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Finally, an electric car you might actually want to own – Renault ZOE

IF THE electric car is ever going to make it into the mainstream then we need a model that’s as cheap as a normal car, as practical as a normal car and with a range that will take us further into our journey than the paper shop before its battery runs out.

Some of the biggest players in the emerging fully-electric car sector are doing rather well with this at present and the latest vehicle to emerge from its high tech chyrsalis is the Renault ZOE, which is the firm’s most convincing assault yet on our hesitant approach to fully-electric vehicles.

Let’s start by discussing the elephant in the room. The thorny issue of range. Admirably, Renault doesn’t tend to muck about with official figures that might have you believing that what their car is capable of in a laboratory is what you’ll get on the highways and by-ways but instead they’ll tell you what they expect your car’s battery will manage.

In the ZOE, which is a striking-looking supermini with more than a hint of Clio DNA built in, their ‘real world’ estimate is that the car will trot on happily for anything between 62 and 93 miles.

This is dependent on factors such as temperature, the number of things switched on inside the car and, obviously, the weight of your right foot.

It’s all based on a calculation of ‘typical supermini journeys’, most of which, Renault surmises, are around 30 miles per working day. How this applies to you is open to your own interpretation but they seem to think the ZOE will satisfy most peoples’ daily commute and I’ve no reason to doubt them.

Where it trips up, of course, is when the week of daily commutes comes to an end and the driver wants to bundle his family and bucket and spade in and head to the seaside. A range of less than 100 miles will mean this type of journey might not be achievable on one full charge.

Fear not, says Renault, because they’ve developed a charging system that enables drivers to use a growing smattering of charging points that are appearing across the country.
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