The Renault Zoe is one of the first genuinely attractive electric vehicles that could fit into the budget of the average European, and as a result the French brand is capitalising on its popularity. Their latest step has been to quiz its Facebook fans how they would react to a Renault Zoe Cabriolet. The company is far from committed to it but if the idea inspires you we recommend you get over there and register your interest.
Renault have yet to release any official images of how the car could look the ‘fan art’ (above) that they have posted has a full convertible roof. We imagine that it would be more likely to be only the centre of the roof which folds back, similar to the Fiat 500C or Citroen DS3 Cabrio, if the car made it to production.
Renault and Nissan as a team have committed themselves to developing useable electric cars with the latest addition being the Renault Zoe hatchback. Based on the same Alliance B platform as the Renault Clio and Nissan Note the Zoe Convertible would be the third in the range of Renault convertible cars and the first mass produced affordable electric convertible.
In a sector where technology is developing fast and technical limitations still exist, such as charging times, powerpoint availability and not least battery prices, consumers have remained slow on the uptake. Renault sold just 17,000 EVs (Electronic Vehicles) worldwide in 2012 despite a 3 car range but they have hopes that the Zoe supermini will tempt drivers to the new technology.
The Renault Zoe uses a 22KWh NEC lithium-ion battery, positioned under the floor, to power a 65kW AC electric motor, driving the front wheels. It has an official range of 130 miles on the NEDC Combined cycle although this may drop considerably in cold weather or when travelling at high speeds. It makes a lot of sense as a city car where it will be efficient, clean and never far from a charging point. Acceleration is quick at low speeds and an 84 mph top speed means it will keep up with high speed traffic.
With government subsidies the Renault Zoe hatchback can be bought at a very reasonable price in most European countries however, the cost of battery hire must also be added to the monthly budget. In the UK that means the £17,983 (GBP) price is reduced by the £4,333.33 UK Plug-in car grant to a total price of £13,650 with battery hire coming in at an additional £70.00 per month over 3 years if annual mileage is under 7500.