Zapmap verdict: ”A long range and excellent cabin make this compact EV a real contender in the supermini market, electric or otherwise”
- ● OTR: £27,495
- ● Category: Supermini
- ● Tax: £0 VED – 0% BIK
- ● Cost to charge: £8.30
- ● Emissions: 0 g/km CO2
- ● Cost per mile of range: £112
Renault Zoe Z.E. 50: Range & charging
Renault’s Zoe is one of the few second-generation EVs available, and as such it benefits from many years’ experience in refining and improving the package. Improvements come in range, power, charging, and styling.
There are two core configurations available:
- ● Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 R110 – 81 kW – 52 kWh – 245 miles
- ● Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 R350 – 100 kW – 52 kWh – 239 miles
The official WLTP driving range for the Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 is as good as 245 miles on a charge, though this can vary depending on specification. The GT Line model tested sees that drop to 235 miles on a charge. It’s one of the best driving ranges available for an electric supermini regardless of specification.
In real-world driving in the model tested, the calculated average range on a charge came in at 221 miles on a charge, over a variety of roads. Urban driving saw that shoot up to around 270 miles on a charge, and motorway driving sees that figure drop to around 180 miles.
Renault has revised its brake energy recuperation for this generation Zoe, and it’s the better for it. There are D and B settings to prioritise casting or stronger regen, plus an Eco button for each setting. The B option doesn’t allow for full ‘one-pedal’ driving, can get close with careful anticipation. You’d struggle in town driving though. It quickly became apparent that it’s an effective system when used, rather than just leaving the Zoe in D or B.
A key improvement over the older Zoe is the addition of 50 kW DC CCS rapid charging as an option. It will open up the Zoe to more buyers, reducing charging times to around 45 minutes when fitted. Buyers can keep costs lower by not having rapid charging available. All Zoe models will charge at up to 22 kW AC, with the inlet – Type 2 or Type 2 CCS – behind the Renault badge at the front of the car.
The Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 on the road
With 100 kW available to the driver in the R135 model tested, the Zoe feels sprightly enough. A 0-62mph time comes in at a little under 10 seconds, but the Zoe seems quicker than that in day-to-day driving, particularly in the stop-start nature of town driving.
What’s The Renault Zoe Z.E. 50 like to drive?
Performance is a match for any environment – from urban driving to motorways – and the handling will deal with those two environments nicely. When pushing on down a twisty road, there is a fairly amount of body lean in corners, but not an excessive amount. The Zoe is at its most comfortable either soaking up bumps in town or settling down to a long-distance cruise.
Renault Zoe Z.E. 50: Comfort & Practicality
Renault has taken what was a weak point for the previous generation Zoe and turned it into a definite strength. The Zoe Z.E. 50’s cabin is excellent, and feels really high quality. There is space for four adults, though two and two children would be a better fit most of the time, and the boot is of a useful size for the supermini class.
Design and functionality
It’s easy to use the switchgear available, and the driver gets a clear and customisable digital instrument panel. Higher trim levels get a very good portrait infotainment screen with navigation, but regardless of the specification, the materials used feel excellent.
Renault Zoe Z.E. 50: Tech & Specifications
There are three trim levels – Play, Iconic, and GT Line. Play comes with the R110 motor and no rapid charging option, whilst Iconic has the widest range of powertrain options – R110 or R135, with or without rapid charging on each. GT Line is only available with the higher power motor, and is available with or without rapid charging. The GT Line with Rapid Charging comes with:
- 9.3-inch touchscreen navigation system with connected services and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- 10-inch digital instrument panel
- 16-inch alloys
- Front & rear parking sensors & parking camera
- Part-recycled textile, part-synthetic leather upholstery
- Brake energy recuperation with Eco mode and meter
- LED headlights
- Wireless phone charger
Renault’s Zoe Z.E.50 is a first-rate electric supermini. It’s got a very useful range, and practical interior despite its compact proportions. For a fun-to-drive small EV, buyers are better off looking at the likes of BMW, Mini, and Honda, though none can get close to the range on offer from the comfortable Renault.
And how much is the road tax on a Renault Zoe Z.E. 50? Use our Car Tax Calculator to find out.
The Renault Zoe Z.E. 50’s rivals
Peugeot e-208 The Zoe’s closest rival, with a shorter real-world range but similar levels of interior space and cabin quality.
BMW i3 Very different proposition, but still an excellent electric supermini – great fun to drive as well and a good driving range.
Mini Electric Much shorter range than the Zoe Z.E. 50, but much more fun to drive, and a stylish alternative for buyers.
All information above correct at time of publication. Official economy figures, pricing, and tax rates supplied by the manufacturer. Cost to charge based on 0-100% charge at home on a tariff of 16 p/kWh.