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Renault Zoe long-term test review


My first few days with the Zoe before lockdown provided plenty of excitement. It started with a sizable real-world test and my chance to jump head first into the icy pool that is driving with range anxiety. The car was delivered to my door with just over 140 miles of juice and I had a 125+ mile return journey to Bicester for our Car of the Year video shoot to complete the same day.

Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared to cut it fine and decided to top up for a couple of hours before heading off. With just over 175 miles of range in the batteries I was able to complete the journey with plenty to spare (50+ miles left in the battery).

Up until now, my experience with electric cars has been limited to the first-generation BMW i3 and more recently, the i3S which I’ve found guzzles the battery range under consistent motorway acceleration. Here, however, with the heater on, radio in full swing and 70mph on the speedo, I wasn’t panicking. I began to realise that when you have a sizeable real-word range you can afford to lose some without feeling the squeeze.

But, as with any good relationship, the Zoe and I have also had our first fall out. An, as yet, undiagnosed issue with the car’s charging socket on our first photoshoot left me stranded for over an hour while myself and snapper Max desperately pleaded with the cable to release from the socket. That the cable was not plugged into a charger at the time, makes it all the more strange. I have since been told by the Renault engineers that they haven’t seen this issue before and were unable to replicate it themselves. While you can see I wasn’t too pleased at the time, with a bit of assurance that it shouldn’t happen again, I’m back to realising just how useful it can be to run an electric car.



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