WITH sales of pure-electric, zero-emission cars on the rise, Renault dealers are gearing up to start taking orders for the new third generation version of the French company's all-electric Zoe city car later this month.
However, it will be early next year before the first British customers can expect deliveries of the new range which will cost from Â£18,670, rising to Â£21,620 once the government's plug-in car grant is applied.
At those prices, customers will have to pay a monthly lease fee for the car's battery - if buyers want to purchase their Zoe and battery outright, the price range increases to from Â£25,670 for the entry level model up to Â£28,620 for the top trim flagship version.
The new generation ZOE features increased power and range, a host of technological improvements, an overhauled interior and distinctive new exterior looks.
Under the skin there's a powerful new 52 kWh battery that delivers a range of up to 245 miles on the WLTP testing cycle which is the best driving range in its segment, according to Renault, and an increase of 32 per cent over the previous 41 kWh pack.
A more powerful new 100 kW electric motor is now available as well as an entry-level R80 kW unit providing a small increase in maximum speed and shaving a couple of seconds off the 0-60mph and 50-75mph acceleration times.
Both motors now come equipped with a new "B mode" driving function, which intensifies the regenerative braking effect to essentially allow the driver one pedal operation of the car. When B mode is activated, the car decelerates significantly faster as soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal.
Three trim levels are available - Play, Iconic and GT Line - and all come with full LED headlights, aircon, multimedia screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a ten-inch TFT instrument cluster, DAB radio, hands-free key card, cruise control and speed limiter, electric front windows, automatic wipers and headlamps and a fast charging home wallbox for retail customers.
To emphasise the Zoe's green credentials, Iconic versions come with 100 per cent recycled seat upholstery - a first for the automotive industry, says Renault.
A wide range of safety systems are available and include - depending on trim level - active emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring and auto high beam headlamps.