Renault is replacing its electric Zoe, with an all-new model that boosts the range from 186 to 242 miles.
Launched way back in 2012, the Zoe was one of the first mainstream electric cars at a reasonably affordable price.
The increased range is thanks to a battery that’s had capacity increased from 41 to 52kWh. Despite the increased capacity, improvements in technology mean the battery is no bigger than before.
The Zoe is now compatible with 50kW rapid public chargers. Half an hour plugged into one of these tops up the batteries enough to add around 90 miles more range.
A full charge from a 7kW home wallbox takes just under nine and a half hours, and Renault expects most owners to charge their Zoes overnight.
Renault is now offering the Zoe with the same 107bhp electric motor as used in the current car, or with a more powerful 134bhp option that can get it from 0-62 in under 10 seconds.
Admittedly, that’s a far cry from the 2.3 seconds a Tesla Model S fitted with the aptly named Ludicrous Mode can manage, however the Renault is expected to carry a price tag around a quarter that of its American cousin.
A new feature called B-mode maximises regenerative braking, sending energy that would otherwise be wasted to the battery. What this means in practice is that around town you shouldn’t need the brake at all – the car will slow down rapidly as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator. For anyone who finds this kind of one-pedal driving a bit unnatural.
The exterior doesn’t look a great deal different from the outgoing car, though all versions now get LED lighting. Inside, it’s all change, with higher spec cars getting a 9.3in touchscreen and a 10in driver’s display that replaces traditional instruments.
Thankfully, you still operate the heating and fan controls using rotary dials – much easier on the move.
The new Zoe goes on sale in August with a price tag expected to start from around £22,000.