Renault ZOE Takes Home 'Best' Award in Popular European Magazine
For Americans, Renault typically conjures up images of funky cars that expired in the 1980s. But that's not the case for the rest of the world. The French automaker is making headlines with across the globe with its electrified ZOE.
Renault ZOE wins What Car? Award
What Car? (the question mark is part of the name) is basically Europe's version of Car and Driver. It's a long-running magazine and website, focused on reviewing the latest vehicles. Each year, What Car? holds a 'Car of the Year' awards ceremony, where it names the best cars in several categories. For 2018, the Renault ZOE took home the award for 'Best Electric Car for less than £20,000'.
What makes the ZOE a Winner?
There are a lot of electric cars zipping around Europe – what makes the Zoe better than the rest? To start, the ZOE has a new battery that can store twice as much energy as the previous model. This provides the little car with a range of up to 250 miles and a quick charge time. The only other cars in Europe capable of such a feat come from Tesla – and cost around three times as much.
The ZOE is what's referred to in Europe as a supermini. Yes, it's small, but the 5-door hatchback provides ample space for both passengers and cargo.
A cornucopia of standard features are also offered in the ZOE. Climate control and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment center both come on the entry Level, Expression Nav model. Step up to the Dynamique Nav and you get automatic lights and wipers, along with rear parking sensors. The Signature Nav comes with amenities like leather upholstery, heated seats and a rear parking camera. Not bad for a teeny-tiny, economy car.
When juiced with Renault's Chameleon Charger, the ZOE can go from nothing to an 80% charge in just an hour. The car's powertrain consists of a Z.E.40 battery and an R90 electric motor. There's also the Range OptimiZer package, which includes a heat pump, regenerative braking and Michelin ENERGY E-V tyres.
If you want to put a ZOE in your driveway, first you'll need to relocate to Europe. Then you can either lease it, or buy it outright, with the aid of a government grant.
Europe's best-selling electric vehicle
What Car? isn't the only company to appreciate the ZOE. The popular compact has scored several other awards over the last couple of years, including 'Electric Car of the Year' at the Company Car Today Awards and 'Game Changer 2017' at the Autocar Awards.
However, consumer opinion is what really matters. And the people have spoken. The ZOE is the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe with 24,000 sales in the first nine months of 2017.
Will the ZOE continue to be Europe's darling once the entry-level Tesla Model 3 debuts? Probably so. The ZOE will still be significantly cheaper than the Model 3. Plus, it's French and people like to support products from their home region. France is the top market for the ZOE.
Whether there's a place for the ZOE in the US is a different story. While Europe is moving towards small, electrified vehicles, the states are still clinging to over-sized SUVs and trucks. For now, that means most Americans will probably continue to view Renault as a quirky car builder from the past.
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