Renault has revealed a new version of its Zoe EV at the Paris Motor Show, with a new battery that increases the car’s range to 250 miles on a single charge.
The upgrade sees Renault claim that the Zoe has the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle on sale today – the new model goes on sale in the UK in November – with the 41kWh battery almost double that of the existing 22kWh unit.
Renault – as it always has with its electric vehicles – reports a real-world driving range of 186 miles in urban or suburban areas, 80 more than the current model.
The time take to charge the new battery is similar to the 22kWh pack, so ‘topping up’ times will not change in reality. Around 30 minutes is needed to add an extra 50 miles of charge from a public point is the yardstick Renault is using. The Zoe will continue to be available with the Quick Charge option to allow for rapid AC charging too.
The improvements come about after Renault and its battery partner LG Chem have developed a more energy dense battery. This has seen capacity almost double, while the existing dimensions have remained the same.
Because of this, Renault has introduced a new naming structure, with the Zoe Z.E. 40 joining the line-up. This means that you can get a 22kWh Zoe which is rapid charge capable, while the new version replaces the longer-range, but non-rapid charge capable existing model.
Whereas before, there was a lot of weighing up needed by potential customers to decide between a slightly longer range over the ability to rapid charge, the new battery swings that choice significantly to the fast-charge only Zoe 40 – with the current 22kWh model likely to be the budget offering.
Renault has has also added two new services to the Zoe> range – Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass. The first uses the car’s navigation system to locate public charge points in all the main European countries, with the driver able to select points depending on charging capacity to suit their needs.
The other service is Z.E. Pass, a single access and payment system for the majority of public charge points in Europe, even though they are operated by different networks. This will make long distance EV travel easier, and allows the driver to pay with a smartphone app or RFID card/badge, and will be rolled out in the UK alongside France, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden in the next few months. Trials have already begun in Germany.