French automaker Renault, which has been working on rolling out electric cars in Europe for a bit now, hit a milestone last month as it turned over the keys for its first ZOE electric vehicle to Arnaud Montebourg, French Minister of Industrial Recovery. The delivery falls in line with France’s ambitious “Plan Automoible,” focused on building a sector of clean and competitive vehicles.
The Zoe, described by Renault as its first “broadly affordable full-electric car,” qualifies for a $9,230 rebate, dropping the starting price for it in France to around $18,000. The vehicle is set for a mass debut across its maker’s network this spring.
In terms of vehicle range, etc, the Zoe is currently designed to have a range of between 100 km and 150 km, and between 80 km and 100 km on the motorway, depending on the season. It reportedly can be charged to any level of power (up to 43 kW) over a period of between 30 minutes and nine hours. It also makes use of regenerative braking to help extend driving range.
Sporting a wound rotor synchronous electric motor that develops 65 kW with maximum torque of 220 Nm delivered instantly, according to Renault, it is a five door hatchback style design. The Zoe joins a growing electric car presence for Renault, which by the end of last October had already put 16,000 electric vehicles on European roads.
“The first ZOE delivery is a vital step in Renault’s electric vehicle offensive,” said Carlos Tavares, chief operating officer of the Renault group in a statement, ”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.”