Renault can find both good and bad news from its offering on the European electric vehicle market – the Zoe EV sold only one fifth of its sales target for its first year - with 10,000 units sold – but it appears that French customers who do bite are falling in love with the little EV.

Renault celebrated the first birthday of the Zoe small electric car at the Chateau de Versailles in France – one year after it was launched there. The government of Versailles is pleased with all 23 Renault EVs (three Zoes, plus 10 Twizy and 10 Kangoo Z.E. EVs) that its employees are driving. Other Zoe owners had very good things to say about their experiences with the car – 98 percent of Zoe owners are satisfied and 98 percent would recommend it, Renault says. It helps to get a high safety rating, as well. The Zoe was named the "Best Electric Vehicle of 2013" by Euro NCAP, an independent safety rating organization.

Benoist, a 50-year-old doctor, said that his Zoe is his first ever new car, and he loves it. It's smooth and quiet, and comfortable to drive – and very interesting: "And it's funny to see how ZOE attracts looks and smiles from people who are clearly intrigued by electric cars," he says in the Renault UK press release below.

The Zoe in some way represent a limitation in the European EV market. At 10,000 units sold so far, it makes up 40 percent of its market share. One thing that could help sales this year is "Zoe Access," a new battery rental service available for 49 pounds (about $81) per month that also reduced the upfront cost of the car.
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION 434

MONDAY, 27TH JANUARY 2014

A ROYAL BIRTHDAY FOR ZOE
  • One year after its launch in December 2012, ZOE blew out its first candle at the Château de Versailles, Renault's partner location.
  • More than forty lucky owners will gather in the low gallery at Versailles, to talk about their experience with ZOE and conduct a first appraisal.
  • Named by EuroNCAP as the best supermini ZOE has already sold 10,000 units and has more surprises in store as we move into 2014...

An exceptional location for an exceptional car... The flagship vehicle in the Renault Z.E. range, ZOE is opening the gates of the Château de Versailles to celebrate its first birthday.

Following the partnership agreement signed by Renault and the Château de Versailles on July 29, 2013, almost 23 electric cars (10 Twizy, 10 Kangoo ZE, 3 ZOE) are used by employees (security guards for Versailles and Marly, gardeners, administration....). Thirty charging stations have been installed in the grounds. This partnership protects the environment of the gardens, and contributes to the comfort and safety of the 12 million annual visitors.

ZOE drivers are its best spokespeople. For this first anniversary, Renault received a huge and enthusiastic response when it invited owners to come and talk about their car and their experience with ZOE. Many believe that simply test driving an electric car is enough to make anybody want one: 98% of ZOE owners are satisfied and 97% would recommend it. Alongside driving pleasure, customers appreciate the comfort offered by ZOE: no noise, no vibrations and smooth acceleration (no gear shift).

In terms of safety, ZOE meets the highest standards. It was recently named "Best Electric Vehicle of 2013" by Euro NCAP, the independent test organization.

For Benoist, 50 years old, a doctor who loves new technologies, his car gives him a more relaxed approach to life: "I took delivery of ZOE, my first new car, just over a month ago, and I love it. The fact that it's so smooth and quiet makes it really comfortable to drive. And it's funny to see how ZOE attracts looks and smiles from people who are clearly intrigued by electric cars".

Renault is a pioneer and leader on the electric vehicle market in Europe, with market share of over 40% and already 10,000 ZOE vehicles sold to date. With many other manufacturers now starting to build electric cars, Renault already has a full line-up of electric vehicles and remains well ahead of the field.

Starting 2014 with good news, for consumers buying a new ZOE, Renault is launching "ZOE Access", a new battery rental service from €49/month, targeting drivers with low mileage.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      DaveMart
      • 1 Month Ago
      'Named by EuroNCAP as the best supermini ZOE has already sold 10,000 units and has more surprises in store as we move into 2014...' Presumable the 150 mile range option battery pack that I reference in the thread on the Electric Highway.
      • 1 Month Ago
      On the front page article it says 49 pounds per month for battery rental, clicking on the article and you get 49 Euros per month. On the UK Renault website all I can find is battery rental charges from £70-113 per month ($115-186)....I guess the French get a better deal than the British?
        DaveMart
        • 1 Month Ago
        The website says down the bottom that other options are available.
      William Flesher
      • 1 Month Ago
      I wish there were a Nissan branded Zoe here in the US. I prefer it's size and appearance to the Leaf.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Month Ago
        @William Flesher
        When the Zoe was introduced Renault indicated that they would do a hot hatch version sometime. I reckon if the higher energy density batteries come in the spring, they may introduce the hot version before Christmas. You will REALLY want one then! ;-)
      Spec
      • 1 Month Ago
      Not bad. Would have liked to have a seen a lot more but that is not too bad.
      yoat
      • 1 Month Ago
      The ZOE is a wonderful small EV but it also has its shady side to it. Instead of being equipped with disc brakes all around, they placed drum brakes at the rear. The rear seat back is not split and folds down in one piece only. LED lights are optional and not standard. Consumption (kWh) is of the highest in its class segment. Last but not least, the battery cannot be bought; leasing only.
        Marco Polo
        • 1 Month Ago
        @yoat
        @ yoat I sorry your comment got down voted, Your points are completely valid. However, I would point out that the Zoe was released at a time of economic turbulence in Europe, and the domestic market was being asked to practice austerity. Rear disc brakes are nice, but not that important in low speed commuter traffic, like wise the split back seat is an option most commonly found in larger cars. Everything was being done to keep the purchase price as low as possible.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Month Ago
        @yoat
        The Honda Civic still comes with drums on the rear, a non-split rear seat, and no LED option. Customers don't seem to mind.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Month Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          A lot of the braking for the Zoe will be via the regen anyway.
      DaveMart
      • 1 Month Ago
      Other Renault news: 'Enter the hydrogen fuel cell range-extender. Symbio FCell, the company building them, says that the La Poste Kangoo’s will benefit from double the driving range they currently have, allowing for long delivery routes through hilly terrain in cold weather. And not a single carbon dioxide molecule will be left behind. With a full battery charge and 1.72kg of compressed hydrogen of board, total range for the hydrogen range-extender Renaults is 200 miles. Currently 70 percent of La Poste’s fleet cover more than 60 miles a day, so the benefits of fitting the electric cars with hydrogen range extenders would be considerable. “The fuel cell solution improves winter working conditions for postal workers by providing better heating and defogging without impacting battery performance,” says Mr Jean-François Courtoy, Industrial Director at La Poste in the Franche Comté region. “In addition, it makes replacing the diesel vehicles that are used today for longer routes possible. This will significantly improve our level of global carbon dioxide emissions.” The best thing, however, is that Symbio FCell is hoping to deliver each HyKangoo, as they are inventively named, for 35,000 euros once production is in full swing.' http://ecomento.com/2014/01/30/hydrogen-fuel-cell-range-extenders-perfect-solutions-french-investigate/ Specifications here: http://www.symbiofcell.com/downl/hykangoo-uk2013.pdf
        Letstakeawalk
        • 1 Month Ago
        @DaveMart
        Can two people survive in the desert with no water? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj0-eAAmvxk&feature=share
      DaveMart
      • 1 Month Ago
      In Norway they can buy the battery instead of leasing, which might help sales even more if it were done elsewhere.
      offib
      • 1 Month Ago
      It's all about perspective. This is very impressive, especially considering that the Zoe is carrying the Z.E. brand's weight on its shoulders as Europe has fallen out of its summer love with the Twizy (which got 12,000 sales in 2012) and that the Fluence Z.E. has dropped off the face of the earth with only the Kangoo Z.E. sales staying intact, which won't be for too long now that the PSA has introduced their Partner/Berlingo Electrique. It's impressive that the Zoe is definitely not sold everywhere in Europe. It's not available yet in Norway which is the hot bed for EVs. It's not available in several other countries, Ireland for example. It's impressive that in the countries the Zoe has been sold in, it's been introduced in late Spring or Summer.
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Month Ago
      I agree with Dave Mart, the seemingly great marketing idea of renting the battery, just hasn't worked. In fact it only serves to complicate and confuse potential buyers by highlighting the differences and complications of EV ownership. Renault has not yet published the number of Renault Zoe sold to private individuals. The French government, a significant shareholder in Renault, actively pressures organizations to purchase Renault projects such as Zoe. Although 10,000 is a start, I believe there must be some rethinking occurring in Boulogne-Billancourt, since dispute the brilliant technical success of the Kangoo ZE , Renault branded EV's are not selling as well as Renaults Japanese siblings.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Marco Polo
        See above where I give some of my info on what I feel is the imminent arrival of the option of a double density NMC battery pack in the Zoe. Nissan have polled some of their Leaf customers asking how much extra they would be prepared to pay for 150 miles of range, with the most expensive option box at $5,000. Renault are supposed to be giving Norwegians the option to buy the battery, which makes sense if Renault reckon they now have a chemistry which they have more confidence in. It seems to me possible that Renault placed the emphasis on battery lease as an exercise in customer care for early adopters, as the old battery chemistry had its problems and the new one should be much more robust. They have known since around 2009 that the new chemistry is likely to be much more robust, as well as much higher density. http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009/11/nissan-nmc-20091129.html Note that it is still good for 1,000 cycles. The larger pack size means that it should have useful mileage in excess of the mileage of the present pack pretty well for the life of the car. How pleased will present Renault customers be if when their pack is up for renewal they are offered the option of double the mileage?
      DaveMart
      • 1 Month Ago
      From the Zoe Press release: ' Named by EuroNCAP as the best supermini ZOE has already sold 10,000 units and has more surprises in store as we move into 2014...' That's a pretty heavy hint. It looks to me as though 150 mile range cars from the Nissan/Renault group are coming in 2014, not 2015. I can't see Renault talking in that way unless the arrival of a double density battery is imminent. It seems to me probable that the rumours that Renault have not released the Zoe in Norway as they intend to fit a cold weather battery, are in fact about the new battery chemistry, so that Renault will hit Norway with the option of the new higher capacity battery.
      Rick
      • 1 Month Ago
      It needs whiskers on its front bumper!
      Marco Polo
      • 1 Month Ago
      @ Dave Mart Thanks, interesting information.....
    • Load More Comments