Drivers in the United Kingdom shortly will have a new electric car option to choose from courtesy of French auto manufacturer Renault. It recently announced its new super-mini Zoe is available now for pre-reservations of just £49. It will price around £13,650 ($21,868) starting after the UK Government Plug-in Car Grant deduction and be available next spring.
Renault calls the Zoe the flagship of its electric vehicle offerings. It can drive a range of up to 130 miles on the European NEDC cycle, and features a special EV battery charger that is compatible with all power levels up to 43kW. Charging batteries at a charging station can take between 30 minutes and nine hours, with 80 percent of full battery power able to be achieved within 30 minutes.
Under the hood, so to speak, is a synchronous electric motor with rotor coil that has a power output of 65kW (equivalent to 88hp) and delivers maximum torque of 220Nm. Renault feels the Zoe’s acceleration and pull-away are responsive from low speeds, while top speed is limited to 84 mph.
The Zoe has a number of technological features common to electric cars, including regenerative braking to help restore energy to the battery. It also comes outfitted with an external alarm which warns pedestrians that the vehicle is approaching. This can be important given how quiet electric cars tend to be. The alarm can be heard from 1 to 18 mph, and can be shut off by the driver if so desired.
The vehicle will come in three trim levels. Creature comfort features, depending upon one’s trim level choice, could include a multimedia system that consists of a large seven-inch display, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition and makes use of apps; programmable pre-conditioning for heating or cooling when the vehicle is charging; a rear parking camera; a charcoal cabin air filter and LED headlights.
Other Renault electric vehicle offerings include the Fluence Z.E. saloon, Kangoo Van Z.E. and the urban runabout Twizy. All of these vehicles are part of a plan by the auto maker to cut its “carbon footprint” by 10% between now and 2013 and a further 10 percent between 2013 and 2016.