Electric Zoe on the

way

Renault Zoe, interior
Renault Zoe, side
Renault Zoe electric vehicle
Renault ZOE

THE Renault Zoe plug-in electric hatchback will be on sale here in March and might well suit many drivers who want minimal costs and zero emissions.

It's a pure electric five door supermini, looking a lot like the Clio on which it is based, so it has to be recharged regularly from a domestic socket.

The normal range is likely to be about 90 miles on a charge, which would be fine for the majority of people, who only use their cars for short journeys every day.

Electric motors don't need a gearbox so the 87bhp motor drives directly to the wheels through what feels like an automatic gearbox.

The under-floor battery, which has to be leased from Renault, costs a hefty £70 a month although to buy it is cheaper than many other so called EVs.

Renault claims middling performance for it, but of course, the more of that performance you use, the lower your range will be on one recharge.

A full charge from a home socket takes nine hours and costs about £1, but high output chargers will give 80 per cent in 30 minutes.

The Zoe comes with Bluetooth, climate, cruise, sat nav, stability control and USB music input. Top models also get alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, parking sensors and remote battery charging.

: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

: Nissan Leaf

FAST FACTS

Price: £13,650 inc gov't grant, plus £70 a month battery lease

Mechanical: 86bhp electric motor driving front wheels via single-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 84mph

0-62mph: 13.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 90 miles

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 0g/km

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