The Renault Zoe is a tried and tested, highly popular, great value electric car
Introduction to the Renault Zoe
The Renault Zoe was first launched in 2012, and now in 2019, it has become a mainstream electric car on Britain’s roads.
The latest 2018 version of the Renault Zoe battery is larger than before and the car’s range on a single charge is very good. This Renault electric car is one to put on your shortlist.
In June 2019, Renault announced an upgrade to the Zoe, the ZE50, with availability probably towards the end of the year. The new Zoe ZE50 has both exterior and interior changes compared to the existing model. The base R110 version has a real-world range of about 218 miles and better rapid charging at 50 kW (DC) via a CCS connector. There is also a nippier R135 model, as well as an app called MY Renault, offering various remote features.
Scroll down for details of range, price, features, USPs, the official UK website, and video reviews for the current ZE40 model.
- The 3rd best value electric car in the UK
- Relatively cheap
- Option to pay less for the car and rent the battery
- A small car, but still has 5 seats
- Range not as good as the Kona Electric 64 kWh or e-Niro
Renault Zoe – Range
There are two versions of the Zoe car:
- R110 ZE40
- Q90 ZE40
Both versions of the Renault Zoe come with a 41 kWh battery. At the moment, Renault is only officially selling the R110 ZE40 version. Of course, you may well come across the Q90 model at dealers, and in the second hand market, so we cover both models in this review.
What’s the difference between the R110 and the Q90?
Well, both the R110 ZE40 and the Q90 ZE40 have a range of about 167 miles. That’s not the best EV range available, but very solid for a car at this price point.
So – as they have a similar range – we’ll need to explore below how the R110 ZE40 and the Q90 ZE40 do in fact differ.
Renault Zoe – Price
The R110 ZE40 costs from £24,320, including the PiCG grant.
That makes the Zoe the cheapest 5-seat EV in the UK.
Please note: this price is for the R110 Zoe where you own the battery. There are Zoes where you lease the batteries instead. See “Renault Zoe Battery: Buy or Lease?” below.
However, neither the range nor the price tell you how the two models of the Zoe are different. Read on to find out…
Renault Zoe Charging
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There is a crucial difference between the R110 and Q90 models. It’s to do with both the size of the electric motor, but, more importantly, the speed at which you can charge your Zoe car.
The Renault Zoe R110 ZE40 has a 80 kW motor (107 bhp) and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 11.4 seconds.
The Q90 ZE40, on the other hand, has a 65 kW motor (87 bhp) and accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 13.5 seconds.
Basically, the R110 ZE40 Zoe has a more powerful engine than the Q90 ZE40.
However, the R110 ZE40 has no rapid charging interface. What does that mean? If you’re out on a trip and need to charge at a motorway EV charging station, you are limited to a 22 kW charge rate.
By contrast, the Renault Zoe Q90 ZE40 does have a rapid EV charging port. You can charge it at 43 kW. Twice the speed of the R110 ZE40.
So how do you choose between these two Renault electric models?
- Go for the Q90 ZE40 if you want to be able to charge more quickly when away from home.
- Consider the R110 ZE40 if you value performance over charging time.
Renault Zoe Battery: Buy or Lease?
To make your choice even harder, Renault then gives the option to either buy or lease the batteries in your Zoe car.
The Renault Zoe price we state above is for buying the batteries outright. You pay the price and you then own both the car and the batteries inside.
If you lease the batteries, the price you pay for your Zoe is less:
- The R110 ZE40 with leased batteries costs from £17,720
You pay less upfront, but you then need to pay a monthly fee for the Zoe battery rental.
This monthly fee can be as little as £49 a month, or as much as £110 per month, depending on how many miles you drive a year and the model you get.
So you need to do a ‘total cost of ownership’ calculation to work our whether it’s best to buy or lease the batteries in a Renault Zoe. Think how long you are likely to keep the EV, and then add up all the costs over that time, both upfront and monthly.
The Renault Zoes that have batteries included in their price – where you don’t lease the batteries – have an ‘i’ against them in the model name. For example you may come across:
- i Dynamique Nav R110 Z.E.40
- i S Edition R110 Z.E. 40
Where you don’t see an ‘i’, assume it’s the battery lease model. Be careful if you are buying a Zoe second hand. Sometimes they are listed as ‘i’ models when in fact they are not.
Who is the Renault Zoe for?
This Renault electric car is a front-wheel drive, 5-door supermini with 5 seats.
The Renault Zoe may be classed as a ‘supermini’, but it is actually not bad at all in the back row. Headroom is fine for adults and legroom is also surprisingly generous. You wouldn’t want three adults in the back row, but three kids would be OK.
The boot is also pretty big for a car in this category.
Could this be your only car? Yes it could. If you are single or a couple without kids, the Renault Zoe has good range and would be big enough for most scenarios.
As your only family car, with two kids, it would be doable but not ideal. You would struggle to get all those bulky children’s items in the Zoe.
It could, on the other hand, be a great second family car. An environmentally sound run-about for as many journeys as you can to get those fuel costs down.
As a company car, the Renault Zoe would also be perfect for daily commutes. Small, agile, non-polluting, ideal.
There are 2 trim levels for the Zoe car: Dynamique and Signature.
- If you would like more information about EVs in general, please see our main Electric Cars page.
- For specific details about the various versions of the Renault Zoe, see the main Renault UK Zoe website.
- Otherwise, please scroll down to the Reviews section below for independent analyses.
Renault Zoe – Reviews
We have gone round the web and brought all the best video and text reviews to you here in one place.
Click on the links below for independent reviews of the Renault Zoe from respected car reviewers:
> Fully Charged Live
- Reviewer: Robert Llewellyn
- Organisation: Fully Charged Live
- Date published: 18 January 2017
- Length: 15 minutes 54 seconds
- Reviewer: Nicki Shields
- Organisation: CarBuyer
- Date published: 27 February 2018
- Length: 7 minutes 50 seconds