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New ZOE to address EV concerns, says Renault

The ZOE is a small electric car available from £13,995 after a Government grant. Buyers are also charged from £70 a month to lease the expensive batteries that power it. A wall box to charge the car is included in the price.

As reported by news agency Headlineauto, Renault says that puts the ZOE within range of more people than other electric cars, which typically cost closer to £30,000 after grants. Renault likens the cost of ZOE ownership to buying and running a £14,000 diesel-engined Ford Fiesta and filling it once a month with fuel.

There are other savings to be made by opting for a ZOE, the French company argues. It is exempt from road tax, attracts no Benefit-in-Kind levy if used as a company car, and businesses can write down the full cost of it against tax in the first year. Buyers in London are also excused the £10 weekday congestion charge, even with the more stringent conditions applied from the start of this week.

‘A ZOE is 75% cheaper per mile to fuel than a diesel car and 25% cheaper per mile to service and maintain,’ Renault claimed. ‘There are already 1,700 public charging points, and these are scattered around the country and not all in London, and in many cases parking and charging in them is free. The website www.zap-map shows where they are, and Sainsbury's and Tesco have said they are going to start rolling out charging points soon.’

Renault is also seeking to address driver issues with battery life expectancy and range. The batteries will be replaced or repaired once they can no longer hold more than 75% of maximum charge any time within the vehicle lifetime and regardless of the number of owners the car has had.

Meanwhile Renault is being candid about the realistic range drivers can expect on a full charge. On the official test cycle this is quoted at 130 miles, but Renault says a truer figure would be 90-100 miles in summer and around 65 miles in winter, when heaters, lights and wipers are in use for longer periods.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.

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