Renault ZOE dominates Monte-Carlo eco rally

This event is the “greenest" segment of the Monte-Carlo New Energies Rally and it’s only open to electric vehicles.

The Rallye Monte-Carlo ZENN is designed to push the latest and best electric vehicles launched for European markets to their driving limits.

Earlier this month the fifth ever running of the rally took place, and featured three special stages ranging from 29 miles and 55 miles in length.

These stages were divided into a total of four regularity tests. The roads visited by the event included the breath-taking, twisty runs from La Turbie to Peille and from Sainte Agnes to La Turbie, high above the Mediterranean coast.

Participants had to contend with a combination of torrential rain and fog on the busiest day which featured two special stages divided into three regularity tests. The action concluded with an autotest on the harbour-side in Monaco, which measures precision driving capabilities of vehicles.

Making its first appearance at the annual rally, the Renault ZOE overcame the difficult weather conditions to take an emphatic outright win and victory in all four of the rally’s regularity tests. The ZOE managed to fend off competition including the Citroen C-Zero.

The driver of the winning Renault ZOE, Greg Jonkerlinck, commented: “This victory shows that we are at the dawn of a revolution".

Priced from £18,443, the five-door Renault ZOE offers a smooth and eco-friendly drive courtesy of its 88bhp electric motor. With this powertrain, the ZOE can go from a standstill to 60mph in 13.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 84mph.

According to Renault the ZOE also has an official maximum travel range of 130 miles, or around 64 to 92 miles in the real world. When travelling on the road, the ZOE returns zero CO2 emissions, helping towards incredibly low running costs. Standard equipment on the ZOE includes cruise control, climate control and an integrated infotainment system.

In just over a year since it first launched in Europe, the Renault ZOE itself has proven highly successful. The electric car has already sold 10,000 units in Europe to date. The ZOE also holds a chunky 40 per cent share of the electric vehicle market in Europe.

Helping the ZOE’s reputation is the fact it is a class leader when it comes to safety. The ZOE has a maximum five-star safety rating from the widely known European safety body Euro NCAP. The organisation also named the ZOE the Best Electric Vehicle of 2013.