Renault has commenced sales of the 2020 model of it’s all-electric Zoe 52kWh hatchback, with a price that comes in at just under €20,000 ($A31,900).
Renault will pitch the Zoe as the ideal city car, with its smaller size and a price tag at the more affordable end of the EV spectrum – making it attractive for drivers not requiring the longer range or rapid charging capabilities of larger alternatives.
Renault unveiled the 2020 version of the Zoe in June, highlighting that this iteration would retain the hatchback’s smaller size while offering a boost in both performance and range with updated internal and external trim.
The Zoe hatchback comes with a 52kWh battery pack that supports 50kW DC fast-charging and delivers a range of up to 395km. AC charging can be done at up to 22kW, which would provide a fully charged battery in less than three hours.
While the fast charging is likely to be sufficient for most day-to-day users of the Zoe, it falls short of the fast-charging capacities of many EV competitors already available in the market.
Renault has, however, upgraded the power output from the EV’s motor, with two power options available: a base model with an 80kW motor; and an upgraded option with a 100kW motor that will provide 0 to 60 mph acceleration at less than 10 seconds, delivered through the ability to generate up to 245 Nm of torque.
The 2020 model Zoe will be able to hit a top speed of 140 km/h, which is likewise a boost compared to the earlier models.
Renault will offer three different trim options for the Zoe, with the base level “Zen” option coming in at €19,000 ($A31,900). Upgraded options include the ‘Intens’ trim at €21,900 ($A35,150) and the top line ‘Edition One’ option at €25,500 ($A40,920).
The Zoe will also include a selection of safety features that are now becoming standard across most new electric vehicles, including lane assist features, blind-spot monitoring, parking assists, and emergency braking systems.
Inside the Zoe, the vehicle features a 9.3-inch screen for entertainment that supports connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto via two USB ports available in both the front and the rear of the vehicle.
The earlier iterations of the Renault Zoe, launched in 2012, proved popular in European markets and helped it rank as the best selling all-electric vehicle in Europe in 2016.
Queensland researchers have used the Zoe for trials of autonomous vehicle technologies, and have adapted earlier models of the Zoe with additional technologies to convert the cars into “cooperative” autonomous vehicles.
The trials aim to help manufacturers better understand how electric vehicles can interact with each other and traffic control systems to support the safe introduction of autonomous vehicle technologies.
Australian deliveries of older model Renault Zoe’s fell afoul of an oil spill that contaminated a batch of 75 new vehicles while they were making their way to Australian shores in July.
Renault was forced to delay the delivery of vehicles to Australian customers, as the French automaker wanted to ensure that no vehicles would reach users with any impacts of the oil spill.
It is anticipated that the new version of the Renault Zoe will become available in the Australian market sometime in 2020.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.