Development of Renault’s electric models is ahead of schedule, as the recently released Zoe Z.E 40 was actually due next year.
Speaking at the Financial Times Car of the Future event in London this week, senior vice president for electric vehicles Gilles Normand, revealed that Renault had ‘anticipated launching the Zoe Z.E.40 in 2018’. The new longer range Zoe arrived towards the end of last year, and Renault has seen Zoe sales dramatically increase since the car’s launch.
There are naturally already plans to go further though, with Gilles revealing that Renault wants to offer EVs with a range of more than 370 miles (600km) in the future. He also stated that battery development isn’t being restricted to the existing lithium-ion cells commonly used in today’s EVs, but other set-ups are also being worked on too.
The cost of EVs is will continue to fall as more models are added to the market and additional manufacturers produce their own electric models too. Costs for internal combustion cars are expected to go up because of the additional measures and development required for them to pass increasingly more stringent emissions tests. At the same time, the cost of EVs will reduce as battery prices fall thanks to increased production.
Gilles reckons that B-segment cars like the Zoe will have price parity with models such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa early in the 2020s, while larger models such as a Megane sized vehicle will see an equal EV footing by the middle of the next decade. Interestingly, this could hint at a forthcoming larger, family-sized Renault EV , though Gilles could have just been referring to sister company Nissan’s Leaf.
Certainly linked to Nissan’s technology is a two-way vehicle-to-grid smart charging system for the Zoe, which will be able to act as an energy storage device as well as an EV. The national grid has said in the past that it has enough capacity to cope with a switch over to electric vehicles, but that the increased numbers of plug-in models will require a smarter way of using that capacity.
Vehicle-to-grid systems will see drivers able to charge during the day or night when demand is lower, and then take energy from the car’s battery in the evening and early morning when demand is at its greatest. Nissan already has a system available on its Leaf, and it is expected that a similar set-up will be available on the Zoe soon too.
Find charge points compatible with Renault’s Zoe by selecting the model from the Filter by EV tool on Zap-Map.