There’s just one important journey that I’ve to make and that’s to look after my 94-year-old mum.
She’s solely 10 miles away and for this I’ve been utilizing a brand new Renault Zoe that was delivered a number of days earlier than the lockdown began.
That is the longest interval that I’ve run an electrical automobile and it’s proving to be a really attention-grabbing expertise as I stay in a terraced road with no off-street parking.
Which means I can’t cost the automobile at residence.
This leaves me with three choices: our native mini Waitrose which has a Polar public charging level; my pal Jim’s wallbox charger; or public charging factors whereas out on my travels.
Anyway, that is the third era Zoe and its vary has been prolonged to 245 miles because of a 52kWh battery.
There’s additionally a brand new entrance bumper and LED headlamps.
Different modifications to the automobile’s traces convey its styling extra into line with the most recent Clio and Captur fashions.
The extra vital modifications, nonetheless, have taken place inside.
Lots of the arduous plastics have been changed by soft-touch supplies. There’s additionally extra brightwork which lifts the perceived high quality.
There are three grades of Zoe to select from, beginning with the entry-level Play (106bhp R110 motor), the Iconic (R110 or 133bhp R135 motor) and top-spec GT Line (R135 motor solely).
The GT Line additionally comes with a 9.3inch infotainment touchscreen moderately than the usual 7.0in display however all variations are fitted with a 10in digital instrument panel.
All of the tech is simple to make use of and Renault ticks a field for me by becoming rotary controls for the heating and different commonly used options, and it has steering column-mounted quantity buttons for the audio.
Other than an artificial whirring noise that warns pedestrians of your strategy (it cuts out at 20mph), progress within the Zoe could be very quiet.
Additional sound deadening has been added to this 2020 mannequin that reduces the highway and wind noise even additional.
It’s a pleasant technique to journey. The 0-62mph time with the R135 motor is 9.5sec in comparison with 11.4sec with the R110 motor.
You do lose a little bit of vary with the extra highly effective motor however the further acceleration makes itself felt.
The Zoe Iconic, which as we’ve identified is out there with both motor, prices £27,670 with the R110 and £28,120 with the extra highly effective unit.
Our GT Line prices £29,120 (all costs quoted are minus PICG which is now £3,000).
In keeping with Renault’s analysis, 90% of charging occurs at residence or work and solely 3% is finished at public factors.
Because the Zoe is at its finest as city transport this makes plenty of sense.
Charging the automobile at both Waitrose or on my mate’s entrance drive was painless.
On the former I hooked it up within the afternoon after which walked again the following morning with it displaying 233 miles on the gauge.
What didn’t work fairly so properly was a cease at a Shell storage in Addlestone, Surrey, which had a 50kWh charging facility.
It ought to convey the Zoe as much as 80% full in about 40 minutes, however after half an hour sat studying the paper solely about 25 miles had been added to the automobile’s vary – properly wanting what I used to be anticipating.
The difficulty is, the Zoe has an air-cooled battery and though it has a capability to cost at 50kWh, the system will throttle itself again if it detects the battery is in peril of overheating.
Clearly sitting within the automobile for 30 minutes at a storage that was not on my route, and never coming away with a full battery, was a ache.
With a wall field at residence the most recent Zoe could be very simple to stay with. The development in high quality has made a distinction and the vary now removes all trace of battery nervousness.
It’s a sensible and helpful city runabout that’s greater than quick sufficient if you choose the extra highly effective motor.
Renault Zoe GT Line five-door hatchback
Engine: Single electrical motor, 133bhp
Vary: 245 miles
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