The Renault Zoe isn't exactly a newcomer, but it still looks fresh. The electric supermini has been available in Germany since 2013. Renault's all-electric models are hot sellers all across Europe, and the hottest is the Zoe. In 2015, it was the bestseller of Renault's electric range in Germany, ahead of the Twizy and the Kangoo Z.E. It's about the same size as the Clio, but it's a concept all its own and not based on any other Renault model.
The Zoe is powered by a 65-kilowatt electric motor with a top speed limited to 135 kilometers per hour. The equipment line we tested, the 'Intens', starts at 23-thousand, 300 euros in Germany. The car maker promises a range of 240 kilometers on a full charge, but we only got 138 kilometers out of it.
The Renault Zoe was conceived for electric drive right from the start. Its body was aerodynamically optimized, and the tires given a low rolling resistance. Overall, the supermini is a very nice piece of work.
Renault's idea for a small and, most importantly, a low-priced electric car seems to be panning out. The Zoe's has a low starting price of 21-thousand, 500 euros, and Renault made about 1800 new-model sales in 2015.
The Zoe's lithium-ion battery pack has to be rented, adding on an extra 49 euros a month, depending on mileage and length of operation. But that relieves the driver from any worries about the car's energy storage functioning properly.