Cars Zoe electric car (Image Credit: Renault)

Published on February 4th, 2014 | by James Ayre


Renault Sells “Only” 10,000 Zoe EVs During First Year Of Availability

February 4th, 2014 by  

Originally published on EV Obsession.

The sales figures for the Renault Zoe EV‘s first year have been released, and while they don’t quite live up to the hopes that the noted manufacturer had, they are substantial.

Renault had been aiming to sell 50,000 units during the first year of availability, but sales ended up topping out at “only” just over 10,000 units — only one-fifth of the initial sales target, but still making it one of the best-selling electric cars in the world. The Renault Zoe actually accounted for 40% of the European EV market in 2013. There’s something important to note beyond these sales figures, though: reports are that customer satisfaction is very high. Those that have bought the EV are apparently quite happy with it, certainly something that bodes well for future sales. 🙂

Zoe electric car (Image Credit: Renault)

Zoe electric car (Image Credit: Renault)

Renault provides details on that high satisfaction rating:

Following the partnership agreement signed by Renault and the Château de Versailles on July 29, 2013, almost 23 electric cars (10 Twizy, 10 Kangoo ZE, 3 ZOE) are used by employees (security guards for Versailles and Marly, gardeners, administration….). Thirty charging stations have been installed in the grounds. This partnership protects the environment of the gardens, and contributes to the comfort and safety of the 12 million annual visitors.

ZOE drivers are its best spokespeople. For this first anniversary, Renault received a huge and enthusiastic response when it invited owners to come and talk about their car and their experience with ZOE. Many believe that simply test driving an electric car is enough to make anybody want one: 98% of ZOE owners are satisfied and 97% would recommend it. Alongside driving pleasure, customers appreciate the comfort offered by ZOE: no noise, no vibrations and smooth acceleration (no gear shift).

In terms of safety, ZOE meets the highest standards. It was recently named “Best Electric Vehicle of 2013” by Euro NCAP, the independent test organization.

Clearly, Renault has plenty to brag about. With information like that in mind it seems pretty likely that the Zoe will continue to see respectable sales… But it’ll be interesting to see what exactly happens in that regard. Will word of mouth drive an increase in sales?

Notably, Renault is also bringing a new offer to the table concerning the battery in order to drive down upfront costs of the Zoe.

Starting 2014 with good news, for consumers buying a new ZOE, Renault is launching “ZOE Access”, a new battery rental service from €49/month, targeting drivers with low mileage.

Read more Renault Zoe news here. 
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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Ross

    It isn’t on sale in Ireland yet either. Pity, as it is clearly their best EV.

  • No way

    The Renault Zoe had about 13% of the european EV market. Not even Renault as a whole gets close to 40% in the european EV market in 2013 (about 27%).
    Where is the 40% coming from?

  • I have seen this 50,000 number before, but it is possible it is being thrown around by the confusers and naysayers just to be able to paint a picture of disappointment. Zachary, could you post a confirmation for that number from a reputable source? Without that, it is just hear-say.

    And the 50,000 perhaps was a prediction for the first full year of sales. The ZOE has not been available for all of 2013, and has not even been delivered to Norway, arguably one of the most important markets in Europe.

    For me the Zoe experience has been a mixed bag. The car itself is awesome and the powerful 3 phase Chameleon charger makes it a winner. I can charge her from near-empty to near-full in a little over 2 hours. At home. No other affordable EV can do that and it allows me to go anywhere in the evening after work. It charges during dinner and at 19:00 she’s good to go out again. She is a pleasure to drive and look at, has more than enough features.

    But it seems Renault is very reluctant to give the Zoe some love.

    – There are until this moment 0 Zoe suitable (=43 kW 3 phase AC) fast chargers in The Netherlands. Maybe 3 years ago with the introduction of the Nissan Leaf that was acceptable. But things have changed rapidly and people have higher expectations. The real die hards that don’t mind the limited usability have all been served already with the Leaf. People that are looking for an EV now are more mainstream and less willing to compromise. Renault have a network of Nissan dealers with CHAdeMO fast chargers that essentially only need an extra cable, since these chargers are already hooked up to a beefy 3 phase grid connection. Why not use those? That was the story in advance: fast chargers are cheap, so expect a lot of them. Not so.
    – There has hardly been any promotion of the car, highlighting her strong points. Only a dull oh-i-feel-so-good-driving-green type of commercial that only appeals to a very small audience.
    – The ZE connect software is total crap. Very unreliable, limited in functionality and with illogical limitations. There has been a total outage of the system recently. It lasted a few days with Renault scrambling to restore it. But what is worse: they did not communicate anything. They simply left their customers to figure it all out by themselves. Until this day there hasn’t even been an official apology sent out by them. Utter disrespect of their customers.
    – The R-link system with TomTom navigation should provide information of public chargers. But the data are way out of date and apart from that it has numerous usability issues. Here too, Renault is acting like all is fine and dandy and are unwilling to give their customers a decent product. You pay for a product and it turns out to be unusable. There is no official date by which we might have up-to-date charger information, lending everybody to believe that they added it as a marketing gimmick without real-world usability.

    So in short: the car rocks, the company behind it sucks.

    • Tom G.

      10,000 units in the first year for any new vehicle using new technology would make some sales executives quite happy. Of course there are still a few executives around today that believe that expecting more results in more.

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