Renault set to launch the Zoe compact hatch EV in Australia this year

In the last couple of weeks Renault confirmed they are bringing two of their best-selling EV cars here in Australia this year – the Zoe EV and Kangoo Z.E. – but only to trade, business and government customers. Sole traders may get a look-in though.

The Renault Zoe is an especially appealing city or second car for many owners – in it’s most recent guise it offers an approximate real-world range around 300km, which is very usable for many owner’s needs.

Renault Zoe – the basics

Both the Zoe EV and Kangoo Z.E. are not new models in Europe – they have been in the market for a couple of years and already have a class-leading combined sales figure of over 120,000 units.

Earlier in 2017, Renault added an upgraded battery with a significant increase in capacity, resulting in longer driving range.

Zoe EV

The Zoe EV is Renault’s 100% battery-electric supermini car launched in 2012, and primarily aimed at consumers. For 2017, Renault updated it’s battery capacity to 41KWh from the previous 22KWh but have managed to retain the exact shape and size of the old battery with just a few kilograms of penalty.

Renault Zoe Australian Pricing

GoAuto are reporting that Renault are setting the base ‘Life’ spec at $44,470 plus on-road costs, and $45,970 plus on-roads for the higher spec Intens, with a bit more tech such as reversing camera and rear parking sensors.

Now, this isn’t cheap for a compact hatchback, and price-sensitive (rather than environmentally sensitive) buyers will have to seriously consider the trade-offs between lower operating costs and the higher up-front price. This is probably why Renault are limiting initial purchases to business and government customers who will be more inclined to think that way.

Renault Zoe Range & Charging

The Renault Zoe is rated at a 400km NEDC range, which in real-world driving should offer north of 300km out of it’s 41KWh battery.

It’s not clear which charging connector type Renault will offer – either a J1772 charge connector, such as that found on local BMW i3 models, or a European Mennekes / Type 2 connector.

Apparently the Zoe can’t be charged from a standard 240v outlet here in Australia, so local owners will need to consider the cost and implications of a charger installation, or know they can recharge at a public station (such as at a local Stockland).

Vehicle Model 2017 Zoe EV
Manufacturer Renault
Battery capacity 41KWh
Driving Range 400km NEDC or 300km practical driving range
Charger Chameleon connector – 7kw, 30kw, 45kw
Seats 5
Body type subcompact
Suggested Retail Price
(excludes on-road costs)
from AU$42,000++
Warranty 3 years for the vehicle
5 years for the lithium-ion battery

Renault’s phone App, “ZE pass” is also in the works, however we don’t yet know if it will reach Australia – we’d imagine so though. Known features of the app are as follows:

  • Finding the nearest charger
  • Be able to confirm if the charger is in use or available
  • Route planning
  • Provide directions to/from your destination to the charger
  • Allows usage of chargers anywhere via the app

Summing up

The confirmation that the Renault Zoe will be available in Australia is great news – but unfortunately the trade and government restriction means that we’ll most likely only see it being bought by private fleets who have goals or incentives to meet their own emissions reduction or cost-saving targets.

The cost of the Zoe will also make most sense to the higher mileage fleet or government buyer too, with lower fuel and maintenance costs helping to offset the high sticker price.

Sole trader / private buyers will probably have to be quite dedicated to the EV-cause to get hold of a Zoe as a small business, but hopefully if demand is strong enough, we may see the Renault Zoe become more widely available as it’s a very solid EV with mass-appeal.

Images courtesy of Renault Australia.

Keith enjoys nerding out about Electric Vehicles, owning a BMW i3, Tesla Model X and now, running Drive Zero .