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The German Government Is Basically Giving Away Free Electric Cars

The German Government Is Basically Giving Away Free Electric Cars

Thanks to a generous grant, German citizens can lease a Renault Zoe for two years without paying a single Euro cent

Germany is setting a new standard when it comes to encouraging people into cleaner cars and the distribution of EV grant money. The government is currently offering a €6,000 grant for the purchase of a new EV and, thanks to the way things are set up, this means you can lease a brand new Renault Zoe without paying a penny. Here’s how it works.

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2020 Renault MORPHOZ concept

2020 Renault MORPHOZ concept

The Morphoz Concept represents a future where cars transform and what’s yours isn’t always yours

Renault, like all other automakers, were forced to skip the Geneva Motor Show, but that sure didn’t stop it from unveiling what will probably be written in history as the weirdest futuristic concept of 2020. The Morphoz is, essentially, a vehicle that can transform based on range need, from a shorter, city car to a longer travel car. It sounds like the Morphoz will be a city car by default and would require you to stop by a station and swap to a larger battery if you plan to take a longer trip. The batteries, whether in the car or not, will be used to power infrastructure when not in use. I tend to speak too soon about a lot of things, but I’m going to come right out and say that this thing will never see production, but it could represent the future of automobiles, so here’s what you need to know about it.

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2020 Renault ZOE EV has sharper looks, more range and two motor options

2020 Renault ZOE EV has sharper looks, more range and two motor options

Renault has cranked up the design aggression meter up to eleven on the 2020 ZOE and its interior is finally pleasant

Our readers from North America may not really be familiar with the Renault Zoe, but it is actually the best selling all-electric vehicle in Europe, so the fact that a new one has been launched is a pretty big deal. It’s definitely an evolution of the old car and not a dramatic, revolution, but it addresses some key concerns people had with it in the past in order to make it even more enticing for city types who don’t want a small EV.

The 2020 Renault ZOE has freshened up exterior design, a much improved interior (it sorely needed), a battery pack has 30 percent extra capacity over the old one and new tech that was not available on the old ZOE. And having improved the car in all these areas, Renault has a chance of staying on top of EV sales in Europe, even though there are far more rivals out now than there were when the ZOE debuted, back in 2012.

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The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production

The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production

Renault’s brand-new EV is a tiny crossover

Six months after it made its debut as a concept car at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the Renault K-ZE broke cover in production form at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. The tiny electric crossover was designed in China as part of the eGT New Energy Automotive Co. Ltd. joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and local carmaker Dongfeng.

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2018 Renault K-ZE

2018 Renault K-ZE

Is this the electrified future?

Renault is previewing its future mini electric crossover with the K-ZE concept revealed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Taking a closer look at the K-ZE, it becomes immediately apparent that it is, in fact, just a dressed up Kwid (which Renault already sells in emerging markets) which has had its internal combustion powertrain swapped out for a full-electric one.

The future electric crossover will look much closer to this concept, than it will to the current Kwid, although it will maintain its basic body shape. What will set it apart visually more significantly are the new, redesigned front and rear fascias, as well as various details around the exterior. It also promises to offer “class leading” range for a vehicle in its size-bracket.

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The Future of Renault Lies in this KWID-Based Electric Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show

The Future of Renault Lies in this KWID-Based Electric Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show

Renault enters the fray with a small crossover for the masses

Renault premiered the grand stage with an all-electric crossover concept called K-ZE. It will eventually head to the production line and reach the masses next year. The concept looks funky, and the production version may not be very different from the concept. Given the segment Renault has slotted it in, the car will most likely fetch big sales numbers.

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The Renault EZ-Ultimo Takes Another Futuristic Approach to Driverless Mobility

The Renault EZ-Ultimo Takes Another Futuristic Approach to Driverless Mobility

The luxury limo of tomorrow is surprisingly tasteful

Renault completes the EZ line of prototypes that envision an autonomous future with the EZ Ultimo, a luxurious full-size sedan with outlandish styling for the VIPs of tomorrow.

It’s long, sleek, with a gold-and-black sci-fi bodywork and stands as Renault’s view on luxury travel in the future. The chauffeur of the EZ Ultimo, however, isn’t a person, but rather Level 4 autonomous system. It’s a change of pace for Renault whose previous two EZ concepts were rather more mundane: the compact EZ Go, a futuristic taxi, and the EZ Pro light delivery truck.

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Renault Shows Off a Baby Electric SUV that Goes by the Name K-ZE and Displays Some Future Technology

Renault Shows Off a Baby Electric SUV that Goes by the Name K-ZE and Displays Some Future Technology

Previews future production crossover EV

Renault has unveiled the K-ZE Concept at the Paris motor show, a small all-electric crossover study that previews a future production model. It is part of Renault’s plan to electrify its core range by 2020, which includes plug-in versions of the Megane and Captur and a hybrid version of the Clio.

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2018 Renault EZ-GO

2018 Renault EZ-GO

All-electric, fully autonomous, and extra chic

Renault has been big on the whole EV self-driver thing for the past few years now, pulling the sheets on several SYMBIOZ concepts back in 2017. The EZ-GO is the latest follow-up, offering the same drivetrain and autonomous tech as before, but with an extra dash of shared mobility services and connected features to boot. The result is a vision of the future of urban mobility, promising improvements to both energy efficiency and quality of life.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault EZ-GO.

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Renault Showcases the Future of Urban Travel with the EZ-GO Autonomous People Hauler

Renault Showcases the Future of Urban Travel with the EZ-GO Autonomous People Hauler

This is Renault’s version of a future defined by ride-sharing

There once was a day when a concept like the Renault EZ-GO would be deemed as too outlandish and nothing more than a figment of someone’s wild imagination. Those days are obviously gone. It’s still a crazy-by-comparison concept, but it’s become par for the course in an industry that’s now embracing its autonomous future. So here’s the EZ-GO Concept. It’s a driverless, electric concept that’s built for on-demand autonomous ride-sharing. Yep, welcome to 2018.

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Someone Spotted Renault's Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly!

Someone Spotted Renault’s Geneva-Bound Mobility Concept and Boy is it Fugly!

Uh.. I think they forgot the paint...and the seats

Renault is set to debut a new shared mobility concept at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and the weird, out-of-place pod on wheels you see here is said to be it.

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A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality

A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality

Renault seems to be headed in that direction, too

We all remember the Zoe RS all-electric concept from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, right? It caught our attention because it not only featured 460 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, it also showed that it was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. In other words, people immediately clamored Renault to build a production version of the concept. Now it appears that it’s exactly what Renault has been planning all along.

Speaking with Autocar, Renault Sport chief Patrice Ratti confirmed that his performance division has already developed a prototype of the all-electric concept that made its debut in Geneva back in March 2017. Ratti didn’t dive into any specifics about the car, but he did say that developed has progressed far enough that such a car is now feasible, something that “wasn’t the case a few years ago.” Still, Ratti’s optimism comes with a few caveats, particularly in the development of the batteries that will likely power the supermini hot hatch, not to mention the goal of ensuring that the car can uphold Renault Sport’s noted credentials in handling and drivability. These are some of the biggest issues that will be addressed if Renault really wants to send the Zoe RS to production. The good news is that there appears to be an optimistic and determined climate in Boulogne to make sure that it happens.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Renault Looking To Sell EVs In China On The Cheap

Renault Looking To Sell EVs In China On The Cheap

$8,000 EVs could be possible with government incentives in place

It’s no secret China has become the world’s largest market for electric cars and automakers from all corners of the world have taken notice and are gearing up to enter the lucrative market, all with the hope of biting off a big piece of that pie. One of these companies is Renault and part of its plan to get a chunk of the market is to offer electric vehicles in China that will cost as little as $8,000.

Yes, an $8,000 Renault electric car could happen in China, all thanks to the increasing amount of incentives the Chinese government is offering to get its citizens to buy electric cars. Right now, these incentives are nearing $20,000, and that’s per vehicle. That provides a company like Renault plenty of wiggle room to develop electric cars while not squeezing itself out on a small budget. Renault-Nissan big boss Carlos Ghosn made the prediction of sorts at the New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference in Paris last week and while he didn’t dive into the specifics on how the company plans to navigate itself around those price points, he did say that the company is embracing the challenge of making this breakthrough because, in his own words, “it’s going to change the game.”

So how exactly can Renault accomplish this goal? For one, it already has a local partnership in place with Chinese automaker Donfeng. Together, the two companies have created a local joint venture, Dongfeng Renault Automobile Co., to develop electric vehicles together with testing for a self-driving EV already set to start this month. In addition, Renault has already indicated plans to move away from traditional engines like diesels and focus more on zero-emissions vehicles. On that note, it also has some technologies in place to help aid it in its development of electric cars, including those that are earmarked for the massive Chinese market. One such technology is the Z.E. 40 batteries that was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show with the 2017 Renault Zoe.

Considering the stakes that are involved in breaking into the Chinese market, Renault looks to be making a push to be one of the first global brands to make its market on the growing market. Offering an electric car that could cost as little as $8,000 after government incentives is one way to do that.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Renault Zoe

2017 Renault Zoe

A new battery adds significantly more miles to the car’s range

The Renault Zoe came to be in 2012, as part of the company’s Z.E. electric car initiative that also includes the Twizy city car and the Kangoo Z.E. compact panel van. Originally launched with a 22 kWh battery that returned a 93-mile range, the Zoe received a second battery good for 150 miles in 2015. At the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Renault announced the introduction of a brand-new battery for the Zoe. Boasting 41 kWh of useful energy, the new stack returns an NEDC driving range of 250 miles and a real-world range of up to 186 miles.

Set to go on sale in 2017, the updated Zoe will hit the streets in the same form as the original hatchback. Aside from the new battery and upgraded infotainment apps, the Zoe will carry over unchanged inside and out. However, the new battery makes it the most capable, affordable electric car on the market, at least until the Opel Ampera-e lands in showrooms.

The updated electric arrived just as Renault sold its 100,000th Zoe, an impressive achievement in this market. Although not as popular as the Leaf, which sold more than 230,000 units globally as of 2016 (note that the Leaf is also offered in the U.S.), the Zoe is the best-selling hybrid in France and a notable competitor for the Nissan in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Norway.

Will the more powerful battery make a difference and boost Zoe sales in Europe? Let’s have a closer look at the numbers before we draw a conclusion.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Zoe.

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Renault Zoe Debuts In Paris With Record 250-Mile NED Range

Renault Zoe Debuts In Paris With Record 250-Mile NED Range

That’s more than double what some of its competitors are offering!

Normally, a car like the Renault Zoe doesn’t generate the same type of excitement in auto shows compared to those limited edition supercars that pop up every so often. But, when it’s said that the Renault Zoe promises something that no other car of its kind can do, that’s when it becomes a lot more interesting. Such is the case at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where Renault unveiled the Z.E. 40 battery-powered Zoe EV that packs a record NED cycle-certified 250-mile range, or the equivalent of 186 miles in real-world traffic conditions.

The range figure may not be as high as the 315-mile range of the Tesla Model S P100D or the 238-mile range of the Bolt, but it completely laps the field against its more direct competitors, including the Fiat 500e (87 miles), Kia Soul EV (93 miles), and Volkswagen e-Golf (83 miles). That’s an impressive feat brought about by the automaker’s groundbreaking Z.E. 40 battery’s high-energy density lithium-ion technology that Renault developed in collaboration with LG Chem.

Together, the two companies were able to devise a method that resulted in the increase of energy density in the battery cells, all while retaining the battery’s physical characteristics, and improving its overall safety and reliability. The result is a battery that has 41kWh of usable energy, close to double the capacity of the battery being used by the current model. It also allows for quick recharging. In fact, with a 30-minute charge, the battery can recoup an extra 50 miles of range, which if you do the math, already accounts for 60 percent of the Soul EV and e-Golf’s overall battery range.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2014 Spark-Renault SRT 01E Formula E Race Car

2014 Spark-Renault SRT 01E Formula E Race Car

"Next year will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing."

We’ve heard that sentence uttered far too many times each year and more often than not, we attribute it to nothing more than hyperbole.

But 2014 will be a landmark year in the history of motorsports racing with the introduction of the FIA Formula-E Championship, a one-make, single-seat racing series that will be competed by electrically powered race cars.

In time for its highly anticipated debut, Spark Racing Technology is using the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car.

The race car is expected be one of the most prominent racers in the series. It looks like any modern single-seat race car, but other than its aesthetics, a whole load of features about the Spark-Renault SRT_01E Formula E race car distinguishes itself from the likes of those Formula One racers.

For one, the SRT_01E will be build using a Dallara-designed monocoque chassis made out of carbon fiber and aluminum. But more importantly - and something that will be unique to the race car - the SRT_01E will be powered by a McLaren-sourced electric engine that’s capable of producing up to 270 horsepower, although that output will only be limited to 180 horsepower during races. It’s not as powerful as those F1 cars, but what do you expect with an electric engine.

Despite the lack of horses, the SRT_01E is still expected to be really quick off the block, capable of hitting 60 mph in just 3 seconds to go with an FIA-limited top speed of 140 mph.

Updated 04/30/2014: Ho-Pin Tung – the first Chinese driver to ever test a Formula 1 car - was invited to drive the new SRT_01E and apparently he was very impressed. Check out the video to see for yourself.

Click past the jump to read more about Formula-E

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2013 Renault Twizy F1 Concept

2013 Renault Twizy F1 Concept

The other day, Renault teased a new electric concept car and we were expecting to see something big - something at least similar to the Alpine A110-50 Concept. Unfortunately, the new concept is quite disappointing, at least aesthetically.

The new Twizy F1 Concept has been developed on a single-seat racecar platform and, according to Renault, it is "a bridge between the world of F1 technology and that of production cars." The problem is that along with the technology, Renault Sport also decided to use some F1-inspired design elements that are just a little too much for the super-compact Twizy.

While the look is something questionable, what lies under the hood makes us completely forget about how wrong things went to Renault design laboratory this time. The technology behind the concept was developed by engineers from both Renaultsport and their colleagues at Renault Sport F1 and it is essentially the same as the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used in the Renault Formula 1 cars.

UPDATE 05/17/13: If you thought that the Renault Twizy F1 Concept is just that, a concept, well, think again. Click past the jump to see how this little concept can throw down!

Click past the jump to read more about the new Renault Twizy F1 Concept.

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Renault Teases a New Electric Concept

Renault Teases a New Electric Concept

Renault has dropped a new teaser image for a concept vehicle that is going to be unveiled at the company’s Valladolid plant in Spain in just two days. The teaser image reveals nearly nothing about the concept, but Renault announced it will be an electric vehicle with technology inspired by the Formula 1 race cars. Sounds pretty cool, huh?

Renault confirmed that the concept will feature "muscular styling and impressive performance credentials, provides a bridge between the world of Formula 1 and that of electric vehicles. It’s a concept car that will make a lot of noise...but, in total silence."

The new concept was developed in cooperation with Renault Sport and, as we can tell from this first teaser image, it will feature a window that provides a glimpse of the electric motor that powers the car.

Full details on this new concept will be unveiled on April 25th. Stay tuned for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault’s EV technology

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2013 Renault ZOE

2013 Renault ZOE

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.

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