A few thoughts following the Renault Zoe launch last week. In my Launch Pad blog, I posted a few questions I was hoping to get answers to. Here’s what I found out – and a bit more.
Q1: Is Renault’s separate battery rental scheme a better idea than buying the car and battery in one job lot, such as you would with a car like the Nissan Leaf?
A1: Depends. Sorry to be so vague, but there are cases for and against. Renault gives you a lifetime warranty with its battery rental scheme.
If the capacity of the battery drops below 75%, Renault will either recondition the battery to an as new standard or replace the unit.
The bad news is that even though you’ll have to ensure the battery pack even though you don’t own it. Renault does offer a special package for this, but it seems other insurers might not be so willing to offer you cover.
Q2: The official range is quoted as 130 miles. If the Zoe can live up to these claims it’ll be impressive.
A2: Even Renault admits that 130 miles on a full charge are ambitious. It says the Zoe will be more likely to cover between 62 and 93 miles real world depending on weather condition and driving style. That’s less impressive, but still quite strong.
Q3: From all the press shots it looks cool and funky both inside and out. Let’s hope quality matches up.
A3: It is cool and funky inside and out, with a glossy tablet-style infotainment system fitted as standard to all cars and a nice dash insert to break up the textures of plastic. Below your eye line and out of sight, material quality is not as strong, however.
Q4: What will residual values be like, and what happens to the battery lease if you sell it on before your contract is up?
A4: Residual values are difficult to predict, and experts CAP won’t even put a figure to a three-year-old Zoe.
If you sell your all-electric supermini the battery leasing contract automatically passes to the new owner. At this point, Renault will give you the option to review the tariff you’re on depending on your intended use and driving needs.
Overall, the Zoe is an extremely strong effort from Renault. There are plenty of positives to take and it evolves the capability and the appeal of the electric car.
Alongside this, there are a few questions, but Renault it’s a strong effort from the French firm and it should be commended for being so bold as to properly back its electric vehicle strategy.