With four electric models in its lineup, Renault is the most charged of the European automakers. Its new Zoe, a four-door hatchback EV that’s similar in size and appearance to the super-popular Clio, took center stage at the Geneva Auto Salon.
The Zoe sports a 22 kWh battery pack and an 87 bhp (65 kW) synchronous electric motor. Maximum torque is 220 N·m (162 lb-ft), top speed is 135 km/h (84 mph) and range is 210 km (130 miles) according to the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The Zoe’s “Chameleon” charger allows it to be charged at any power level up to 43 kW.
The Zoe went on sale in France in December 2012, and had sold 118 units through January 2013, according to Automobile Propre. Prices start at €20,700. All Renault’s EVs require a monthly fee to lease the battery, which ranges from €50 to €148 per month(!), depending on the model and the yearly distance travelled, and includes comprehensive breakdown assistance.
According to Renault, the Fluence Z.E., which features a Better Place swappable battery, is still available, but there was no sign of it whatsoever in Geneva.
Europeans do love their cute little cars. The Twizy, an electric single-seater (correction) two-seater that looks like something from a 1960s sci-fi movie, and comes in several cheerful color schemes, drew a steady stream of curious onlookers at the show. Range is around 100 km, and prices start at €7,090.
A few meters away, the practical Kangoo Z.E. sat on the sidelines like the plain girl at the ball. This electric version of Renault’s ubiquitous small van comes in two sizes and is available with the latest high-tech bells and whistles, including a 7-inch touchscreen. Under the hood are a 22 kWh battery pack and a 44 kW synchronous electric motor. Range is between 80 and 125 km, according to Renault. The company says that 7,000 are already on the road in Europe, including 1,800 in service with the French postal service. Prices start at €20,300.
Images: NRMA New Cars ,Charlie Morris