By Mike Torpey on 2019-06-17 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Renault heralds a
new electric charge
RENAULT is charging up the battery for a full-tilt assault on the electric car scene.
It comes in the shape of the French comapny's third generation all-electric ZOE supermini - Europe's top selling electric car - that boasts more power, better range and is 'more usable than ever'.
The promise is that the latest ZOE will be able to travel 242 miles on a single charge thanks to its 52 kWh Z.E. 50 battery, which is 30 per cent further than that achieved by the outgoing model.
Little has changed on the outside, though there are full LED headlamps as standard on all models plus a wider front bumper design with side vents to improve airflow around the front of the car and over the wheels.
But the car's interior has been completely overhauled with a redesigned instrument panel and dashboard, a 10-inch TFT instrument cluster along with recycled seat upholstery.
The driver can also customise the lighting and the layout of the different information on-screen while a system called Easy Connect allows drivers to access many of the ZOE's functions via a smartphone.
Between the driver and passenger is a revised centre console that's home to a new electronic gear selector, plus the driving mode selector, the chrome switch for which is decorated with the Z.E. logo.
The selector operates the various driver settings, notably the new B Mode that boosts regenerative braking to encourages single pedal driving.
And a new electronic parking brake, which replaces the traditional handbrake, frees up double the central storage for a wireless smartphone charging option and pair of cupholders.
Under the skin the new 52 kWh battery, which replaces the old 40 kWh pack, has not increased in size physically, meaning no loss of interior space and practicality.
Renault says that when using a 7kW wallbox the new ZOE can charge from 0 to 100 percent in nine hours and 25 minutes, ensuring a complete recharge can be achieved overnight.
Around 190 miles of range can be achieved in eight hours while plugging the ZOE into a public 22kW roadside charger can deliver 78 miles in an hour.
The larger battery now drives a more powerful 135bhp engine which, says Renault, will provide acceleration of 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds and higher top speed of top speed of 87mph.
Safety features include an Active Emergency Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Blind Spot Monitoring and Auto High/Low beam headlamps.
Gilles Normand, Renault's electric division chief, said: "New ZOE makes you want to go further. We've designed a new generation of ZOE: at the forefront of electric performance and more useable than ever.
"New ZOE highlights Groupe Renault's commitment to 100%electric mobility for all."
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