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Opinions on the Renault Zoe


In order to bring you simple and clear information about the Renault Zoe. We decided to realize this complete article. This test will enlighten you and guide you in your choice. Find in this article all the history, the information you are looking for, as well as our opinion on the Renault Zoe. Renault’s flagship electric car.

History of the Renault Zoe

Before we talk about the Renault Zoe electric, let’s stop for a moment to talk about Renault’s involvement in the electric vehicle world. Currently the leader in the affordable electric car sector, Renault has been focusing on its Renault Z.E. or Zero Emission range since late 2011.

It includes the Kangoo Z.E, the Fluence Z.E, the Twizy, and of course, the most “accessible” of all in our opinion remains the Renault Zoe.

Renault Zoe City Car (2005)

For the general public, the story of the Renault Zoe began in 2005. The very first Zoe City Car concept was presented at the Geneva International Motor Show. Like any good concept car, it had a lot of features that will be abandoned in the version we know today.

However, these concepts are there to make us dream, and imagine the vehicles that we will not have tomorrow, but the day after tomorrow. Thus, motorized door, rear hatch with double motorized opening, footrest integrated into the passenger seat for the rear passenger had a nice place there.

This vehicle was intended to be cleaner, but was not yet an electric car. It is therefore, in our opinion, almost a Renault Zoe electric. It was equipped with a small combustion engine (1.2 liter with 16 valves and a turbocharger) to comply with the Euro 4 standard.

Renault Zoe Concept (2009)

In 2009, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Renault Zoe concept Z.E. appeared, a fully electric car. The concept presented to us at the time promises a range of 160 km. At the time, Renault specified that a “Quick Drop” terminal was capable of recharging the battery in 3 minutes.

Like any concept car, we also find here, features abandoned in the future. Air conditioning with misters developed with L’Oréal, butterfly doors or customizable interior atmosphere are now a distant memory. A more than enthusiastic opinion for this Zoe concept presented then.

Renault Zoe Preview (2010)

A year later, at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show, we were presented with the Zoe Preview, which was to be the first commercialized version of this electric car. In fact, 90% of the car presented will be used for its production version. Wiser than the concept cars presented at the time, it is an urban vehicle with a range of 160 km.

We will appreciate the fact that the brand with the chevrons has kept a 100% electric engine. Renault then informs us that 3 types of charging will be possible.

A long charge of 6 to 8 hours for the standard full charge, a fast charge in 30 minutes for 80% of the battery in a charging station, and in 3 minutes for a station with battery exchange. This Renault Zoe electric Preview gives us a more than positive opinion. We are now looking at the car of tomorrow.

Renault Zoe phase 1 (2012)

We finally find here the 1st marketed version. It is offered in 3 versions with a range of 170 to 230 km. All the codes of the Zoe Renault Preview have been taken over, with some deliberate omissions. The front lights are no exception.

Definitely wiser than the first concept car presented many years earlier, we still feel that it is entering a new area. In our opinion, this Zoe Phase 1 is clearly the new electric car available to the general public.

Some improvements (2017)

For this new version, no apparent changes. The exterior, the interior, nothing changes. The change concerns the autonomy. It is revised upwards to reach 300km.

Our first piece of advice is to always try a vehicle before you buy it. So, click on the button below to try this new Zoe for free. If you want more details about this model, read on and find in this Renault Zoe review all the details about this new electric car.

Technical specifications of the Renault Zoe

Available engines

When you choose a new Zoe, you have a choice of three different engines:

Zoe R110Zoe R135
Motor power108 ch – 80 kW135 ch – 100 kW
Couple225 Nm245 Nm
0-100 km/h11.4 s9.5 s
Maximum speed135 km/h140 km/h
  • The R90 version delivers 90 horsepower and a range of 317 km. This is the default version for the Zoe’s entry-level range. It allows for a recharge of up to 22 kWh.
  • The R110 version offers 110 horsepower for 300 km of autonomy, and a recharge identical to the R90 of 22 kWh.
  • The Q90 version develops a power identical to the R90 version of 90 hp for a range identical to the R110 version of 300 km. The maximum charge of 43 kWh indicated by Renault differs from the two previous models. In our opinion, this engine will offer the most flexibility.

There is little difference between the three engine versions offered for the new Zoe. The difference in range is negligible, while power ranges from a minimum of 90 hp to a maximum of 110 hp.

The most notable difference is the maximum recharge time, which increases from 22 kWh for the R90 and R110 to 43 kWh for the Q90. This last point is important because it indicates that the Q90 version of the engine of the new Renault Zoe electric allows a much faster recharge.

Recharge time

The recharging time of the Renault Zoe varies according to several factors. First of all the engine, which allows a certain maximum charge. Thus, the R90 and R110 have a maximum charge of 22 kWh (kilo Watt hour) and the Q90 43 kWh.

This corresponds to the speed at which the current can enter the battery. This allows you to charge your electric car more or less quickly. The charging station used is another point that has an impact on the Zoe’s charging time. There are several types of charging stations, with different charging intensities.

We can find Quick Chargers, mainly available in specialized service stations, and Wallbox/Public Charger, which you can install at home, or which you can find in the public space. The installation of a Wallbox at home is in our opinion a prerequisite for any Renault Zoe owner.

EngineCharger typePower ChargerCharging time
Q90Quick Chargeur43 kW1h50
22 kW2h33
11 kW4h20
7,4 kW8h30
R90 / R110Quick Chargeur43 kW2h40
R90 / R110Wallbox/Public
22 kW2h40
R90 / R110Wallbox/Public
11 kW4h30
R90 / R110Wallbox/Public
7,4 kW7h18

Tip about recharge time

The time required to fully recharge the Zoe can vary from 1 hour 50 minutes to 8 hours 30 minutes. It is also important to know that the battery charges faster at the beginning of the charge than at the end.

Thus, the first half of the Renault Zoe’s battery will be much faster to recharge than the second half. A bit like filling a glass of water. At the beginning, we fill the glass quickly, while at the end, we are more careful not to put any aside.

The charging cables

Concerning the charging cables of the Renault Zoe electric, we find 3 different types that are compatible with this electric car. The cables are made of two tips. The one on the car side will be for the Renault Zoe always a Type 2.

Type 1 to DomesticAllows you to connect to a conventional outlet at home.
Type 1 to Type 2The type 2 has been implemented in order to homogenize the terminals at the European level. It is the new standard.
Type 1 to Type 3Type 3 is an old French standard. It is gradually being replaced by the type 2 cable used on terminals at home as well as on the public highway or in gas stations.
Type 4 (Chademo)The Chademo connector allows for fast charging. As for any fast charge, the cable is fixed on the charging station. It will therefore be possible to connect your new Nissan Leaf with this cable, but it will not be necessary to have one with you.

In order to be ready to charge your Zoe almost anywhere, we therefore advise you to have a type 2 cable at all times. We also advise you to buy a domestic cable, which will allow you to charge your Renault Zoe everywhere.

In our opinion, for your New Zoe, it is not absolutely necessary to have a type 3 cable. This standard is gradually being replaced by type 2.

The price

The price of your new Renault Zoe electric will vary greatly depending on 4 main factors. The finish you choose, the options you select, the type of financing for the electric car and battery, and the engine you choose.

In the following table, find the price of your new Zoe according to the main criteria. No options are applied, and the battery lease includes a lease for 7500 km/year.

Please note that you can opt for a battery lease with more mileage, but it will cost you more. The prices also take into account the 6000€ of aid for the purchase of an electric car.

Zoe R110Zoe R135
Life32 500 €
Zen34 200 €34 800 €
Intens36 200 €36 800 €
Business34 700 €
Exception38 800 €

Note also that not all engines are available for all trim levels. Thus, we have a first price for the new Zoe with a battery lease of 60€/month for 7500km/year maximum at 18.125€ minus the 6.000€ made.


The used Renault Zoe

Just like the Nissan leaf, the first version of the Renault Zoe was released to the general public a few years ago, it is already possible to find a used Renault Zoe electric. However, beware of the battery lease that was mandatory at the time.

If you choose to buy a first generation used Renault Zoe (2012-2017), you will also have to sign for the battery lease of the previous owner. Aware of this difficulty in resale, Renault has announced that the battery lease will only be 1€/month for the first year for the new owner.

For the new model (from 2017 onwards), you are given the choice to purchase it completely, without going through any kind of lease. This greatly facilitates the possibility of reselling your Zoe on the second-hand market.

Anyway, the price of the used Renault Zoe starts at just under 7000€. It is therefore relatively easy to find this electric car for less than 10,000€ used. However, a Renault salesman informed us that the available models do not stay available for long.

The used car market seems to be relatively tight. The main culprit is the €6,000 purchase subsidy in France. Indeed, other countries tend to buy all or most of the used Renault Zoe fleet in France in order to resell them abroad, having indirectly benefited from this rebate.

Our opinion on the Renault Zoe electric

With its modern exterior and overall design, the new Zoe is the perfect vehicle for a new era of electric cars. As for the interior, don’t look for the level of finish of a German manufacturer. The plastics are not flattering and the rear seat does not have any form of modernity.

However, this is not about producing a premium vehicle. It is an electric vehicle that is affordable for everyone. In our opinion, the Renault Zoe fully meets the challenge. The price-quality ratio is very interesting.

Autonomy is still the biggest point to improve when we talk about an electric car. Accustomed to having vehicles that can easily cover hundreds of kilometers, we will first have to rebuild the use we make of our cars. But is this really a problem?

Today, this new Renault promises us 300 km of autonomy. The average distance travelled by car per day and per person is 31 km. The 300 Km announced seems to us, finally, quite corresponding to our uses.

As far as driving is concerned, according to the majority of people who have tried it, the Zoe is a very pleasant vehicle to drive. Not to mention the specificity of electric cars that make them extremely quiet. So quiet that Renault has added an audio system that warns pedestrians of the vehicle’s arrival when it is travelling at less than 30 km/h.

To conclude

With this new electric Renault, the manufacturer does not steal its place as market leader. For us, it’s a wise choice when you want to own your first electric car. If you’re looking for a compact electric city car, but big enough to take passengers as well as a few groceries, we think the Renault Zoe electric is a great choice!

In order to make the right purchase, the OnMybike team writes daily articles on hybrid and electric cars


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