miles

Up to 10,500 miles

Unlimited

22kW

£49

£59

£69

£79

£89

n/a

Z.E.40

£59

£69

£79

£89

£99

£110 

Free wall-box

Every ZOE purchased by a retail customer includes a Z.E.-ready 7kW fast-charging wall-box with free home installation – owners will be able to charge a ZOE from flat to 100 per cent full in as little as three to four hours, depending on version.

Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass – two new apps for Renault Z.E. owners

Z.E. Trip makes long-distance driving a breeze in the ZOE by allowing drivers to locate all public charging points in many European countries. The app can be accessed directly via the Renault R-LINK navigation system using the steering wheel-mounted controls or via the internet to prepare trips in advance. Z.E. Trip indicates the real-time availability of each charging point, as well as its type and whether it is compatible with the car. The driver can select a charging point based on its charging capacity so the speeds suit their requirements. Z.E. Trip will be rolled out in the UK during 2017.

The Z.E. Pass app makes charging easier at most public charging points in Europe even though they are owned by various operators. The driver can pay using the specific smartphone app or with one RFID badge. They can also locate available charging points and compare prices at different points nearby using their smartphone or tablet without having to be a registered member of each network. Developed in association with Bosch, the Z.E. Pass service will be rolled out in the UK during 2017.

Performance Information

ZOE version

Power

(hp @ rpm)

Torque

(Nm)

0-62mph (sec)

Top speed (mph)

Expression Nav R90 22kW

92 @ 3,000

220, from 250 rpm

13.5

84

Dynamique Nav R90 Z.E.40

92 @ 3,000

220, from 250 rpm

13.5

84

Dynamique Nav Q90 Z.E.40

88 @ 3,000

220, from 250 rpm

13.5

84

Signature Nav R90 Z.E.40

92 @ 3,000

220, from 250 rpm

13.5

84

Signature Nav Q90 Z.E.40

88 @ 3,000

220, from 250 rpm

13.5

84

Technical Information

ZOE version

Battery

Charge Time

(0-80%, 43kW chargepoint)

Charge Time

(0-100%, 7kW at home)

Range

(miles)

(Winter)

Range

(miles)

(Summer)

Range

(miles)

(NEDC)

Expression Nav R90 22kW

22kWh

1h00

4h00

71

106

149

Dynamique Nav R90 Z.E.40

41kWh

1h40

7h25

124

186

250

Dynamique Nav Q90 Z.E.40

41kWh

1h 05

8h25

112

174

230

Signature Nav R90 Z.E.40

41kWh

1h 40

7h25

124

186

250

Signature Nav Q90 Z.E.40

41kWh

1h 05

8h25

112

174

230

Ownership Information & Pricing

ZOE version

BIK

(band %)

Range

(NEDC miles)

VED (band)

Ins. group

Price

(after PiCG)*

Expression Nav R90 22kW

7%

149

A

TBC

£13,995

Dynamique Nav R90 Z.E.40

7%

250

A

TBC

£17,845

Dynamique Nav Q90 Z.E.40

7%

230

A

TBC

£18,595

Signature Nav R90 Z.E.40

7%

250

A

TBC

£19,895

Signature Nav Q90 Z.E.40

7%

230

A

TBC

£20,645

*= plus monthly battery lease

Ownership Information & Pricing – Full Purchase

ZOE version

BIK

(band %)

Range

(NEDC miles)

VED (band)

Ins. group

Price

(after PiCG)

iExpression Nav R90 22kW

7%

149

A

TBC

£18,995

iDynamique Nav R90 Z.E.40

7%

250

A

TBC

£23,445

iDynamique Nav Q90 Z.E.40

7%

230

A

TBC

£24,195

iSignature Nav R90 Z.E.40

7%

250

A

TBC

£25,495

iSignature Nav Q90 Z.E.40

7%

230

A

TBC

£26,245

Zoe Options

Option

Expression Nav

Dynamique Nav

Signature Nav

Price

17-inch ‘Tech Run’ alloy wheels

?

?

?

£310

Metallic Paint

?

?

?

£495

Renault i.d. Paint (Metallic)

?

?

?

£595

Renault i.d. Paint (Non-Metallic)

?

?

?

£225

Blue interior touch pack (not available with Mars Red or Titanium Grey colour schemes)

N/A

?

N/A

£175

4x35W speakers with 3D sound and FM/DAB tuner

?

STANDARD

N/A

£350

Z.E. Connect (remote monitoring of battery charge and estimated range – 1 year extension to the 3 years given as standard)

?

?

?

£75

Z.E. Interactive (remote battery charging & remote activation of air-con / heater – 3 year extension to the year given as standard)

?

?

?

£150

Western European mapping

?

?

?

£110

R-Link LIVE Services 3 year subscription

?

?

?

£125

Heated front seats (3 settings)

N/A

?

STANDARD

£250

Rear view camera

N/A

?

STANDARD

£250

Quick Charge (80% full in 1h05)

N/A

?

?

£750

The ZOE’s new Z.E. 40 battery boasts 41kWh of useful energy, equivalent to almost double the storage capacity of the ZOE’s standard battery (22kWh of useful energy).

Developed in close partnership with LG Chem, the battery uses high-energy density lithium-ion technology. Renault and LG engineers have succeeded in increasing storage capacity without making the battery any bigger or a lot heavier. It was optimised by working on the chemistry of the cells in order to increase their energy density, rather than stacking additional battery modules, a commonly used technique. This major new technology has been developed while ensuring the battery’s reliability and safety.

The battery’s large storage capacity ensures longer range for the ZOE thanks to the meticulous work that went into integrating the battery in the vehicle. The electronic management system of the battery optimises the ZOE’s energy use on the move, while the new air circulation system maintains the temperature of the ZOE’s battery at a constant level, making the car economical to run in very hot or very cold weather.

To complement the new battery, the ZOE motor has undergone a naming restructure, moving from being related to range (in kilometres) to power output (in horsepower) to match internal combustion engine vehicles, as follows:

ZOE motor (2012-2016)

ZOE motor (2016- )

Max. charge speed

Power

R240

R90

22kW (Rapid)

90hp

Q210

Q90

43kW (Quick)

90hp

Renault’s electric vehicle expertise

Renault designed and makes the ZOE with the expertise it has acquired as a pioneer in the world of electric-vehicle mobility and as Europe’s number one electric-vehicle brand, as well as its technical and sporting partnership roles in the FIA Formula E Championship – Renault e.Dams are two-times winners of the electric motor racing championship.

Like the 22kWh battery, the new Z.E. 40 battery is assembled at Renault’s Flins plant, near Paris. The same factory is responsible for the production of the Renault ZOE, alongside the Renault Clio. The ZOE was designed and engineered at the Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt, near Paris.

The R90 motor is made at Renault’s Cléon factory in Normandy, a flagship facility in the field of engine and transmission production for Groupe Renault. Launched in the spring of 2015, and originally known as the R240, this motor was entirely developed by Renault and led to the filing of 95 patents.

Servicing and Warranty

ZOE is available with a choice of Renault Service Plans. The 3 year/30,000 mile (whichever comes first) Service Plan is available at the recommended retail price of £429 and the 4 year/40,000 mile Service Plan available at £639. Servicing is required once a year or every 18,000 miles.

All versions provide the peace of mind of Renault’s 4+ Z.E. warranty and assistance package. The car is protected by Renault for four years or 100,000 miles (first two years have no mileage limit). For Z.E. vehicles with a Battery Hire Contract, the Renault Assistance cover is linked to the period of the Battery Hire. In the event of a breakdown even if you run out of charge, Renault provides emergency roadside repairs or repatriation 24/7 every day of the year, plus three years’ European cover. There is also a three-year paint warranty and 12 years’ cover against corrosion.

Source; Renault

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