A longer range, a shorter charge time, a cheaper cost: these are the promises that seem to accompany every electric car to market. The reality is that incremental improvements – although significant – have yet to liberate the EV from second or third-choice status. Although the new raft of EV cars led by Tesla's Model S plus 300-mile range and the facelifted Zoe's 250-mile promise are close to changing this stance.
And even where there appears to be significant movement – in the Zoe’s price – there’s the not insignificant rental cost of the batteries, which would cover at least one tank of gas all on its own.
But the case for the Zoe – as with all EVs – isn’t solely about numbers, except as a way to dodge company car tax or the congestion charge.
Overall the Renault is pleasing to drive, quiet, classy and, leaving the electric thing to one side for a moment, a stylish and desirable-looking small car.
If you think that you can find room in your life for an EV, with all of the associated limitations and freedoms, you’ll find none better – or better priced – than the Renault Zoe.
But if you’re unsure, it probably won’t win you over. In that case, more conventional eco-focused hatchbacks, like the EcoBoost petrol or turbodiesel Ford Fiesta, will probably prove a more appropriate and viable choice.