Words by Declan Glynn
French vehicle-manufacturing giant Renault has a long history in producing electrified motoring solutions.
With their ZOE fully-electric supermini, they are proud to offer an affordable electric car, which is fitted with a lithium-ion battery for great performance and durability.
The Renault ZOE was initially launched in Ireland in 2013, and received a face-lift in 2017, which brought with it a new 41kWh battery capable of a real-life driving range of up to 300km.
Thanks to Renault’s electric vehicle experience and expertise, they were able to offer motorists a greater driving range, and full flexibility.
This set a new milestone in the market of affordable electric vehicles, making innovation from tomorrow, and electric driving pleasure, accessible to everyone, today.
The ZOE has the stylish appearance of a coupe thanks to built-in rear door handles, which have been branded with the designer’s fingerprint.
Combined with an interior design that is thoughtful and spacious, the Renault ZOE offers the best of both worlds.
My review car was a Renault ZOE ZE (Zero Emission) 40 Signature Nav, finished in Pearl Black metallic paint.
Generous standard equipment can be found across the ZOE range, with my test car equipped with 16” ‘Grey Shadow’ alloy wheels, automatic climate control with one-touch demist function, Renault R-Link Multimedia system, electric front windows, ZE Voice Control AND ZE Connect system.
Other features included satellite navigation, part-leather seating, parking camera, rear parking sensors, keyless entry with push button start and a BOSE 3D sound system.
All models in the Renault ZOE range are fitted with an automatic gearbox as standard.
This single-speed gearbox provides linear and fluid acceleration, which maximises driving pleasure.
The ZOE’s electric motor produces 108bhp and a healthy 225Nm of torque, allowing the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 11.4 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 134km/h.
On the road, the Renault ZOE feels very little different to a petrol or diesel supermini, with one striking difference being the lack of sound from under the bonnet.
Power delivery is terrific from takeoff, with the single-gear automatic gearbox providing plenty of forward momentum when asked to do so.
The Zoe turns into corners with great poise, helped by its light and precise steering, and there’s plenty of grip.
Taking inspiration from seating found in electric trains across Europe, the seats in the ZOE are comfortable and contemporary, while the uncluttered dashboard is functional and intuitive in equal measure.
Although it shares some components with its sibling, the Renault Clio, the exterior designs of both cars are completely different.
A low loading lip on the ZOE allows for easy access to a generous 338-litre boot, which can be easily extended to 1,225-litres when the rear seats are folded.
The Renault ZOE is uniquely fitted with Renault’s patented Chameleon charger, which is compatible with a range of different sockets and sources.
It is also able to charge at the maximum power available, from 3.6kW to 43kW. This means that charging is quicker, more efficient and saves money.
For example, using a 43kW charger will allow the car to charge fully in less than 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Pricing for the new Renault ZOE starts at just €24,990 (inclusive of an SEAI grant and VRT relief). Metallic paint is an additional €640.
Overall, the Renault ZOE is enjoyable to drive, quiet, classy, stylish and a desirable-looking small car.
With extremely low running costs guaranteed, this wonderful small car could be the ideal car to introduce motorists to the world of pure electric motoring.