Over the years, we have seen the Renault ZOE make its way into various car shows as a concept car, but nothing ever really came of it. Here we are approaching the 2013 model year and finally, Renault is announcing that it is releasing its first production bespoke EV car in the form of the oft-teased ZOE. Sure, it’s no Ferrari or Lamborghini, or even a Tesla for that matter, but it is progress toward removing ourselves from exhaustible oil.

It is rather surprising to see electric vehicles taking their sweet time developing in European market, as those countries have been hit the hardest and longest with inflated gasoline prices. European buyers and automakers have been relying more on building high-efficiency diesel and gasoline engines, while us folks in the U.S. have focused more on the EV and hybrid routes.

The real question here is can the Renault ZOE make enough of an impact to pull buyers away from these ultra-economical petrol and diesel models? And can the ZOE help start the domino effect that the Prius did here all those years ago?

Click past the jump to read all about the Renault Zoe and get answers to these questions.


2013 Renault ZOE High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 480239

On the outside of the ZOE, you get a pretty standard European supermini hatchback with a modern twist. Renault took great strides to make sure the ZOE stands out in a crowd, giving it a rounded face, super-modern headlights with LED daytime running lamps, and a pair of cheekbone-like side marker lights. At the base of the fascia, you get a small mouth that completes the car’s rather impressive face.

Down the side of the ZOE, you start to see the plain old Euro hatchback stamping come into play. Only a few minor styling keys, like the hidden rear door handle and swooping body line on the rear door, stand out. The rest of its side profile is pretty much “Blah.”

Unfortunately, Renault didn’t offer up a view of the ZOE’s backside, as it looks rather interesting from what we can see of it. We’re sure we’ll get a glimpse of it soon enough though.

2013 Renault ZOE High Resolution Exterior
- image 480240

Renault doesn’t get into what rims come standard on the base Expression model, but you can add on 16-inch Aerotronic wheels for £310 ($498 at the current exchange rates). For an added fee, you can opt for 17-inch Tech Run alloy wheels. This optional kit has a buy in of £400 ($643 at the current exchange rates).

A common safety concern for people with EVs is the fact that they are so quiet that pedestrians may not hear you coming and walk out without looking. Renault addressed this by including “Z.E. Voice” standard. Z.E. voice is an alarm system that is audible from 1 mpg to 18 mph. The driver can choose from one of three different alarm sounds, or he can turn it off altogether if he wants to be a little sneakier.

Standard Exterior Equipment on Expression

  • Z.E. Voice
  • Renault Keycard
  • Tinted Rear Windows
  • RAID Automatic Door Locks

Standard Exterior Equipment on Dynamique Intens and Dynamique Zen

  • 16-Inch Aerotronic Alloy Rims
  • Renault Keycard W/ Hands-Free Functionality
  • Automatic Headlights
  • Automatic Wipers
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Rear Parking Camera (Intens Only)
Optional Exterior Equipment on ExpressionMSRP
16-Inch Aerotronic Alloy Wheels £310
Renault i.d. Paint £300
Metallic Paint £460
Renault i.d. Metallic Paint £600
Automatic Headlights and Wipers £165
Renault Keycard W/ Hands-Free Functionality £300
Rear Parking Sensors £350
Easy Pack (Rear Parking Sensors, and Automatic Headlights and Wipers £275
Comfort Pack (Renault Keycard W/ Hands-Free Functionality and Power Rear Windows) £245
Optional Exterior Equipment on Dynamique IntensMSRP
17-Inch Tech Run Alloy Wheels £400
Renault i.d. Paint £300
Metallic Paint £460
Renault i.d. Metallic Paint £600
Optional Exterior Equipment on Dynamique ZenMSRP
17-Inch Tech Run Alloy Wheels £400
Rear Parking Camera £310
Renault i.d. Paint £300
Metallic Paint £460
Renault i.d. Metallic Paint £600


2013 Renault ZOE High Resolution Interior
- image 480238

With the complexity of electric cars, we often see their interiors become very cluttered and confusing, leaving the driver to feel like he’s in a space shuttle rather than a car. Renault took a rather calm approach with the ZOE, fitting it with its own R-Link system that includes a 7-inch screen in the center stack, steering-wheel-mounted buttons, and voice recognition to help clean up some of the car’s functions.

The dashboard area is clean and clear, only featuring the R-Link interface and basic climate-control knobs. The dashboard features a three-tone setup with a dark undertone highlighted by a lighter insert that is surrounded by a third accent color, in the Dynamique Zen trim level. This tri-tone format continues throughout the inside of the car – on the door panels, steering wheel. and gear shifter. Unfortunately, we don’t get a look at the base dashboard setup, but we’re sure it doesn’t vary too much.

A really neat optional feature is that the ZOE will heat or cool itself while the car is charging. This eliminates the need to drastically cool or heat the cabin once you start driving, which can have a big impact on battery consumption.

For a relatively low-priced EV, the Renault ZOE comes relatively well equipped. It comes standard with an 80-watt, four-speaker stereo system, R-Link with TomTom navigation, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, cruise control, ISOFIX mountings on passenger and outer rear seats, TFT gauges, and tilt and telescoping wheel.

Given the fact that Renault pretty much packed the base model to the gills, the Dynamique trims only add minor details. Things like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 140-watt stereo. On the Intens trim level, you get “Intens” dark interior ambience. On the Zen model, Renault tosses in the “Zen” light interior ambience (pictured) with Teflon seat protection and “Zen Take Car by Renault,” which adds in an active scent diffusor, ionizer, and a toxicity sensor.

Standard Interior Equipment on Expression

  • 80-Watt, Four-Speaker Stereo System
  • R-Link W/ TomTom Navigation
  • USB Port
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Climate Control
  • Cruise Control
  • ISOFIX Mounts (Passenger Seat and Outer Rear Seats
  • TFT Gauges
  • Tilt and Telescoping Wheel

Standard Interior Equipment on Dynamique Intens and Dynamique Zen

  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • 140-Watt Stereo
  • “Intens” Dark Interior Ambience (Intens Trim Only)
  • “Zen” Light Interior Ambience W/ Teflon Seat Protection (Zen Trim Only)
  • “Zen Take Car by Renault” (Active Scent Diffusor, Ionizer and a Toxicity Sensor) (Zen Trim Only)
Optional Interior Equipment on ExpressionMSRP
140-Watt Radio £250
Z.E. Interactive (Remote Battery Charging and Air Conditioning/Heating Activation £150
Z.E. Digital (Remote Access to R-Link Store) £25
Western Europe Map for TomTom £110
TomTom Live Services (3 Year Subscription £125
Optional Interior Equipment on Dynamique Intens and ZenMSRP
Western Europe Map for TomTom £110
TomTom Live Services 3 Year Subscription £125

Motor, Battery, and Drivetrain

2013 Renault ZOE High Resolution Exterior
- image 480241

Under the hood of the ZOE houses a synchronous electric motor that produces up to 65 kW (88 horsepower) and 220 Nm (162 pound-feet) of torque immediately. That’s one of the wonders of electric cars; there is virtually no torque band at all, just straight to full power. Renault did not offer up a 0-to-60 time but it did release that its top speed is 84 mph.

Because the ZOE is direct-drive, like most electric vehicles, its acceleration is smooth and shift free. The total range of the ZOE is 130 miles, but Renault stays honest by clarifying this is only a reference. In real-world driving, Renault claims a 60-mile range in cold-weather city driving and 90 miles when driving in warmer climates in the city.

The ZOE’s Chameleon Charger is compatible with all power levels up to 43 kW, so there is no need to fumble around with buying adaptors. The charging time depends on the type of charging station you use, but it ranges from 30 minutes to nine hours.

Motor and Drivetrain Specifications:

Motor Synchronous Electric Motor
Motor Output 65 kW (88 Horsepower)
Motor Torque 220 Nm (162 Pound-Feet)
Transmission Direct Drive
Range 130 Miles (NEDC Cycle), 60 to 90 Miles (Renault “Real World” Claim)


The beautiful thing about the Renault ZOE is its pricing. It starts off as low as £14,444.44 ($23,241 at the current rates) with a tax credit that drops its price to £13,650 ($21,962 at the current rates). It does range upward from there, depending on the trim level you select.

On top of the base price, you will need to lease the battery, which ranges from £70 ($112 at the current rates) per month to £113 ($181 at the current rates) per month.

Pricing Details:

ModelBase PriceVATTotal PricePiCGPrice after PiCGDelivery FeeFirst RegistrationOTR Price
Expression £14,444.44 £2,888.89 £17,333.33 £4,333.33 £13,000 £595 £55 £13,650
Dynamique Zen £15,666.67 £3,133.33 £18,800 £4,700 £14,100 £595 £55 £14,750
Dynamique Intens £15,666.67 £3,133.33 £18,800 £4,700 £14,100 £595 £55 £14,750

Battery Leasing:

Contract termUp to 7,500 Miles 9,000 Miles10,500 Miles12,000 Miles
36+ Months £70 £77 £85 £93
24 Months £80 £87 £95 £103
12 Months £90 £97 £105 £113


2012 Mitsubishi U.S Spec i-MiEV Exterior
- image 381158

The EV competition in the UK isn’t quite as stiff as it is here in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean it’s non-existent. A key competitor for the Renault ZOE will be the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Let’s start off with the plain fact that the i-MiEV just looks silly and the ZOE looks like a pretty conventional car – there is no doubting that. In fact, looks have been one of the more polarizing parts of EVs, as EV builders seem to think their buyers want oddly shaped cars.

In terms of performance, thei-MiEV features a 49 kW (66-horsepower) electric motor that also twists out 180 Nm (133 pound-feet) of torque, so it comes in well under the Renault. Its 81 mph top speed and NEDC Cycle of just 93 miles also puts it at a disadvantage. Lastly, the i-MiEV comes in at a heavier £23,990 ($38,599) price tag, putting it well above the ZOE.

Honestly, there is not real “good light” to shine on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV when comparing it to the Renault ZOE, unless you are one of those “special” people that simply needs a car that looks like it was ripped straight from “The Jetsons.”


With the growing need for electric-powered cars, it is good to see Renault stepping up with a full-line EV to complement its Twizy. Plus to build one that looks like a normal car and doesn’t scream “look at me” is a nice change of pace for the EV world. Why on Earth do auto manufacturers insist on making EVs look so damn weird? Thank you, Renault, for stopping this trend.

  • Leave it
    • 60-mile range in cold weather
    • Battery leasing is an expensive venture
    • Likely very sluggish to 60 mph

Press Release


  • Renault’s first bespoke 100 per cent electric car ZOE in showrooms from Spring 2013 and is available to reserve now for just £49
  • ZOE available in three trim levels with a starting price of only £13,650 on-the-road after UK Government Plug-in Car Grant deduction. Battery hire from £70 per month
  • Longest range of any electric vehicle with an NEDC cycle figure of up to 130 miles
  • ZOE packs the industry’s most advanced technology, including six world firsts designed to deliver user-friendliness, range and connectivity
  • ZOE will be the spearhead of the ’Renault 2016 – Drive the Change’ plan to cut its global carbon footprint by 10% between now and 2013 and a further 10 per cent between 2013 and 2016

Renault’s new supermini ZOE is available to reserve now ahead of its UK showroom launch in Spring 2013 to mark a new era of electric vehicles for all.

The flagship vehicle of the French brand’s four-strong 100 per cent electric vehicle range is stylish, affordable and incredibly versatile – perfect for commuting, supermarket and school runs, and for households who want to downsize their engine and carbon footprint. With an NEDC homologated range of up to 130 miles and an on-the-road price from just £13,650, ZOE is the first affordable car for everyday use to have been designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

ZOE packs the industry’s most advanced technology, including no fewer than six ‘world premiere’ features and 60 patents designed to deliver user-friendliness, range and connectivity. The hotly-anticipated Renault comes in the wake of the Fluence Z.E. saloon, Kangoo Van Z.E. and the innovative urban runabout Twizy to make zero emission mobility a reality for ordinary motorists – one of the pledges of Renault’s ’Drive the Change’ signature.

Andy Heiron, UK Head of Electric Vehicles Programme, said: “ZOE will be the spearhead of the Renault Z.E. range. In addition to its compact size, attractive styling and affordable price tag, it showcases Renault’s technological excellence when it comes to electric vehicles. ZOE also heralds the beginning of a new era of electric mobility for all and confirms our commitment to electric vehicles. It marks an important step for Renault which has a 114-year history of making major innovations a concrete reality for everyday motorists.”

ZOE is available in three trim levels – Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens – and is packed with a raft of innovations for a new form of motoring. The sleek supermini is the first vehicle to be equipped with ‘Range OptimiZEr’ which combines three major innovations (new-generation regenerative braking, a heat pump and MICHELIN EnergyTM E-V tyres). Due to this, the range of ZOE has the longest range of the electric vehicles in mass production. With these Michelin tyres, in the NEDC cycle, ZOE is homologated with a range of 130 miles. However, this is a reference figure, in real conditions, for example, in suburban use, the owner will generally achieve around 60 miles in cold weather and 90 miles in temperate conditions.

ZOE is the only electric vehicle to feature the Chameleon charger. Patented by Renault, this charger is compatible with all power levels up to 43kW. Charging batteries at a charging station can take between 30 minutes and nine hours, with 80 per cent of full battery power able to be achieved within 30 minutes using a single type of connection for the car.

ZOE is also the first Renault vehicle to be presented with new multimedia system, Renault R-Link. To enable drivers to control its functions without taking their eyes off the road, R-Link features a large seven-inch display, steering wheel-mounted controls and voice recognition. It also delivers integrated connectivity with motoring services and applications available from the R-Link Store.

Driving ZOE is a unique experience which gives new meaning to the term ‘driving pleasure’. The synchronous electric motor with rotor coil has a power output of 65kW (equivalent to 88hp) and instantly delivers maximum torque of 220Nm. Acceleration and pull-away are responsive from low speeds, while top speed is limited to 84mph. Driving is more relaxing thanks to the silent ride and smooth, gearshift-free acceleration.

For stress-free driving in built-up areas, ZOE is fitted with ‘Z.E. Voice’, an alarm which warns pedestrians that the vehicle is approaching. ‘Z.E. Voice’ can be heard from 1 to 18 mph and was the subject of special design work to create a bespoke sound identity for ZOE. The driver can choose between three different sounds, while it is possible to turn off the warning system by simply pressing a button.

Programmable pre-conditioning heats or cools ZOE’s cabin when the vehicle is charging so when the driver gets into the car the cabin is just the right temperature and battery charge is saved in use. An activated charcoal cabin air filter traps most bad smells and pollutants. It also filters substances just a few microns in size, such as pollen and soot.

The choice of colours and materials for one of the ZOE versions, Dynamique Zen, recalls purity and wellbeing: white, blue and chrome, with a light coloured interior ambiance. ZOE Dynamique Zen is fitted with ‘Take Care by Renault’ equipment as standard with active scent diffuser, ioniser and toxicity sensor together with Teflon seat protection.

Its agile, dynamic looks express driving enjoyment, while its signature headlights feature LEDs that permanently light up recesses situated either side of the front air intake. Like Twingo and Twizy, ZOE features the Renault brand’s new design identity.

ZOE Expression comes with an on-the-road price of £13,650, after the Government Plug-in Car Grant deduction, while the Dynamique Zen and Intens start from £14,750. Battery hire is from £70 per month.

For more information and to reserve your Renault ZOE for just £49 visit www.renault-ze.com. By reserving online, customers will be offered exclusive updates, priority to test drive at one of our events and invitations to Z.E. events.

Standard equipment on Expression:

  • R-Link – voice controlled TomTom satellite navigation with 7” touchscreen and voice control
  • 4x20W radio
  • USB port and SD Multimedia
  • Bluetooth®
  • ‘Range OptimeZEr’ - new-generation regenerative braking, a heat pump and MICHELIN Energy E-V tyres
  • Chameleon charger
  • Z.E. Connect – remote monitoring of battery charge and range
  • Z.E. Voice – pedestrian warning
  • Climate control
  • Cruise control
  • LED DRLs
  • ESC
  • ASR Traction control
  • CSV Understeer control
  • HSA Hill Start Assist
  • Renault keycard
  • ISOFIX mountings on front passenger seat and outer rear seats
  • TFT instrument display
  • Height and reach adjustable steering wheel
  • Privacy glass to rear side and tailgate windows
  • RAID automatic door locking

Additional equipment on Dynamique Intens and Dynamique Zen:

  • 16 » Aerotronic alloy wheels
  • Renault keycard with hands free functionality
  • 4x35W radio with Arkamys digital sound
  • Z.E. Interactive – remote battery charging and air conditioning/heating activation
  • Z.E. Digital – remote access to R-Link store e.g. email access)
  • Automatic headlight activation
  • Automatic wiper activation
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Electric rear windows
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rear parking camera (Dynamique Intens only)
  • ‘Intens’ dark interior ambiance (Dynamique Intens only)
  • ‘Zen’ light interior ambiance with Teflon seat protection (Dynamique Zen only)
  • ‘Zen Take Care by Renault’ – active scent diffuser, ioniser, toxicity sensor - (Dynamique Zen only)

Optional equipment on Expression:

  • 16” Aerotronic alloy wheels £310
  • Renault i.d. paint £300
  • Metallic paint £460
  • Renault i.d. metallic paint £600
  • Automatic headlight and wiper activation £165
  • Renault keycard with hands free functionality £300
  • Rear parking sensors £350
  • 4x35W radio with Arkamys digital sound £250
  • Z.E. Interactive – remote battery charging and air conditioning/heating activation £150
  • Z.E. Digital – remote access to R-Link store e.g. email access) £25
  • Western Europe map for TomTom £110
  • TomTom Live services 3 year subscription £125
  • Easy Pack – rear parking sensors and automatic headlight and wiper activation £275
  • Comfort Pack - Renault keycard with hands free functionality and electric rear windows £245

Optional equipment on Dynamique Intens:

  • 17” Tech Run alloy wheels (not available with MICHELIN EnergyTM E-V tyres £400
  • Renault i.d. paint £300
  • Metallic paint £460
  • Renault i.d. metallic paint £600
  • Western Europe map for TomTom £110
  • TomTom Live services 3 year subscription £125

Optional equipment on Dynamique Zen:

  • 17” Tech Run alloy wheels (not available with MICHELIN EnergyTM E-V tyres £400
  • Rear parking camera £310
  • Renault i.d. paint £300
  • Metallic paint £460
  • Renault i.d. metallic paint £600
  • Western Europe map for TomTom £110
  • TomTom Live services 3 year subscription £125
View the full press release Hide press release
Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: