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Renault ZOE Electric Car Debuts At Geneva: Live Photos

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French carmaker Renault chose the Geneva Motor Show to launch the ZOE, the final model in its four-car Z.E. electric vehicle range.

Joining the Fluence sedan, Kangoo van and Twizy city car, the ZOE is a B-segment electric car, similar in size to a Ford Fiesta.

Unlike the Fluence and Kangoo which are both based on combustion engine variants, the ZOE has been designed from the ground up as an electric car, making it the most advanced vehicle in the Z.E. range.

The ZOE uses an 89-horsepower electric motor, with a top speed limited to 84 mph to preserve range. Weight should be lighter than the larger Fluence, so range improves on the Fluence's 114 miles to 130--with a quoted "worst case scenario" of 60 miles.

The exterior styling stays true to the concept shown at the last few European motor shows, with Renault's new styling theme, and some interesting details unique to the ZOE that advertise its electric credentials.

The front and rear lights are jewel-like and feature a blue tint that's becoming familiar on eco models from several companies. The rear lights in particular are striking, with a subtle diamond shape that echoes Renault's logo. The charging port is hidden behind that large Renault diamond on the nose.

We weren't able to peer inside the car at the show, but Renault's press images show a clean, modern interior, with a large central touchscreen not unlike that found in the Nissan Leaf.

A digital display relays information to the driver, and though the drive selector sits between the seats as you might find in a regular car, the large Z.E. logo leaves you in no doubt as to what powers the ZOE.

Renault claims the ZOE features no fewer than six "world premiere" features designed to deliver user friendliness, range and connectivity. There's not a lot of information at the moment, so we'll bring you the latest when we hear it.

Perhaps most importantly in a world full of expensive electric cars, the ZOE will go on sale--in the U.K. at least--from just over $21,000, after the U.K. government's $7,850 plug-in car subsidy.

Renault will lease the batteries which will bump up the monthly cost a little, but still less than that of fueling a gasoline or diesel equivalent.

With Renault absent from North America, we're unlikely to see the ZOE any time soon--but it will be an incredibly important car in the European market. If it proves successful, it could spur on several other carmakers to produce rivals.

You can check out our live photos from Geneva in the gallery below.

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Comments (7)
  1. The way they light it, it looks like it has a skin disease.
     
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  2. Don't get me started John! Nightmare photographing black cars, particularly those lit via dozens of different sources...
     
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  3. Am I wrong to assume that this is just a re-skinned Nissan LEAF due to the Renault-Nissan alliance?
     
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  4. You are indeed Jason! This one is all Renault's work. It's on its own platform, specially developed as an EV. As far as I'm aware, Renault and Nissan currently share little, if any, of their electric componentry.

    The Zoe is also a smaller car than the Leaf. The Leaf is equivalent in size to a Ford Focus, the Zoe is equivalent to a Fiesta.
     
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  5. @Antony: That's not quite right. Both use the same AESC lithium-ion cells. Renault and Nissan also share traction motor and power electronics technologies, though all these components may be built in different places.

    They may also be differently sized, given that the B-segment Zoe (and certainly the A-segment Twizy) are much smaller than the C-segment Leaf. Not sure about platforms for dedicated electric cars (Twizy, Zoe, Leaf). The Fluence and Kangoo ZEs are obviously adapted from petrol vehicles.

    Electric drive technologies and batteries are really, really pricey. So the Renault-Nissan Alliance shares core componentry for electric vehicles just as they do high-volume car platforms.
     
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  6. Ah, I stand corrected John! I understood the collaboration was more expertise than physical items. That said, the Zoe is still more (or less?) than a re-skinned Leaf. Not least because like the larger Fluence it's expected to have the Better Place drop-out battery capability.
     
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  7. Ah, agree completely. AFAIK, the Zoe is *not* a reskinned Leaf. And of course the Fluence ZE is unique, in that it's the only car designed for battery pack quick-swap in the world.

    FYI, I have videos of my Carlos Ghosn interview coming up in which he says the only reason they built that car is because Better Place was willing to give them a large order for it.
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