Renault's new electric cars may turn out to be cheaper than we expected. We had been looking to a price comparable to modern turbodiesels, but a senior executive has told us that the new 2012 Zoë ZE city car will be priced from just €15,000.
'The Zoe will cost around €15,000, or £13,000 in sterling,' said global vice president of sales and marketing, Stephen Norman. 'And that will include the subsidy.'
The UK Government has already pledged £5000 off full zero emissions vehicles. However, customers will have to lease the batteries and that cost is set to be between £85-£90 a month.
'The overnight charge will cost just a few pennies,' vowed Norman. 'These cars are serious – and they will be cheaper than an internal combustion engine vehicle.'Electric cars, blah blah. They're not that clean if they're powered by coal, are they?
True, but Norman and his team of spinmeisters are one step ahead. 'We calculate that emissions would average 30g/km of CO2 – even with electricity production in the UK.'
The Zoë ZE is one of three electric cars being launched by Renault, as it and partner firm Nissan spearhead the charge into EVs.Remind me of the madly named electric Renault line-up in full...
Based on the 2009 Frankfurt concepts, there will be three Renault battery cars at launch in 2011: the Fluence ZE four-door family car; the Twizy ZE slightly crazy small city car; and the Kangoo Van ZE commercial vehicle. The 4m-long Zoë ZE supermini Norman is talking about follows in 2012.
Expect the electric architecture of cars like the Zoë to be available on the next batch of traditional small Renaults, too. The new rear-wheel drive Twingo coming in 2013 will offer EV ability from launch and the new Clio due in 2012 will offer battery power. Each will be denoted by the ZE badge, for zero emissions.
The new 2012 Clio should be quite a car. It will also usher in the new Renault design direction, overseen by ex-Mazda styling chief Laurens van den Acker. It's said to be quite a departure from Patrick le Quément's preferred look in latter days. It'll have percolated across the entire range by 2014.