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Renault’s updated Zoe will go 186 miles on a charge

The EV revolution cometh: new, better battery almost doubles cute electric city car’s range

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Okay, this isn’t the sexiest electric Renault revealed today. But it is important, we promise. It’s the new Renault Zoe. Don’t waste your time looking for any facelifted bumpers because Renault’s busied itself creating a better battery for its electric city car. And the results are quite something.

Scored on the NEDC test cycle, the new Zoe will cover an enormous 250 miles on a single charge, giving it, in Renault’s words, the longest range of any mainstream electric vehicle. 

Now, as we know, NEDC tests are slightly, ahem, optimistic in their projections of a car’s Renault’s calculated a real-world range too. The sort of performance you’d get from using the climate control, accelerating beyond a snail’s pace, and generally not being confined to an air-conditioned lab. And the real-world range is: a not-at-all-shabby 186 miles, or 300km.

That’s up from 106 miles of real-world range before (or 149 miles in the arbitrary NEDC’s eyes). And potentially more than enough distance to turn the Zoe from a city runabout second car into a much more flexible commuting machine. The lower-grade battery will remain on sale as an entry-level Zoe. 

The new battery has been developed with LG, and has seen the chemistry of the lithium-ion cells themselves enhanced to increase power density without dramatically increasing the weight of the battery pack. Meanwhile, the battery has a new air circulation gizmo that maintains a more constant healthy temperature, improving performance in freezing or sweltering weather. 

Meanwhile, the new 41kWh battery still takes the same time to charge up, despite the extra range you’re getting. The top-up function means adding 50 miles-worth of juice during a motorway services pit-stop takes 30 minutes. Which ought to be just about long enough to explain why your car has a, erm, people-name.

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