Guide to the Renault Zoe
Below are just a couple of the many video reviews of the Zoe on Youtube. Being older videos, some of the figures are now out of date. For example, battery rentals have been reduced and now start from £49 per month.
March 2013-June 2015
The Renault Zoe arrived in the UK in March 2013. There were three models available - Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens. All had the same 22kWh battery, charging system and 65 kW (87 bhp) electric motor supplied by Continental, called the Q210. The NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) range was 130 miles.
All models were highly equipped with sat nav, bluetooth, climate control and more. The Expression was the lowest spec model and is pretty rare in the UK. It has blue seat fabric and 15" steel wheels. The Dynamic models add 16" alloys, hands-free key card, rear parking sensors, automatic lights, rain sensor wipers and leather steering wheel. The only difference between the Zen and Intens models is the Zen has the white interior (white dash, seats, door cards, seatbelts), air quality meter, ioniser and active scent diffuser built into the dash, whereas the Intens has the black interior but adds the reversing camera instead of the air quality gadgets.
For full details, refer to the April 2013 UK brochure.
Dynamique Zen light interior
Dynamique Intens dark interior
In June 2015 a new in-house built electric motor was introduced, called the R240. This was a smaller and more efficient motor, which increased the NEDC range to 149 miles. The new motor allowed slightly faster 3kW (10A) charging, but was limited to 22kW fast charging and didn't allow 43kW rapid charging. The previous Q210 motor was still available for those that require rapid charging. Models with the older Q210 motor are now denoted by "Rapid Charge".
Models with the R240 motor can still be charged on a motorway 43kW charger, but it will only charge at 22kW, so will take around an hour to get to 80%, rather than 30 mins with the Q210 model.
The Zen model is also dropped, so model range is now Expression Nav, Dynamique Nav and Dynamique Nav Rapid. Specs stayed pretty similar as previous models. The only real change is the new R240 electric motor.
The option to buy the Zoe with the battery pack, rather than hire the battery, was introduced, costing an additional £5,000. Models with an "i" denotes battery ownership models. However, this is misunderstood in the used car market and often used when it shouldn't be, so its always worth checking the battery ownership status.
For full details, refer to the June 2015 UK brochure.
Differences between the new R240 motor and the older Q210 motor used in the Dynamique Nav Rapid
The new 41kWh battery pack is available following the launch of the ZE40 model at the Paris Motor Show in October 2016. The new battery pack increases the NEDC range to 250 miles, but Renault state real world ranges of 186 miles in summer and 124 in winter (or 174 miles summer/112 miles winter for the rapid charge Q90 model).
Two motor options still remain. The R240 motor, which is now called the R90 and the Q210 motor, which allows 43kW rapid charging, is now called the Q90.
New paint colours and a new trim level, Signature Nav, is introduced. This model gets 16" grey shadow alloy wheels, leather seats, heated front seats, electric folding mirrors and Bose speakers.
Model range now consists of the following (all available with battery rental or battery purchase):
- Expression Nav - 22kWh battery only with R90 motor
- Dynamic Nav - 41kW battery only with either R90 or Q90 motor
- Signature Nav - - 41kW battery only with either R90 or Q90 motor
For full details, refer to the Jan 2017 UK brochure.
Service & maintenance schedule
The maintenance schedule must be maintained during the warranty period and for cars with hired batteries this must continue beyond. Fortunately the maintenance on an electric car is minimal and the main dealer charges are low. These are typically around £79-£99 for an A or B service, but prices vary between dealers. The service schedule on a Zoe is:
- Every 1 year or 18,000 miles - Pollen filter change and alternate between an A or B inspection
- Every 3 years - Replace 12V auxiliary battery
- Every 54,000 miles - Check and remove dust from brake linings
- Every 4 years or 72,000 miles - Replace brake fluid
- Every 5 years or 90,000 miles - Replace coolant
- Every 6 years - Check and top-up refrigerant
The A inspection consists of:
- Check the levels, condition and sealing of the brake circuit
- Check the exterior lighting and signals
- Check the condition and sealing of the shock absorbers
- Check condition and pressure of the tyres and road wheel security
- Check the presents of the wheel valve caps
- Check the wear of the brake discs and pads
- Check the wiper blades and screen washer fluid level
- Check the 12V battery with test tool
- Check the computers with the diagnostic tool
- Reinitialise the maintenance service display
- Documentation and positioning of the maintenance label
The B inspection adds the following to the above:
- Check the interior lighting
- Anti-corrosion check
- Check and lubricate the bonnet lock
- Check the levels, condition and sealing of the coolant circuit
- Check the condition and sealing of the gaiters, rubber mountings, ball joints and shock absorbers
- Check the condition of the windscreen and door mirrors
- Check the presence of the airbag and engine compartment labels
- Check the operation of the instrument panel warning lights
You can book a service online. Some have reported cheaper pricing when booking online via Renault rather than telephoning the local dealer direct.
The manufacturer's warranty on a Zoe is 4 years from date of first registration. This covers unlimited mileage during the first 2 years, followed by a further 2 years limited to a total of 100,000 miles. However, the electric powertrain is warrantied for 5 years/100,000 miles. The powertrain consists of the electric motor, reduction gear, charger, EVC controller, inverter, DCDC converter & high voltage cables between these components. Full details can be found here.
Extending the warranty up to 10 years
You can extend the warranty by buying an annual warranty from Renault. You can only do this while the original warranty is in place, so it must be purchased before the car is four years old, with less than 100,000 miles. That extended warranty covers parts and labour for another year and with unlimited mileage. You can continue to renew the warranty annually, until the car is 10 years old and to a maximum of 100,000 miles.
The benefits of Renault extended warranty are:
- Full cost of parts, labour and VAT for any number of claims (up to a total equivalent to the purchase price of your vehicle)
- Out of pocket expenses like towing, car hire and overnight accommodation are all included
- The cover is valid for trips to EU countries as well as throughout the UK
- When purchasing online, you will have the option to pay by direct debit or in full, by credit or debit card
The current cost for the extended warranty is £289. Think that's too expensive? It's only the cost of a service on a traditional engine car! Renault allow this to be paid by direct debit over 10 months too. Further details can be found below.
It is possible to upgrade the 22kWh battery in the older Zoe's to the new 41kWh battery, as the battery is contained within the same size enclosure. These upgrades were being undertaken in some European countries in late 2017 and was muted to be available in the UK in early 2018. However, it never has materialised in the UK.
In early July 2018, at the Oxford EV Summit, I spoke to the Renault ZE Range Manager for Renault North Territory (i.e. head of electric vehicles) and he confirmed that the upgrade facility will not be available in the UK and has now been withdrawn across Europe too. This is a great shame, but I guess understandable, as Renault is in the business of selling new cars and not upgrading old ones. They also struggle with battery supply and keeping up with the demand for new orders, so such an upgrade program would put extra demand on battery supply,
The cost of these battery upgrades was published, even though the facility was never available in the UK. These were:
- For hire batteries - £3,100 fee, then you pay the ZE40 hire rates which are £10 per month extra.
- For owned batteries - £8,700 on a part exchange basis or £13,100 if you keep the old battery pack.
After the upgrade, you wont get exactly the same range as the newer ZE40 models, due to other component changes, but you'll be looking at close to double the range.
Photos of the upgrade being done on a Zoe in Holland can be found here.
Beginners guides to the Zoe controls & driving
Below are some helpful videos for new Zoe owners.