For him, that's partially because the Zoe was built from scratch, and because it has no gas-powered sibling. For others, proof of the Zoe's significance came a few months earlier, when the Zoe shattered the record for distance traveled in an electric car in a 24-hour period.
Now that the Renault Zoe is quietly winding its way toward French electric car-enthusiasts, Renault has launched a new video that shows off some of pint-sized ride's high-tech features. A quick review of the clip's claims reveals that, on the whole, there's plenty to get excited about:
"The design is truly stunning": We'd agree with that statement. For a moderately bare-bones electric car, the Zoe is cute and approachable -- more akin to the buglike Toyota Yaris than the quirky Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
"Zoe is the first 100% electric car that's truly affordable": We agree with that, too. Though we're having trouble finding the Zoe's price in France, just across the Channel, it costs £13,650 after government subsidies, or just over $20,200.
"Lifetime guaranteed batteries": That's impressive. Replacing batteries on electric cars can be very, very expensive, so a lifetime guarantee might be just the thing to put hesitant shoppers behind the wheel.
"Z.E. Voice, an external sound that reacts to the speed of the car and warns pedestrians": This is a nice touch and addresses the concerns of those worried by the stealthy nature of electric cars. If the video is accurate, Z.E. Voice makes the Zoe sound more like a typical car rolling down the road than, say, a theremin barreling your way, but all in good time.
"R-Link Multimedia System": This in-dash feature looks useful and functional, even if the styling seems a bit outdated, like the future-tech in Logan's Run. (And even though it appears that the built-in TomTom service requires some in-dash purchases to be truly useful for travelers.)
Zoe Zen Version's "Take Care package, which has an active scent diffuser, toxicity sensor, and purifying air ionizer": We love our spa days, but this may be a step too far.
"TomTom Z.E. Live Navigation System": This integrates your satnav with a range estimator, so you can check your map and see your remaining battery range, all in one go. That's genius.
Rated "at over 200km" per charge: Also genius.
The Zoe can be quick-charged "to 80% capacity in just 30 minutes". Again, genius -- and it also explains how the Zoe broke the 24-hour distance record.
Intrigued? Catch a behind-the-scenes look at the Renault Zoe as it's being manufactured in the clip below: