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The Top Gear car review:Renault Zoe
For:The cheapest EV on sale but so much more besides
Against:They're minimised, but EV constraints do remain
What is it?
What a pretty, conventional-looking, supermini-sized electric car the Zoe is. Well, yes, it certainly is – but that’s not why you’ll buy it. the fact it’s so affordable is. normally something we make excuses for with electric cars, this time price becomes the key USP: they start, with the government plug-in grant included, from under £14k. Ordinary supermini money, then, for a far from ordinary supermini.
Like the Nissan Leaf, this is an EV that’s been designed as one from the ground up, rather than being converted from an existing car like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV et al. Renault’s thus been able to idealise the design, placing things where they should be rather than where they’ll fit and, more importantly, ensuring it ekes out maximum range from those floor-mounted batteries.
This results in yet another draw – the biggest EV driving range of any sub-£30k pure electric car currently on sale. Official figures say 130 miles, 30 per cent more than the first-gen Leaf. As this is the biggest worry most have about running an EV, could the Zoe thus turn out to be a tipping point?