First test: Renault ZOE 40 - no more excuses!

Tesla is what you think of when you think about electric car pioneers. Or to Nissan, whose Leaf in Europe diligently leads the top 10 sales figures for e-cars. And yet, there is a bit of a problem with both of them when it comes to everyday life. The one way too expensive for the “average consumer” and the other, well, a little too - let's put it this way - avant-garde in design. Often, however, a completely different pioneer is forgotten. "The little ZOE”From Renault. Renault has become the range king quietly and secretly. With the current battery update, there are now 400 kilometers (standard cycle) on the credit side. All sorts of things for a city car. We were traveling with the French woman in Portugal.

First test: Renault ZOE with 41 kWh battery

No more excuses!

The now four-year-old Zoe is not even that small. Cuddly would be the right word. But with a good four meters, the Zoe is one of the “compacts” on the market. A Volkswagen Polo would be the comparable benchmark. With the new battery pack, Renault ZOE has now reached a milestone that stands out. 41 kWh in the battery pack should be good for a range of 400 kilometers in the standard cycle. In everyday life, 300 km should now be part of normality, says Renault. 300 km on one battery charge. For a city car whose average daily workload is rarely more than 40 kilometers, a figure with an exclamation mark!

[= ””] Quick Info: With the new ZOE 40 there are no more excuses! Renault has successfully eliminated the fear of range and acquisition costs as counter-arguments!

Au revoir Range anxiety

100.000 electric vehicles sold at Renault. 50.000 of them Renault ZOE. Ironically, a compact car from France is doing massive pioneering work. Anyone who looks at the ZOE and drives a test will understand why. It is exactly the amount of car you need. Like a Renault 4 back then. You don't need more. Two hundred pounds of potatoes in the trunk, space for mother-in-law and neighbors and a solid chassis with comfortable suspension travel. Only completely without “hum” and with the advantage of “zero emissions”. The ZOE was a good offer so far - with the new battery, a range pioneer is now growing into a super offer. 400 km on paper. 300 kilometers in everyday life. And even with the motorway part, more than 270 kilometers remain feasible.

departure Ready

The Chameleon charger charges the battery cells from LG with christened onboard chargers with up to 22 kW. Previous ZOE drivers will be taken aback. A bigger battery, but less charging power? Renault speaks of an efficiency gain. Less charge loss and easy compatibility with all Type2 chargers. 400 volt AC chargers now pump the larger batteries in just under 1: 45 to 80% power. That should be quick enough. Will Renault soon be hooked on the CCS system? It is not improbable. But the charging station for 50 kW charging is still rather manageable and the ZOE is a city car anyway.


In the past, cars of this size, 4 meters in total length, were not yet city cars. Today they will be closed. The ZOE can also do the other disciplines. We completed the first test drives on country roads and highways in Portugal and could not see any shortcomings. On the contrary. The comfortably damped ZOE also completes country roads with nasty asphalt surfaces in a particularly relaxed manner. Sometimes the French woman swings too often, despite the long wheelbase (2,59 meter), steers sufficiently directly, albeit too stiffly, around the middle position, and on the whole plays the nerve saver. The steering works with variable support. In the city smoother than at high speeds. Possibly coordination potential remains here. Because despite the wide track, the steering behavior is too synthetic.

The ZOE's electric motor produces 92 hp - or 68 kW, correctly. The batteries were stowed flat in the underbody. The 400-volt cells come from LG Chem. Renault continues to offer the 41 kWh variant as well as the 22 kWh variant. Both battery packs consist of 12 modules of 16 cells each. However, the energy density of the new battery has almost doubled from 76 Wh / kg to 134 Wh / kg. The weight of the battery pack jumped from 290 kg to 305 kg.

E-cars have a weight problem. Due to the system. The “little ZOE” also weighs a little over 1.500 kilograms. Nevertheless, the French woman completes the traffic light sprint from 0 to 50 km / h in an entertaining 4.1 seconds. The electric motor provides 220 Nm of torque. And that almost from the first turn. No coupling, no switching. As if pulled on a rubber band, an electric car zooms through the crowd. Always quiet, always comfortable. The brake first reacts to the pedal with an increased recuperation performance of the electric motor and only when there is even more deceleration is the disc brakes used and, according to the old custom, heat is converted from movement again. In everyday life, however, the ZOE can be slowed down by the ability to recuperate up to 65 kW of electrical power.

We didn't spare the ZOE on the first day. Used up to 135 km / h (electrically sealed) on the highway in Portugal. Some curves are taken faster than you would have to and the power consumption is not spared. Nevertheless, more than 230 kilometers are always feasible. In the city, 300 km are realistic and the NEDC standard consumption, well, just a brochure size anyway.

For whom the “new ZOE” is the right choice:

Anyone who has always had an excuse why they can't use the electric car in a city car. There are no excuses here!

What else needs to be mentioned

In addition to the previously established rental model, the batteries can now also be bought. The previously 21 kWh battery is still on offer and the starting price of the ZOE, without subsidies, is € 22.100 plus battery rental. This rent again depends on the annual mileage and is between € 59 and € 119 per month. The ZOE with a 41 kWh battery starts at € 24.900. If you are interested in the highest equipment and a “bought” battery, you put € 37.400 on the table!

And owners of one of the first ZOE models also offer a battery upgrade. For 3.000 €, owners receive the new battery pack.

DATA Renault ZOE 40

Price: from 24.900 € plus battery rental (from 59 € / month)
Drive petrol engine: BEV - battery electric vehicle
Electric drive:  68 HP continuous output / 92 HP maximum output - 250 Nm
dimensions: 5 seats, L / W / H 4085, 1730, 1562 mm, weight 1520 kg, case no. 338 l,
Performance: 0-100 km / h 13,2 sec, top 135 km / h, standard consumption / CO2 13,3 kWh / 100 km


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