Car Reviews

Wednesday 23 July 2014

ZOE turns up the volume to let people know it's here

Eddie Cunningham

Published 30/04/2014|02:30

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Renault's new electric supermini - ZOE.

RENAULT is making a lot of noise – mostly about its new electric supermini, the ZOE – but some of it is aimed at other road users and pedestrians.

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Because electric vehicles hardly make any noise, automakers have to take steps to create their own sound to alert pedestrians, especially, of their presence.

The ZOE has an alarm for use in built-up areas which warns people it is approaching. The 'Z.E. Voice' works when the car is travelling in the 1kmh-20kmh range.

You can choose between three different sounds.

Or you can turn it off.

The new supermini, which costs from €17,490 (delivery and related charges extra) just arrived here this week.

Renault claim a range of up to 210km. In fairness, they admit you will get around as low as 100km in cold weather suburban use and in the region of 150km when the weather is warmer. The electric motor develops 88bhp.

They see this as a car for commuting, going to the supermarket doing the school runs etc. The electric motor develops 88bhp.

There are three trim levels: Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens.

It has what the call 'Range OptimiZEr' – a mix of latest – regenerative braking, heat pump and MICHELIN EnergyTM E-V tyres.

They also say it is the only electric vehicle to have the Chameleon charger. This is compatible with all power levels up to 43kW.

It takes between 30 minutes and nine hours to charge the batteries depending on outlet.

They claim it will charge to 80pc capacity in around an hour – better they say than rivals' three-to-four hours at the same charge point.

With the ZOE you hire, not buy, the battery – it costs €49 a month.

Should it fall below 75pc of its original capacity, it will be repaired or replaced, regardless of the car's age or mileage. Full roadside assistance is part of the rental deal.

The car also has a new multimedia system called Renault R-Link. It has a 7ins display, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition.

You can also programme the air-con when the vehicle is charging so the cabin is the temperature you want when you get in.

It costs €17,490 after VRT rebate and the SEAI grant with the Dynamique Zen and Intens starting from €19,290.

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