Renault has made good on its promise of a "spa car" with the new Zoe Preview, unveiled today. The new model (seriously, look through the gallery and tell us this wasn't a high-end photo shoot) has some options that all electric vehicle drivers have been clamoring for: a hydrating air conditioning system, a detoxifying air filter and a "stimulating or relaxing scent diffuser." Admit it, you want those things, don't you?
Aside from the loopy interior options, Renault has made this "more human car" distinctive on the outside, with new almond-shaped headlights and indicator lights that "describe a cycle of colors resembling a sophisticated form of light therapy." The roof is transparent and the door controls are touch-sensitive circuit boards. The cherry on top of this flight of fancy is that the Zoe Preview turns phosphorescent in the dark, "adding to the mystery of the Unidentified Road-going Object, close in size to Clio."
The powertrain is almost standard in comparison, with a 100-mile range and a 6-8-hour charge time from ordinary European outlets. The Zoe Preview also offers swappable batteries where stations are available. Renault promises that the Zoe will launch in 2012 "at the same price as a Clio diesel."
Helping to protect the environment also means protecting others and protecting ourselves. Making zero noise and emitting zero pollutants during use, 100% electric ZOE Preview takes extra care of its occupants and their environment.
Right from first sight, ZOE Preview bids us to enter a new era. All the codes have been changed. The logo on the front, which heralds Renault's new signature, the digital, almond-shaped headlights and the indicator lights, which describe a cycle of colors resembling a sophisticated form of light therapy, put a face on the electric revolution. The combustion engine will not be the only thing to disappear. All vehicle uses and our very vision of mobility will be turned upside down. ZOE Preview ushers in the era of the more human car.
And more transparent, too, with its translucent roof and touch- sensitive door controls on printed circuit boards. And in the dark, ZOE Preview turns phosphorescent, adding to the mystery of the Unidentified Road-going Object, close in size to Clio. Its fluid lines, with the teardrop-shaped rear and taut hood, improve aerodynamic performance.
Life onboard also offers a glimpse of the future. In the softly lit interior, the dashboard, seats and controls come together in perfect harmony. Not to mention all the innovations that make ZOE Preview the first "spa car" in automotive history. The equipment package is designed to make the occupants feel relaxed and awake at the same time.
Skin hydration: conventional air conditioning systems can have a dehydrating effect onskin during longer journeys, but ZOE Preview's smart climate control system automatically adjusts the humidity level inside the car to optimise the comfort of its occupants.
Detox effect: a toxicity sensor monitors air quality and automatically closes the air vents if necessary. Harmful substances are trapped in the cabin filter to ensure that cabin air stays clean at all times.
Stimulating or relaxing scent diffuser: an electric system actively releases different scents depending on the needs of the moment (e.g. a relaxing fragrance during the drive home from work or, on the contrary, a scent to stimulate driver vigilance when travelling at night).
The specific audio ambiance, with music selected in partnership with Creative Diffusion, winner of the Qwartz International New Music Awards, envelopes the occupants in this vehicle of a future so close that is already here! The central screen exudes a light that stimulates the occupants' energy and further enhances the impression of well-being. This feature forms part of a joint-project with the world-renowned light therapy specialist, Philips. The fragrances, the sounds and the light all converge towards you.
the everyday charging option Where?
Using the electricity supply at home or in car parks at the workplace, etc. - Charging time: between six and eight hours using a wall-box for all Renault Z.E. vehicules, except
Twizy that can be charged in 31⁄2 hours using an ordinary household socket.
For a quick top-up - Where?
Roadside stations, public car parks, service stations, car parks at shopping centres and supermarkets and large retail parks - Charging time: 30 minutes
An alternative to fast-charge points, so-called «accelerated charge» points will be available to public and private partner organisations wishing to set up a charging infrastructure on their site or on the roadside, etc.
Automated battery exchange stations - Where ?
these allow motorists to swap a depleted battery for a fullycharged replacement in three minutes. Stations of this type are planned in Israel and Denmark, in partnership with Better Place.
By the time the first Renault electric cars are launched, there will be 5,000 charging points in service in France, of which 1,500 will be fast-charge or "accelerated" points, capable of performing a full charge in 30 minutes or 1 hour. The expansion of charging infrastructures will continue and is expected to reach 75,000 points by 2015, of which 15,000 will be of the fast-charge type.
Plans to develop the infrastructure, similar to those of the French government, and benefiting from specific public funding, are already afoot in the main countries where the electric vehicle will be launched. It is estimated that almost 50,000 charging stations will be available throughout Western Europe by 2012.
Plans to develop the charging infrastructure include the "Plugged-In Places" in the UK, the "E-laad" initiative for the first 10,000 terminals in the Netherlands, "Mobi-E" in Portugal and "Movele" in Spain. A number of private players are also involved, including "The Mobility House", which will be the Renault-Nissan Alliance's partner in Switzerland and Austria.
Charging infrastructure development will focus on the parking areas that are used most frequently Charging points will be provided at the kerbside, in public car parks, in workplace car parks, at shopping centres and at large retail chains, etc. In other words, in the locations where vehicles normally park. This represents a radical change in motorists' driving patterns: no longer will they have to alter their route to fill up with energy. Renault has already established partnerships with E. Leclerc supermarkets, Vinci Park, Unibail Rodamco (shopping centres across Europe), etc.
On the road, the illuminated onboard computer informs you of your range in kilometers, average and real-time consumption in kWh and the remaining kWh. An econometer also displays the energy consumption mode (heavy consumption in red, normal consumption in light blue and low consumption in dark blue). Better than a GPS, an intelligent"Carminat TomTom® Live" navigation system locates the closest charging stations, informs drivers on their availability and integrates them into route planning, displaying the perimeter of action possible according to the remaining autonomy of the vehicle.
The driver can also select the pack of Live connected services, including high-definition traffic info, speed radar detection, local Google searches and weather forecasts. ZOE Preview is revolutionary in terms of design and comfort, but also in the way it makes us manage our time. While it can be used to perform the most important everyday tasks, it also demands that we take account of new electric usages. This is a significant change that is clearly obvious onboard ZOE Preview and beyond.
ZOE Preview sends a reassuring, appealing and very different message to anyone who is skeptical about the advent of the electric vehicle! Designed entirely at the Flins plant in France, ZOE will be launched in 2012 at the same price as a Clio diesel.
Front track 1,578
Rear track 1,578
Front overhang 815
Rear overhang 696
Kerb weight (kg) 1,392
Tyres Specific Michelin tyres 205/45R19 (1)
Boot volume (dm3) (VDA) 292
Type : Electric Transmission Direct drive with reducer and forward/reverse inverter Power EEC (kW/hp) : 60/80 Torque EEC (Nm) : 222
Type Lithium-ion NEDC combined cycle range (km) 160
Steering and Brakes
Power steering Electric, variable rate Turning circle (between kerbs) (m) 10.35 Parking brake Electric
Aerodynamic coefficient (CdA) 0.29
Top speed (Kph) 135
0-100kph (s) 8.1