The production version of the Renault ZOE has been revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, and we can reveal it will have a 130-mile range and cost £13,650 (after the £5,000 Government grant) when it goes on sale in October.
Speaking at the press conference, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn claimed: "We expect electric vehicles to make up ten per cent of the global sales by 2020 and Renault-Nissan will be the clear leader."
The Zoe uses an 89bhp motor with 220Nm of torque - enough for a top-speed of 84mph. Much more important though is the range of 130-miles, a record for a produciton electric car, although that will drop to somewhere between 62 and 93-miles around town. The Chameleon charged allows the battery to be topped up to 80 per cent in just 30 mins from a fast charger, or takes nine hours from a standard socket.
It's also the first Renault to feature te R-Link multimedia system - which allows you to download various apps to add to the driving experience. Fifty different apps will be available from launch.
The ZOE was designed from the start as an electric car, and staff at Renault’s Technocentre in Guyancourt, near Paris, told us they had a clear choice on styling. “We had to decide whether to make it look like an electric car or not,” said design director for Europe Geoff Gardiner.
They decided that buyers would want a beautiful car that happened to be electric. So why is it packaged like a regular supermini, albeit a tall one, at 1.6 metres? “Crash regulations meant the nose had to stay a similar shape and height to other cars’,” said Gardiner. “There’s a lot of kit under the bonnet, too.
“A radiator is needed to cool the electric motors, plus there are separate air-con systems for the passengers and battery.” The batteries are in the floor, and Gardiner added: “The low weight makes it like a go-kart to drive. It’s fun.”
And interior designer Catherine Joly said: “We wanted to express purity inside, reflecting the zero emissions, and give a quality feel.” The top-spec Zen has a perfume diffuser via a tie-up with L’Oreal.
The ZOE is clearly a crucial car for Renault, as vice president of corporate design Laurens van den Acker explained: “I hope it is for us what the Prius is for Toyota.”