Renault's electric car sales building for "take off"

Ghosn reports: “There are still investments going in, but for now we have the total package we promised, four cars for Renault and two for Nissan (who are in a partnership with Renault)”.

“Now the priority is to sell”.

Looking to lead Renault’s electric sales this spring onwards is the Zoe, a supermini-sized electric car based on the platform of the latest Clio and built on the same production line at the Flins factory based in France.

The Renault Zoe’s total starting price will be £17,983 when also taking into account a UK deduction provided via the government’s low emission vehicle grant. This makes the Zoe roughly half the price of most other mainstream electric vehicles found in the market today.

Such a low price for this new model is possible since Renault retains ownership of the car’s batteries and leases them for £70 a month. According to Renault, the 22kWh battery pack found in the Zoe could have added thousands of pounds to the total cost of the car had it been actually included in the price.

Ghosn spoke confidently about the Zoe’s potential to allow electric car sales to be propelled, following the company’s EV investment which works out to the equivalent of £3.4 million.

The Renault CEO further commented: “Zoe is a real car which will make a big change in the perception of electric vehicles”.

“When I started our EV programme in 2006-07 a lot of people considered an electric car was a golf cart. Today the EV challenge has been met”.

“We are building the right conditions for EV sales to take off. Most car makers will be represented by 2014-15. We didn’t do EVs as a hobby. It’s a business and a profit centre. Today the (Nissan) Leaf is profitable and it will be the same for the Zoe”.

The Zoe is the next model in the company’s Zero Emission (ZE) line-up which has already delivered other all-electric vehicles to the market in the last couple of years. Earlier examples from Renault’s ZE range include the Kangoo ZE van, the Renault Fluence ZE saloon and the Renault Twizy ZE city car.

The hatchback uses an 88bhp electric motor to deliver a projected travel range of 130 miles plus a CO2 emissions output of 0g/km.

The absence of CO2 emissions means the Zoe customers will benefit from exemption on paid Road Tax.

Renault says the Zoe hatchback will have the longest range of any electric vehicle currently on the market.

The car will also be available with the manufacturer’s latest R-Link connectivity infotainment system in its cabin which includes satellite navigation accessed by a touchscreen function.

Soon before its launch the Renault Zoe’s profile has been bolstered by the fact it is one of three finalists in contention for this year’s World Green Car of the Year award.

The Zoe also recently acquired a maximum five-star rating from the safety body Euro NCAP after the car completed its crash tests. The Renault Zoe scored an overall rating of 82 per cent from Euro NCAP, performing to a consistently high standard in all four key categories of the testing programme.

Not only does it boast long range and safety, the Renault Zoe has also already received numerous awards prior its official launch.

Last year the Zoe was entered into the Guinness book of records for the longest distance travelled by an EV in 24 hours, which was due to the use of a new revolutionary Chameleon charger which allows the ZOE to charge up to 80 per cent battery capacity in just 30 minutes.

With this the Renault Zoe was able to cover an amazing 1,005 miles at the Aubevoye Speed Ring in Normandy, France, within the span of just 24 hours.

With all this news arriving in the build up, the expectations for the Renault Zoe will be inevitably high, but the company behind this model have sounded no worries regarding the car’s ability to meet motorists’ requirements.

The Renault Zoe is available to order now from Perrys Renault Dealership in Aylesbury.

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