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Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Now for something completely different!

In BMW, Renault on May 7, 2014 at 8:05 pm

 2Monty Python’s Flying Circus!

I lied.

Actually it’s a pair of electric cars.

I’ve driven the high spec white one on the right.

The Renault Zoe.

According to the gent who accompanied me on my 5 mile trip it’s got loads going for it.

Affordability.  A roomy, attractive hatch for around £16,000.

No road tax.

No congestion charge.

Free battery re-charging of up to 80% of the power within 30 minutes at numerous sites across the UK.

New battery packs if they fail during the first 4 years.

Free charging point installed at your home when the car is ordered, and a typical charge cost of just 80p at home.

Sat Nav to guide you to recharging stations.

A decent sound system.

Funky dash layout.

 1

Automatic.

Air Con.

Big Boot.

Plenty of space.

All of which sounds so wonderful you might imagine I’ve just ordered one.

But I haven’t.

The 135 mile range is on a good day with a fair wind behind you.

Typically folk can cover 80 miles on a fully charged battery.

Then there’s the acceleration.

It’s okay at low speed, but over 40 mph it seemed to lose oomph.

Then there’s the fixed height front seats.  No problem for the driver, but little space for feet in the back.

I begrudged the centre console being positioned towards the left, belying the French origins.

The ride over bumps was unlike the classic Renault’s of old.

My 10s, 12, and 16 sailed over speed bumps, the Zoe crashed over them and was quite shaken up.

On the move the car was quiet apart from road noise, which in a normal car would be drowned out by the engine.

So my test was hardly exhaustive, but I’d say it’s the best new Renault in 20 years.

Given the choice I’d rather have one than BMW’s latest electric city car, which looks hideous in comparison.

Let’s give it 7 out of 10, with the caveat that one can’t expect to use on anything other than sort runs.

The big negative is the lack of a lead for the car to be topped up with a conventional 3 pin electrical socket.

That’s ridiculous!