Renault has just announced the specifications of the third generation all-electric Zoe to be released for sale … sometime soon. (A date was not specified in the press announcement, but its European release is rumoured to be for late 2019 or early 2020.)
In the new model, Renault are addressing many of the issues that were starting to let the Zoe down after being well and truly overtaken by later entrants to the EV market.
The specifications of the new Zoe include a 52kWh battery (up from 41) that will offer a driving range of around 380km under the new European WLTP test cycle. (This should result in a real-world range of approximately 350km).
There will also be the option of adding DC charging – although only at a maximum of 50kW. (For comparison, the Hyundai Ioniq, Kona and Kia e-Niro can all charge at up to 70kW DC, the Tesla model 3 standard range is a maximum of 150kW, the Model 3 long-range can do up to 250kW and the soon-to-be released Porch Taycan can do up to 350kW!)
Motor power is also to be increased with the introduction of an optional GT-Line version sporting a 100kW motor in addition to the existing 80kW motor currently on offer overseas. (Note: in Australia we still only get the 68kW motor).
The noticeably light regenerative braking in the current Zoe has also been addressed with the addition of a ‘B’ mode to give a stronger regenerative braking effect. According to Renault, this should potentially enable ‘one-pedal’ driving in most circumstances.
Inside, the Zoe will have a larger touchscreen (9.3 inch), a new dash layout, a light restyle of the interior layout and seating and the replacement of the mechanical parking brake handle with an electronic push-button.
Exterior changes are more limited, but noticeable. Headlamps, fog lamps and tail-lights will all be LED, and there are a number of stylistic changes to the taillight, headlamp and front bumper areas.
Three new metallic colours have been added to the range and there is also a revamped range of wheel designs, including three different wheel diameter options. (15, 16 and 17-inches). Another improvement on the existing Zoe is the addition of four-wheel disc braking to all versions. (The current Zoe uses drum rear brakes).
To keep up with today’s ever-increasing focus on driving safety – the new Zoe will include a suite of additional safety systems. These include Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Auto High/Low beam headlamps (AHL), hands-free Easy Park Assist (EPA), front and rear parking sensors, Auto-Hill hold and an automatic parking brake function.
Interestingly, the maps on the new Zoe navigation system can be updated via the ‘map-auto update’ function, rather than the current annoying process used by most manufacturers where the maps can only be updated by authorised service technicians (usually during a service).
As for when it reaches Australia’s shores: Renault Australia have yet to follow up with any announcements as to timing or which models may be made available here.