Renault Zoe – 100% Electric Car

Posted by Jeroen van Agt in Transport 17 Comments»

The Zoe is a 100% electric five-door hatchback car from Renault which is designed to be electric from the start. This electric car is the first car with a considerable range (210 km) and with an affordable price of 20.000 euro. This car has the potential to revolutionize the electric car market.

Engine and batteries

The Zoe is powered by a 65 kW engine with 220 Nm of torque and has a top speed 135 km/h (84 mph). Acceleration from 0-100 km/h (63 mph) in 13.5 seconds.

Inside the hood

The lithium-ion battery pack of 22 kWh delivers a range of 210 km (130 miles) under the NEDC cycle. The batteries are leased by Renault to the owner of the electric car. Therefore the price of this car is a lot lower than other electric cars with a simular range.

The cost of leasing the battery starts from €79/month (price for a 36-month contract and a distance travelled of 12,500km/year), inclusive of comprehensive breakdown assistance (which covers flat batteries).

When the battery goes below 75% of intial charging capacity, Renault will replace it free of charge. The expected battery lifespan is, in normal conditions, between 8 to 10 years.


In the NEDC cycle, ZOE is homologated with a range of 210km (130 miles). In real conditions, for example, in suburban use, the owner will generally achieve around 100km (63 miles) in cold weather and 150km (94 miles) in temperate conditions. A good ecodriver should get around 180km (113 miles) on the highway. In terms of autonomy, Renault has developed the ‘Range OptimiZEr’, that combines three major innovations (new generation regenerative braking, a heat pump and Michelin EnergyTM E-V tyres). Due to this, the range of ZOE is the highest of the electric vehicles in mass production.



Electric cars drive very silent and can suprise pedestrians and visual impaired as they approach. Therefore the Renault ZOE features Z.E. Voice, a function that warns pedestrians that the car is coming. Special design studies were carried out on Z.E. Voice, which can be heard at between 1 and 30 kph, in order to give the Renault ZOE its own sound identity. Drivers can choose between three different sounds or turn the function off simply by pressing a button.


ZOE is the only electric vehicle to feature the Chameleon charger. Patented by Renault, this charger is compatible with all power levels up to 43kW. Charging batteries at a charging station can take between 30 minutes (fast charging) and nine hours (at home). For example, ZOE can be charged in an hour at 22kW. This intermediate power level extends battery life and puts less pressure on the power grid than the fast-charging of batteries at 43kW.


Regenerative Braking

Instead of wasting braking energy into heat like a fossil fueled car, the Renault Zoe uses regenerative braking. During braking, the motor is used as generator which will slow the car down while charging the batteries of the car.

Energy Usage

A fully charged battery with a capacity of 22 kWh provides a range of 130 miles (NEDC). Therefore the consumption is 169 Wh / mile. The average US residential retail price for electricity in 2012 is $0.12 / kWh. The price per mile is 0,169 kWh x $0.12 = $0.020 or 2 dollar-cent per mile. A full battery load will cost 22 kWh x $0.12 = $2.64.


Power 80 kW
Torque 220 Nm
Top Speed 135 km/h (84 mph)
Energy Usage (NEDC) 105 Wh/km (169 Wh/mile)
0-50 km/h (0-31 mph) 4 s
0-80 km/h (0-50 mph) 8.6 s
0-100 km/h (0-63 mph) 13.5 s
Range (NEDC) 210 km (130 miles)
Capacity 22 kWh
Type Lithium-ion
Voltage 400 V
Modules / Cells 12 / 192
Weight 290 kg (639 lb)

Fast Charging (43kW) 30 min (80%)
Public Charging (22 kW) 1 hour (80%)
Public Charging (11 kW) 2 hours
At Home – WallBox (230V 16A) 6-9 hours
At Home (230V 10A) 10 hours
Weight 1468 kg (3236 lb)


The Renault Zoe is a five-door hatchback. Renault ZOE’s interior reflects its modern and ecological character.



In contrast with a lot of other electric cars the trunk has a lot of room. The batteries are fitted in the floor of the car and therfore do not take any space in the trunk.


Internet connection

The car is fitted with a bluetooth connection which can be used to connect your phone. The Zoe is also equiped with a 2G internet data connection can be used for TomTom HD traffic information, application updates and remote control of heating/cooling systems via your smartphone. It is also possible to remotely monitor the charging status of the car. Ideal when your are charging on a public charging location and want to know when it’s time to walk back to the car.

Renault ZOE interior, source:


The dashboard has floating Renault R-link central tablet. This tablet can be used to access all type of functions, ranging from how ecologic your drive was, motor and battery statistics, navigation, email and multimedia. R-link which is using an Android OS will have an appstore which can offer all type of additional applications.

Renault Zoe R-Link, source:


The car can be ordered since the start of Paris Motor Show 2012 on 29 september. The car will be delivered to the first customers in the end of the first quarter of 2013.


Renault Zoe – Official Movie

Interesting Links

Renault Z.E. website
Renault ZE forum

Your Opinion

What do you think of this car? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

More information

If you know more about this car, let us know by leaving a comment below. Please add the also the url with the source of your information.

17 replies on “Renault Zoe – 100% Electric Car”

This article sounds like it’s just been copied from the Renault brochure. Did you write this yourself? This article feels far below your usual standard of articles with unique information. This is just rehasing manufacterer’s information.

I would have to agree with Jaap… apart from a few typos this could have come straight from a Renault marketing leaflet…

And ‘three major innovations’? I’m sorry, but all three are not innovative at all.

1) The Toyota Prius has been using a heat pump for interior heating for a long time. So, not an innovation.
2) Regenerative breaking has been around for ages, ever since the first electric cars. So, not an innovation.
3) Efficient tyres. Excuse me? Just prescribing another companies’ product is innovative, how exactly? A quick google showed me that these tyres are freely available for all cars. So, not an innovation.

Are you sure you want to rehash the Renault marketing material on your website without any critical look at it?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a neat little car and I’m sure you’ll be happy with it. But oh my, it’s way, way, WAY too heavy. A *real* innovation would be to produce a car this size and keep its weight under half its current weight.


I have to disagree with you that the Zoe has no innovations. To my knowledge, the Zoe is the first electric car to reach an NEDC range of 130 miles with battery pack of 22 kWh. Other cars, with simular battery sizes have a lot less range. Renault reached that goal by building a more efficient regenerative breaking system for the Zoe, a heat pump heating system (most electric cars use electric heating) and newly developed tires by Michelin.

Another smart “business” innovation is the fact that you can buy this electric car without the batteries and lease them from Renault. This results in a cost price reduction of 10K euro’s and makes this car accessible for a bigger group of people. Further this takes away the scare for potential buyers that they take a lot of risk when buying an electric car with very expensive batteries.

Regarding the heat pump in the Prius. Are you sure this is the case? The batteries of the Prius are so small than you can drive only 5 km on full electric. It doesn’t make sense to run a electric heat pump on those small batteries.

Regarding the weight. The weight (1468 kg) of the car (including the 22 kWh battery pack) is quite good. The only way to bring it further down (until new battery technology is available) is to design an electric car like a Twike. That is not a car but an electric bike. You cannot compare pears with apples.

I never said the Zoe has no innovations, I only said that the three innovations in your article/marketing brochure are absolutely no innovations. And that can be proven to be true. Regen breaking, heatpump heating and efficient tyres have been around for a very, very long time.

Yep, I am sure the Prius uses a heat pump for heating/cooling, I’ve been to petrol-> electric conversion workshop and they explained this to me. Yes, the Prius’ battery is small but I believe Toyota chose this method to enable the heater/AC to also run when the petrol engine is switched off.

About the range: let’s see real-world data first, then we’ll talk. Besides, a longer range can hardly be called innovation, it would be better called evolution (which is good, make no mistake about that). I just hate marketing talk, that’s all. Show me the real-world range with four persons on board, a cold battery with heater, lighting

I strongly disagree that one-and-a-half ton for a vehicle which will transport 1.1-1.3 persons on average (proven real-world numbers) can be called ‘good’. My experience with the solar racing taught me that two things are key to a low energy consumption per km: low weight and low air-resistance. This car is heavy and not very aerodynamic (overlay a water drop shape – the most aerodynamic shape around – on a side view of the car and you’ll that it’s basically build backwards). Building (much( lighter cars and making them much more aerodynamic could cut energy use per km by half, easily and possibly by three fourths. Lowering the maximum speed on motorways would also help greatly, directly by lowering speed and indirectly by stopping this absurd arms race where cars get ever heavier to be ‘safe’. At the same time, they become ever more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists.

Yes, a vehicle like the Twike is ‘different’ and that scares people because people don’t like ‘different’. The first petrol automobiles looked like horseless carriages because people wouldn’t drive anything that didn’t looked like a carriage. This is no different. A light car like the Tazzari Zero which uses much less energy per km is called ‘weird’ and ‘ugly’ by a narrow-minded public.

The only thing that could vaguely be called innovative is the battery rental system, but that’s an administrative solution to a psychological problem. Still, it makes painfully clear the high fixed costs associated with electric cars – encouraging people to drive many km to recoup those costs.

I’m sorry, but the facts support my opinion: the current generation of electric cars are basically just fossil cars with an electric drivetrain dropped in. They work, and they can work well for many people, and they save *some* energy – but not nearly as much as the marketing hype would have you believe.

That said: I still hope you enjoy your Zoe – and I’m sure you’ll use it for much more unnecessary car km than you think now. I know I would. That’s what cars do…

@Jeroen Haringman,

My plan is indeed to buy this car personally and share my real life experience driving this car via this blog

The idea for sharing electric car seems like a good idea. However, I am buying this car via my own company and therefore can profit from some big tax reductions. These reductions do not allow this car to be used for lease. This makes the sharing option financially unfortunately very unattractive.

Do you know about electric car which are shared in the Netherlands? How to handle charging? Who is paying for that? How to manage long distances (of other people) and the charging times. This doesn’t sound to easy to manage and plan this?

A charging pole in front of your house would fix that. Your neighbours could use the car. Greenwheels does it with electric cars and it doesn’t seem too complicated. Any online calendar could take care of the sharing /charging planning arrangement. Long distances you travel by train (like you said you’ll do) so that won’t be a problem too. Too bad your purchase method does not allow sharing, which is not leasing by the way so it might be worth an e-mail to check this for sure.

I don’t agree at all with the big tax reductions. I do not see why I as a tax payer should have to help pay for a relatively ineffecient transportation system while many other, much better systems are available. I paid for my bicycle myself, y’know?

You also avoided all my other points in the post above. Could you address them please? Thanks.

@Jeroen Haringman,

First let make myself clear that I agree 100% with you that biking for short distances (like in the town / city) is the best solution. Longer distances with good public transportation (together with rental bikes, like the Dutch OV bike) comes as the next best solution. A car can be used for remaining traveling requirements. My opinion is that an electric car is WAY better solution than a polluting fossil fuel car. An electric car can be fueled by 100% renewable energy, electric engines last very long, and it’s lithium-ion battery can be recycled. As with al new technology (remember the first mobile phone) this can be expensive to start (until it is mass production). A tax reduction for promoting electric car (as replacement for fossil fuel cars) is a very smart move. You have to be realistic that not all people will abandon their car like you did. Beter replace all fossil cars with some electric car and in parallel motivate people to use more bikes and public transportation. Your resistance against electric cars (and even prevent promotion of them) will only keep people driving their fossil cars, is guess that is not what you want? I think we share the same goal (100% renewable lifestyle) but IMHO we should be realistic and offer people multiple green solutions to choose from.

I’m not sure how you could ever classify any current electric car as part of a @ percent renewable lifestyle even in the remotest way. What are the tires made of? How are the batteries made? You go into a lot of trouble on an article here on olino about how nuclear energy is not carbon neutral because the mining is not carbon neutral. What then about the manufacture of this car? And how easy and expensive is it to recycle the attery? My electric bike has a battery full of individual batteries that I’m really not sure how it can be practically and economically recycled except by child labour in China. I may be wrong on this of course, just making some quick observations. Also, the risk Renault is taking by leasing the batteries on the few Zoes they sell is insignificant in their overall business model. But if they ever sell a lot of these things and the batteries don’t last as long as you claim, they may have to change the lease plan the next time you renew your contract in 3 years. And I don’t find 79 euros per month particularly cheap for the limited uses I could dream up for such a car. Of course we as individuals are all special cases, but I don’t know what you mean when you say
ealistic. What is realistic in a world of peak oil? I think the first thing that the 99 percent are not going to have money for is discretionary driving of big fat cars. And that will happen faster than you think. I also disagree with any tax subsidies that go into cars for personal use or even for business use, unless the business is a transport business and even then I prefer government money going into rail and water transport.

I don’t believe that electric cars today have anything to do with not consuming oil which is what this site purports to be about.

Could you use a captcha system that’s a bit easier to read? This is my fourth attempt at posting…

@Matt: I agree with your post for 110%. I also don’t see how these electric cars can be called sustainable in any reasonable way. Their popularity, of course, is derived from the fact that provide the illusion that we can continue ‘business as usual’.

The problem with electric cars is that fossil cars have many problems (disadvantages which affect mostly *other* people, what is known as negative externalities) and changing the energy source removes only one or two of these disadvantages – and not even all that well, according to research.

I’m surprised that people that can imagine the many changes that are needed for electric cars to become a ‘success’ are in most cases unable to imagine the changes needed for a truly sustainable transport system, based not on private ownership of heavy, inefficient and dangerous electric cars but on the idea that cities need to be designed for people. Cities with short travel distances between homes, work and recreation, fast and comfortable public transport, road systems that are optimised for light (electric) two-wheelers.

The problem of course, is easily identified. Technical changes are ‘easy’. People can continue their way of life – or so they think. Social changes, on the other hand, are ‘hard’. For that, people need to change. And people don’t like to change. Or, to put it differently, in the techno-optimistic world, other people pay for our comforts. In a truly sustainable world, we pay ourselves.

(And yes, I also agree with your remark about the captcha. I usually need three or four tries before I can read what it says. Not a very big problem, but it doesn’t invite posting, either.)

Hoi J Haringman,

I don’t want to be too negative on this site which I generally support. But yes, you can’t convince a techno-optimist very much. If they are convinced that technical change will happen fast enough to solve the rather evident problems facing us then nothing is required except supporting technical change as it happens on the margin. And for me I do support olino on the margin, I even link to this article from other sites…;) Nuff said.

“A third of humanity doesn’t want to ride bikes anymore; that has profound geopolitical implications.”
—Anne Korin, the co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (May 1, 2005)

A major reminder:
you rent (NOT lease) the battery pack from Renault.
When you LEASE, you can become the owner of the leased object (buy it at end of lease contract).
Though you are RENTING the battery, you are merely end-user of the battery pack which is owned by manufacturer.

This piece of writing is in fact a nice one it helps new
internet viewers, who are wishing for blogging.

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