Electric cars are not really associated with style and design; in fact most electric cars are put off when it comes to solely on the design aspect. If you are one of those that consider electric cars dull and boring, one look at the Renault Zoe and you are sure to think differently. The Renault Zoe hatchback is the French manufacturer’s offering in the electric car space and was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo.
The exterior design of the Zoe is in-line with Renault’s new family design which is seen on the all new Fluence and Koleos as well. Renault has given a curvaceous exterior design to the Zoe electric car, however, has cleverly added smaller creases and lines to maintain a sporty appeal to the vehicle. The grille has made way for very sharp and sleek swept back headlight units that feature HID lights with the big Renault logo dawning at the front. The bumper is rounded and features the boomerang shaped fog lamps. The ORVMs feature turn indicators and are finished in black. The rear on the other hand features the quirky French styling. The diamond shaped tail lights are sure to grab your attention, while the tail gate looks masculine. The car gets the ‘ZE’ badge that conveys about the powertrain in use.
The Renault Zoe also boasts of a lot technology upgrades. The car features new-generation regenerative braking, that converts the kinetic energy used on braking and recharges the battery without affecting the ride. The vehicle also gets a heat pump which provides more heating or cooling inside the cabin without consuming too much electricity. The last major upgrade is the use of Michelin energy E-V tyres that are specifically designed for Zoe with Renault and improves the overall range of the car. The interior boasts of excellent quality of fit and finish and is equally roomy at the front and rear. The all digital instrument cluster will tell you about the vital statistics of the car; whereas the multimedia display unit stands out with a black frame. The car also gets steering mounted controls and automatic climate control.
Coming to the powertrain, the Zoe electric hatchback is powered by an electric motor capable of producing 88 BHP and has a total driving range of 209 kms. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 13.5 seconds, while the top speed is 135 km/hr. The complete battery can be recharged in nine hours.
The Renault Zoe has received rave reviews in Europe. The car is good-looking, practical and affordable. Do not expect though that Renault will bring this one to India. The capable electric car if brought will be priced around Rs. 15 lakhs and will make very little sense considering the infrastructure we have for electric vehicles. Nonetheless the pint sized French car is a looker and even the critics will agree this is an electric they’d rather have.
Renault also showcased its motorsport muscle with the Lotus F1 race car at its pavilion. The F1 car uses a powered by Renault 2.4-litre V8 engine producing 750 HP of power at 18,000 RPM and is the champion engine for four years from 2010 to 2013.