By Sophie Williamson-Stothert

The term “range anxiety” continues to haunt the population’s few electric car drivers, who are restricted to distances of between 50 and 80 miles on average. But that could soon become a thing of the past.

The Renault Zoe has been upgraded to provide owners with a greater range, along with a variety of new trim levels, which also filter through to the Twizy line-up.

The Zoe’s range previously consisted of the entry-level Expression and range-topping Dynamique. However, to coincide with the new range-extended electric motor, the zero-emission supermini is now available in three variants: Expression Nav, Dynamique Nav and Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge.

The entry-level Expression Nav is priced at £13,445 and comes equipped with a number of gadgets as standard, including R-link voice-controlled touchscreen sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control and front electric windows. For an extra £1,600, the mid-range Expression Nav adds a rear parking camera and different upholstery.

It’s the top of the range Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge that boasts the best quality, and the clue is in the name. Thanks to its revamped electric motor, the Zoe can be recharged to 80 per cent battery life in 30 minutes via a 43kW charge point, if you’re willing to part with the additional £500 required.

This means the Zoe can now achieve close to 100 miles on one charge. The official New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) range is 130 miles, which in ‘real-world’ conditions translates to around 64 miles in cold weather and 93 miles in warmer temperatures.

The little Twizy has benefited from a few upgrades, too. Expression trim now replaces the former Urban model, while Dynamique takes the place of the Technic. Each of the models has received very minor changes, mostly tweaks to design and equipment.

The Dynamique, for example, now sits on Diamond alloy wheels finished in Gloss Black, Flame Orange or Urban Blue. The range-topping Cargo model remains the same as before, with its lack of rear seat extending the load capacity to 180 litres – perfect for delivery drivers tackling the gridlock of urban motoring.

Chris Lloyd


July 17, 2015