Four years after it first arrived, the Renault Zoe electric car still looks like a remarkably fresh design. Partly that’s down to its appealing mix of full curves, crisp creases and cute details, and partly it’s because there aren’t that many of them about. There are only about four thousand Zoes in the whole of the UK, and it’s hard to get tired of something you hardly ever see.
The latest generation aims to address that rarity by fixing what is still the biggest stumbling block lying in the path of EV sales – limited range between long recharges.
The Zoe originally came with a 22kWh battery capable of providing a real-world range of between 62 and 106 miles, depending on driving style and the warmth of the weather. From January, however, it has gained a much bigger 41kWh battery that will manage 124 to 186 miles. These big-battery Zoes are labelled ZE 40 to mark them out from the less capable cars, which remain available in entry-level trim. The Zoe ZE 40 is, as Renault is very keen to point out, the longest-range EV on sale in the UK that doesn’t have a Tesla badge (and a Tesla pricetag to match).