Renault announces changes to the Zoe and Twizy EVs, with the most important update being a better motor in the Zoe that increases the range to 149 miles.
Renault says it's less than six years away from saving the commuting world a bunch of hours of work, not to mention a lot of gas and a few accidents. The French automaking giant is touting its Next Two prototype, which is based on the Renault Zoe platform and marks the company's entry into the autonomous-driving field.
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.
Fans of the old Schoolhouse Rock cartoons (there are more of us than you think) know that three is the magic number, and that's the approach a new UK carsharing club is taking with its launch. The E-Car Club bills itself as the UK's "first entirely electric pay-per-use car club" and it debuted earlier this month at the University of Hertfordshire, about 20 miles north of London.
There's no quicker way to jump-start plug-in vehicle sales than a big order from the government. When it comes to Renault, France certainly is obliging. France's Union des Groupements d'Achats Publics (UGAP) is ordering 2,000 (!) Renault Zoe electric vehicles and another 100 Fluence Z.E. EVs during the next three years.
Renault has high hopes for the all-electric Zoe, saying that it will outsell the Nissan Leaf in Europe. Pricewise, the Zoe will be much less. Thanks to battery leasing (which alliance partner Nissan is also considering for the Leaf) of around $110 a month, the Zoe will cost roughly $21,000 (in U.S. dollars, after factoring in government incentives) in the European companies where it will be sold. Before that can happen, the car needs to be crash tested. And that's just what's happened at the com
Renault unveiled the production version of the Zoe all-electric car at the Geneva Motor Show this week, but what sounds most impressive is the car's price: £13,650 ($21,396 U.S. at today's exchange rates) after the government incentive of up to 25 percent of the car's cost in the UK. In France, the car starts at €20,750 ($27,200) but qualifies for a €5,000 ($6,555) grant, which brings the price down to €15,750 ($20,648). Interestingly, Renault says that "even in countries wh